The following were among actions taken at the Oct. 9 meeting of the District of Columbia Council.

DEATH PENALTY -- The council gave preliminary approval to a bill that prohibits any District court or agency from relinquishing custody of a juvenile charged with a crime to a state that imposes the death penalty for that crime, unless that state certifies that it will not seek the death penalty.

BANK MERGER -- The council passed a resolution urging the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to approve the acquisition of Columbia National Bank by First Maryland Bancorp. As part of the proposed merger, Columbia National Bank has submitted plans to develop a $3 million mortgage program to help low and moderate income and minority District residents buy their own homes. District law requires the council to endorse bank mergers.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAMS -- The council passed legislation approving a $600,000 grant by the D.C. Department of Corrections for a substance abuse program for 60 male prisoners, and a $400,000 grant to give job training to ex-offenders and help them find jobs. The council had funded the grants as part of the corrections department budget, but the department had requested separate authorization under city procurement regulations.

The act requires approval of the mayor and would be effective after a 30-day period of congressional review.

RELIGION -- The council gave final approval to a bill allowing District government employees to work flexible work hours so they can leave work for religious holidays other than Christmas. Currently they have to use either a day of vacation or take time off without pay. This bill allows them to make up the time by working additional hours.

The act requires approval of the mayor and would be effective after a 30-day period of congressional review.

WASHINGTON CONVENTION CENTER -- The council gave preliminary approval to a bill that would allow members of the Washington Convention Center Board to serve more than two terms. The current law states that board members, who are nominated by the mayor and approved by the council, can serve no more than two three-year terms. The bill was introduced because the second terms of several respected board members expire this year.

PENSION PLAN -- The council passed legislation that exempts retired District government workers who are rehired by the city from the requirement to contribute a portion of their pay towards the city employee retirement program.

The act requires approval of the mayor and would be effective after a 30-day period of congressional review.