The D.C. City Council has approved a bill banning the possession or sale of bullets that can pierce soft body-armor in anticipation that protective vests soon will be used by D.C. police officers.
A separate bill is scheduled for consideration today by the council's Judiciary Committee to make the soft body-armor standard equipment for police officers.
A local group has been raising money from private sources to buy body-armor vests for the police department, and the City Council earlier this year added $250,000 to the department's budget to help pay for the equipment, estimated to cost a total of $582,000.
Under the bill making the vests standard equipment, introduced by City Council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7), the chief of police would issue regulations specifying when they would have to be worn.
The council decision to ban armor-piercing bullets came on a unanimous voice vote. The bullets have not been used widely and no particular incident prompted the legislation, but the council did not want them to be available once the police start using the vests, said an aide to City Council member Jerry A. Moore (R-At Large). Moore introduced the legislation.
The City Council has approved emergency legislation that would allow Washington Convention Center employes to organize but which would prevent them from striking.
The resolution, requested by Mayor Marion Barry and the management of the center, states that the workers are employes of the D.C. government and as such are under the jurisdiction of the city's Public Employees Relations Board rather than the National Labor Relations Board.
This would mean they would be covered by a city law that prohibits city government workers from striking.
Several local unions are trying to organize the blue-collar work force at the center, about 75 employes, and have petitioned the NLRB to assert its jurisdiction over the workers. This would mean they would be covered by more liberal federal laws, which allow strikes.
Ron Richardson, an official of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 25, one of those trying to organize the workers, said if the NLRB decides it has authority over the workers, the City Council's resolution would be moot.
The NLRB postponed a hearing on the issue to give the council time to act. The board is expected to make a decision in the next week or two, according to Richardson.
Council member Crawford has introduced legislation that would freeze the property tax assessments of lower-income senior citizens for five years on homes they own and live in.
The bill would apply to about 13,000 homeowners over the age of 65, Crawford estimated.
The measure was part of Crawford's five-piece "spring legislative package." The other four bills would help low- and moderate-income persons pay off delinquent mortgage payments; increase the property tax exemption on owner-occupied cooperatives, condominiums and single-family homes from $9,000 to $18,000; give permit parking to some businesses; and increase filing fees for corporate annual reports.