Mayor Marion Barry has proposed legislation to license distributors and manufacturers of drugs or medical devices in the District, saying the lack of licensing has led to a cutoff of supplies to several local wholesalers and, therefore, to some health facilities.
Barry said out-of-town manufacturers are refusing to sell drugs and medical devices to the local distributors because they are not licensed or certified by the D.C. government.
"The net result of this refusal is that hospitals are running critically low on some drugs and medical devices, that these hospitals soon are going to be forced into ignoring existing contracts with local businesses and into purchasing these items from out-of-state businesses and that small, local businesses . . . are in great jeopardy," Barry wrote in a letter explaining the legislation.
The mayor also proposed legislation to license all private employment and career counseling agencies in the District.
Career counseling agencies and other types of placement services are unlicensed and unregulated, and some in the city have been accused of charging high fees without providing substantial help to job seekers.
The bill would require some types of agencies to be bonded in case they go out of business after collecting client fees and before performing services. And it would require records to be kept on each client, so the city's consumer agency could determine whether agreed upon services have been performed and the company's success rate in placing clients.
The bills are among 19 that council chairman David A. Clarke introduced Sept. 1 at the mayor's request.
The council last week gave final passage to a bill extending the District's strict condominium conversion law for five years to Sept. 10, 1988.
That measure was enacted as emergency legislation so there would be no gap between the expiration of the old law last week and the end of the mandatory 30-day congressional review period. The extension was passed by voice vote.
Provisions to protect the elderly were modified, giving persons 62 and older the right to rent for the rest of their lives rather than for the duration of the law. The maximum household income allowed for persons eligible for those concessions was raised from $30,000 to $40,000.
A majority of the City Council last week expressed opposition to two late-night flights that American Airlines has started at National Airport.
Council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7) introduced a resolution, with a majority of the council as sponsors, calling on the federal Department of Transportation to close a "loophole" in Federal Aviation Administration rules that allows the two flights.
Commercial airplanes have been prohibited from landing at National after 10 p.m. by strict noise limits after that hour, but American Airlines got around the prohibition by using quieter planes.
Crawford also sought to renew a controversial debate over which minority groups are eligible for preference in awards of District contracts. Earlier this year, the preferential treatment was extended to Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans, which Crawford said makes the law apply to areas representing more than one-fourth of the world's population.
The law is ambiguous, he said, because it does not specify countries of origin for eligible minority groups. He would limit the definition to Americans who are black, Hispanic, or Oriental and Native Americans. Crawford's staff could not say how much this would narrow the application of the law.