Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) will oppose the legislation, arguing that handicapped motorists should not have to pay for parking. Bowser also worries that DDOT’s plans to convert about 11 percent of meters to red tops will reduce on-street parking for non-disabled motorists.
“Are we that intent on charging people in wheelchairs to park?” she asked. “It’s terrible.”
Bowser, chairwoman of the Government Operations Committee, could also find herself at odds with Gray over campaign finance reforms that are under consideration.
With a federal investigation into his 2010 campaign ongoing, Gray has proposed a series of reforms, including banning city contractors from donating to District candidates and prohibiting lobbyists from bundling donations.
On Friday, Gray called on the council to complete the legislation by the end of the year.
But Bowser said there is only “a slim chance” that the council will act before it recesses for the year, citing the complexity of securing majority support for a bill. “Most members have expressed to me they don’t want to rush in getting it out,” she said. “They want more time.”
However, other pieces of legislation are heading for up-or-down votes.
The council is expected to vote Tuesday to revise liquor laws, including authorizing Sunday carryout sales and placing new limits on residents’ rights to lodge complaints against liquor-license applications. The hospitality industry supports the bill, but some neighborhood groups want changes to it.
Mendelson, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is pushing a crime bill that classifies synthetic forms of marijuana such as “KZ” and “Spice” as Schedule 1 narcotics, which are subject to more stringent criminal penalties. The measure also clarifies that a rapist cannot have custody or visitation rights with a child who resulted from a rape, establishes an assault on a taxicab inspector as a new crime and clarifies that someone can be charged with disorderly conduct for using loud or abusive language in a government building.
To respond to recent flooding in Bloomingdale, council members will ponder legislation to create a $1 million fund to reimburse uninsured homeowners who have experienced flood damage or sewer backups. The fund could be paid for through a small assessment on residents’ water bills.
With an eye to the future, the members will consider a bill authorizing driverless or autonomous cars on city streets as long as a licensed driver retains the ability to manually drive the vehicle if necessary.
An environmental bill extends solar tax credits for homeowners, regulates the use of fertilizers near waterways and restricts dry cleaners from opening near child-care centers to protect kids from fumes.
The bill also rescinds a city ban on beekeeping, allowing residents to have up to four hives per quarter-acre.