||D.C. Council Homepage||Home Rule Act||Council Rules||Council Review Provisions||Contents of Legalese||D.C. Home Page||

OFFICE OF THE

GENERAL COUNSEL
LEGALESE


December 1995 Council of the District of Columbia Vol. 1, No. 2

||Federal Laws pertaining to D.C.||FRMAA Changes||Due Process||Fiscal Impact Statements||Boards & Commissions Manual||Law Books Wanted||D.C. Code Update Chart||Farewell||Kudos||General Counsel's Message||Editors||



NEWS YOU CAN USE!


As we all know, the United States Constitution reserves to Congress the ultimate legislative authority over the District. In keeping with that authority, Congress has enacted or considered several laws this year pertaining exclusively to the District. The following is a list and summary of those laws.

FEDERAL LAWS PERTAINING EXCLUSIVELY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA

Federal Payment Reauthorization Act of 1994, approved October 19, 1994 (P.L. 103-373; 109 Stat. 3488)

District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (P.L. 104-8; 109 Stat. 97)

District of Columbia Emergency Highway Relief Act, approved August 4, 1995 (P.L. 104-21; 109 Stat. 257)



District of Columbia Convention Center and Sports Arena Authorization Act of 1995, approved September 6, 1995 (P.L. 104-28; 109 Stat. 267)

BILLS PASSED BY ONE CHAMBER OF CONGRESS AND ASSIGNED TO COMMITTEE IN THE OTHER CHAMBER.

H.R. 1508, National Children's Island Act of 1995. A bill to require the transfer of title of the District of Columbia of certain real property in Anacostia Park to facilitate the construction of National Children's Island, a cultural, educational, and family oriented park.

OTHER BILLS REPORTED OR ASSIGNED TO COMMITTEES OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE U.S. SENATE, PERTAINING EXCLUSIVELY TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THE REGION.

H.R. 51, New Columbia Admission Act. A bill to provide for the admission of the State of New Columbia into the Union.

H.R. 358, A bill to repeal the authority of the Mayor of the District of Columbia to requisition unlimited funds from the Treasury of the United States to meet the general expenses of the District of Columbia, and for the other purposes.

H.R. 461, Lorton Correctional Complex Closure Act. A bill to close the Lorton Correctional Complex, to prohibit the incarceration of individuals convicted under the laws of the District of Columbia in facilities of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, and for other purposes.

H.R. 748, District of Columbia Federal Tax Equity Act. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that individuals who are residents of the District of Columbia shall be exempt from Federal income taxation, and for other purposes.

H.R. 775, A bill to abolish the Board of Review of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and for other purposes.

H.R. 836, Metropolitan Washington Airports Act Amendment of 1995. A bill to amend the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986 to provide for reorganization of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and for local review of proposed actions of the Airports Authority affecting aircraft noise.

H.R. 1028, A bill to provide for the retrocession of the District of Columbia to the State of Maryland, and for other purposes.

H.R. 1324, A bill to enforce the law regulating the height of buildings in the District of Columbia by prohibiting the District of Columbia from issuing any building or occupancy permit for the proposed development located at 1328 G Street, N.W., unless the development is modified to conform to such law.

H.R. 1509, D.C. Government Downtown Sports Arena and Convention Center Financing Act. A bill to amend the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to permit certain tax revenues of the District of Columbia to be pledged to pay debt service on obligations issued by an agency or instrumentality of the District government to finance certain costs of a downtown sports arena and convention center; to authorize such agency or instrumentality of the District government to expend such tax revenues without the requirement that such tax revenues be appropriated by the District of Columbia and the Congress; to provide that the obligations issued by any such agency or instrumentality of the District government shall not be considered general obligations of the District of Columbia for purposes of calculating limitations on borrowing and spending by the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

H.R. 1843, A bill to permit a designated authority to borrow funds for the development and construction of a sports arena in the District of Columbia, to permit the District of Columbia to pledge certain revenues as security for the borrowing of such funds, and for other purposes. (Hearing held).

H.R. 1855, A bill to amend title 11, District of Columbia Code, to restrict the authority of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia over certain pending cases involving child custody and visitation rights. (Hearing held).

H.R. 1862, A bill to permit certain revenues of the District of Columbia to be expended for activities relating to the operation of the Washington Convention Center and the construction of a new convention center in the District of Columbia.

H.R. 2103, A bill to amend the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to place the budget of the District of Columbia courts on equal footing with other branches of the District government, to permit the severance of the salaries, and to authorize multiyear contracts.

H.R. 2546, A bill making appropriations for the government of the District of Columbia, and other activities chargeable in whole or in part against the revenues of said District for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1996, and for other purposes.

H.R. 2636, A bill to transfer jurisdiction over certain parcels of Federal real property located in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

H.R. 2759, A bill to prevent paid furloughs of Federal and District of Columbia employees during periods of lapsed appropriations.

H.J. RES. 80, Joint resolution disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Closing of a Public Alley and Establishment of an Easement in Square 253, S.O. 88-107, Act of 1994.

H.RES. 252, Agreed to in the House Resolution providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2546) making appropriations for the Government of the District of Columbia and other activities chargeable in whole or in part against the revenues of said District for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1996, and for other purposes.

S. 201, Lorton Correction Complex Closure Act. A bill to close the Lorton Correction Complex, to prohibit the incarceration of individuals convicted of felonies under the laws of the District of Columbia in facilities of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, and for other purposes.

S. 288, A bill to abolish the Board of Review of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and for other purposes.

S. 362, Metropolitan Washington Airports Act Amendments of 1995, A bill to amend the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986 to provide for the reorganization of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and for local review of proposed actions of the Airports Authority affecting aircraft noise.

BILLS PASSED BY COMMITTEE OR SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE

H.R. 2661, District of Columbia Fiscal Protection Act of 1995, To amend the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act to permit the District of Columbia to expand its own funds during any portion of a fiscal year for which Congress has not enacted the budget of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year, and to provide for the appropriation of a monthly pro-rata portion of the annual Federal payment to the District of Columbia for such fiscal year during such portion of the year.

FRMAA CHANGES


The District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority Act of 1995 ("FRMAA") enhanced the powers of the Council. The following are examples:

School Budget

Separation of pre-1980 employees

Reprogrammings

Contracts in excess of $1 million

THE PROCESS THAT IS DUE


Recently, the Council has passed several acts that permit the taking of property. The Prohibition on Abandoned Vehicles Amendment Act of 1995 requires the District's Abandoned and Junk Vehicle Division to enter private property to seize abandoned or junk vehicles which have been left on the property without the property owner's consent. Under the Child Support and Licensing Compliance Amendment Act of 1995, a person's car registration, driver's license, and professional or business license can be revoked if that person receives income and is delinquent in his or her child support payments. The Clean Hands Before Receiving a License or Permit Act of 1995, which has been approved by the Committee on Public Works and the Environment but has not been considered by the full Council, requires certain District agencies to revoke the license or permit of any person who owes more than $100 in outstanding debt to the District as a result of certain unpaid obligations.

While the governmental deprivation of property may be an effective tool to enforce laws, Constitutional Due Process requirements must be observed. In a long line of cases, the United States Supreme Court has stated that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that a person be notified of the impending deprivation and be given an opportunity to be heard before they can be finally deprived of their property. Snidach v. Family Finance Corp., 395 U.S. 337 (1969); Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67 (1972); Mitchell v. W.T. Grant Co., 416 U.S. 600 (1974); Connecticut v. Doehr, 500 U.S. 1 (1991). The laws passed by the Council protect the due process rights of citizens.

EFFECTIVE DATE CLAUSES

Resolutions


As of December 1, 1995, all resolutions requiring publication prior to their becoming effective should contain a new effective date clause as follows:

Sec. __. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon the first date of publication in the District of Columbia Register.

FISCAL IMPACT STATEMENT

As of December 1, 1995, the following requirements for impact statements shall be in effect for legislation considered by the Council:

Sec. __. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, Approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code 1-233(c)(3)).

BOARDS & COMMISSIONS MANUAL


It has been 7 years since the Boards & Commissions Manual was issued (1988). This office has been busy with so many things that we have been unable to issue periodic revisions to this vital manual. Well, that is until now. The latest revised Boards & Commissions Manual is available in this office. We hope that it will be as widely distributed and utilized as the 1994 version of the Legislative Drafting Manual. It contains the latest legislative drafting changes to forms for Council appointments and confirmations of members to Boards and Commissions.

Copies will be distributed to each Council office, the Office of Intergovernmental Relations, the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Legislative and Legal Opinions Section, and to the Office of Boards and Commissions. Should you have any questions regarding the revisions to the manual, please feel free to contact this office. We hope that you find that it has been worth the wait.

WANTED !!!!!!!

The Office of General Counsel is missing several books from our law library. If you have any books marked "General Counsel" in your office, please return them to Room G24. Some of the missing books are as follows: Volumes 13, 160, 291, 296, 298 and 302 of the U.S. App. D.C.; Volumes 86 and 102 through 106 of U.S. Supreme Court Reporters; Titles 15, 16, 18, 22, 26, 28, 29, 42, Criminal Rules 14-31, and Admin ERISA-FMC of the U.S. Code Service; and Maryland Reporters Volumes 606-608, 615-617, 623-624, and 649-653.

REMINDER


Please remember that the D.C. Code Update Chart is now available on the V:\ drive of the Council's computer network. The Update Chart is a document prepared by the Office of the General Counsel which shows the changes to District laws (including changes initiated by Congress--see Attachment A of the Update Chart) since the last supplemental publication of the D.C. Code.

The Update Chart contains information reflecting the D.C. Code sections that have been amended, the name of the acts that amended the sections, when the act or law will expire (if emergency or temporary legislation), and the District of Columbia Register citation where the acts are published.

Prior to drafting legislation, the Update Chart should be reviewed to determine if the section of the code to be amended has recently been changed.

To access the Update Chart, simply bring up the V:\ drive directory from your Word Perfect "Open File" screen. Double click the "dccode" subdirectory. Then double click on the file "update.cht." In the message box click on the "Yes" button. Now you can read the Update Chart or print it. The Update Chart will be revised every two weeks so that you may have access to the most recent D.C. Code update information.

The Update Chart is also published quarterly in the District of Columbia Register. The most recent publication can be found at 42 DCR 6437.



From January 2, 1996, through May 20, 1996, a member of our staff, Tamiko Palmer, will commence a four and a half-month student teaching internship to fulfill her undergraduate studies requirement at the University of the District of Columbia. She will be teaching in a District of Columbia public elementary school.

Tamiko began her career here at the Council during the summer of 1987 under then Councilmember John Wilson. She worked every summer with John Wilson until January 1991. At that time she became part of the General Counsel's Office. During her tenure in this office her duties have increased substantially as she has demonstrated that she is capable of handling more responsibilities. She helps to maintain our office notebooks and files, types, is an alternate timekeeper, maintains our law library, purges our office files, answers the telephones, and does whatever is needed to be done to help our office run more smoothly.

We will miss Tamiko but hope that she has an enriching student teaching experience. We know that her wonderful interpersonal skills and professionalism will be challenged; however, we are certain Tamiko will demonstrate to her students what we all know and that is she is very capable of getting the job done. Good luck Tamiko!



KUDOS


The Office of the General Counsel would like to thank everyone for the favorable comments we received on the inaugural issue of the Legalese. Many of

you, including the Corporation Counsel Charles Ruff, General Counsel to the

Authority Daniel Rezneck, and former General Counsel to the Council Lawrence Mirel, said you found our newsletter to be an informative and helpful resource. Our goal with each publication is to keep you apprised of issues that affect the Council and the District. Thank you for your support!




MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL

Charlotte Brookins-Hudson




Well, we have made it to the end of 1995. It has been quite a year for the Office of the General Counsel. We have been successful in defending litigation efforts regarding Council enactments and personnel actions by the Council. We have just concluded responding to massive litigation discovery on the wage rollback which is still ongoing. We will continue to keep the Council abreast of the status of litigation regarding Council enactments. We have issued several legal opinions, written and oral, responded to numerous parliamentary questions, reviewed many bills and resolutions, followed Congressional action pertaining to the District, and provided other information and services when requested by members of the Council. We hope to continue to provide such services in 1996. In addition, we have begun to issue this office newsletter. The next issue of Legalese will be distributed in March 1996. At that time we should have some substantive information to report on the District's 1996 Appropriation and the Council's action on the fiscal year 1996 supplemental budget request act. Please stayed tune.



Editors: Sheila Barfield and John McNeal

Contributors: Charlotte Brookins-Hudson, Benjamin Bryant, and Stephen Taylor

Editorial Assistant: Karen Westbrook