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D.C. Council Holding Last Meeting of the Session

Today is a busy legislative day for the D.C. Council as it closes out this session's business. In what likely will be another marathon meeting---the last went until about 9 p.m.--the council will consider a number of critical pieces of legislation.

It will take a second vote of Councilmember Marion Barry's (D-Ward 8) bill on eliminating the backlogged waiting list for affordable housing, which Post reporter Darryl Fears wrote about in today's Washington Post story in the Metro section.

The council will also take another look at the issue of bar hours during Inauguration Week. Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) is introducing emergency legislation that calls for rolling back the bar hours from 5 a.m. to 4 a.m. (the special time during New Year's Eve; normal closing hours is 2 a.m.) The council had voted to extend the hours to 5 a.m. in its last legislative meeting, much to the consternation of some residents and several U.S. Senators. Wells's modifications might do well today, giving the council a chance to look as if it is responding to the various concerns while still giving the bar owners the opportunity to rake in as much cash as visitors are willing to dole out during the historic inauguration of Barack Obama.

Then there is the D.C. Lottery contract, which has been at the center of quite a bit of controversy, as the two largest lottery companies and their local minority partners battle for the job. LTE, Lottery Technology Enterprises, has had the contract for 25 years, and W2I is the new competitor. W21 has the advantage of the support of Chief Financial Officer Natwar M Gandhi and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. LTE has longstanding political ties. But the council has kicked the contract decision around several times this session, letting the proposal for W2I languish repeatedly and forcing Fenty to have to re-submit it. We'll have to see what happens today.

Jim Graham's (D-Ward 1) proposal to raise parking meter fees also gets a final vote today.

This will also be Council member Carol Schwartz's last legislative meeting. Schwartz lost her Republican primary and the write-in campaign during the general election this year. D.C. Wire doesn't know if this means an end to Schwartz's public service career, but whatever she does we wish her well.

By Marcia Davis  |  December 16, 2008; 9:41 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Next: D.C. Gun Legislation Passes; Gray Recounts a Close Call From His Youth


phil graham? did mr. graham and mr. mendelson get merged into one person?

Posted by: IMGoph | December 16, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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