Code of the District of Columbia

Part C. The Council.


§ 1–301.41. Definitions.

(a) “Council” shall mean the Council of the District of Columbia.

(b) “Legislative duties” shall include the responsibilities of each member of the Council in the exercise of such member’s functions as a legislative representative, including but not limited to: Everything said, written or done during legislative sessions, meetings, or investigations of the Council or any committee of the Council, and everything said, written, or done in the process of drafting and publishing legislation and legislative reports.

(c) “Threatening letter or communication” shall mean any letter or communication which reasonably indicates an earnest intention or determination to inflict injury upon someone or something of value.


(June 8, 1976, D.C. Law 1-65, § 2, 22 DCR 7150.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-222.

1973 Ed., § 1-141a.


§ 1–301.42. Legislative immunity.

For any speech or debate made in the course of their legislative duties, the members of the Council shall not be questioned in any other place.


(June 8, 1976, D.C. Law 1-65, § 3, 22 DCR 7151.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-223.

1973 Ed., § 1-141b.


§ 1–301.43. Obstruction of Council proceedings and investigations; penalty.

Whoever, corruptly or by threat or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any witness in any proceeding pending before the Council, or in connection with any inquiry or investigation being had by the Council, or any committee of the Council, or any joint committee of the Council; or whoever injures any party or witness in his person or property on account of his attending or having attended such proceeding, inquiry, or investigation, or on account of his testifying or having testified to any matter pending therein; or whoever willfully removes from any place, conceals, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means falsifies any documentary material which is the subject of a subpoena lawfully issued by the Council, or any committee of the Council; or whoever, corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which such proceeding is being had before the Council, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which such inquiry or investigation is being had by the Council, or any committee of the Council, or any joint committee of the Council; shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.


(June 8, 1976, D.C. Law 1-65, § 4, 22 DCR 7151.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-224.

1973 Ed., § 1-141c.


§ 1–301.44. Independence established and recognized.

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia (“Council”) administratively establishes itself, as authorized in subchapter IV of Chapter 2 of this title, as an independent and coordinate branch of the District of Columbia government.

(b) The Council recognizes the principle of separation of powers in the structure of the District of Columbia government.

(c) The Council shall, following receipt of the report of the study committee established by § 3, adopt such acts and resolutions to implement the organizational and administrative independence of the Council.


(July 24, 1982, D.C. Law 4-127, § 2, 29 DCR 2396.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-227.1.

References in Text

“Section 3”, referred to in subsection (c) of this section, is § 3 of D.C. Law 4-127.

Editor's Notes

Study committee established: Section 3 of D.C. Law 4-127 provided for the establishment of a 5-member study committee to study the organizational and administrative independence of the Council as a coordinate branch of the District of Columbia government. Section 4 of D.C. Law 4-127 outlined the responsibilities of the study committee.


§ 1–301.44a. Independence of legislative branch information technology.

(a) No person, including an employee or contractor of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, or individual employed by or acting on behalf of an official of the Executive branch of the District of Columbia government, shall monitor, access, review, intercept, obtain, use, or disclose to any person or entity a record or electronic communication of a legislative branch agency without the prior express written consent of the Chairman of the Council or the District of Columbia Auditor for their electronic communications.

(b) For the purposes of this section and § 1-301.44b the term:

(1) “Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, voice, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photooptical system, including electronic mail, telecommunications, and wireless or wired network communications.

(2) “Legislative branch agency” means the Council of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Auditor.

(c) Persons violating this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both; provided, that this section shall not apply to the contents of any communication that has been disclosed publicly by the legislative branch agency.


(July 24, 1982, D.C. Law 4-127, § 2a; as added Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 1101, 57 DCR 181; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 6, 59 DCR 6190.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 made a technical correction to D.C. Law 18-11 which did not affect this section as codified.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1101 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1101 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Short Title

Short title: Section 1100 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle K of title I of the act may be cited as the “Independence of Legislative Branch Information Technology and Personnel Authority Amendment Act of 2009”.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Rulemaking Authority for DC One Card Fees, see Mayor’s Order 2011-119, July 14, 2011 ( 58 DCR 6112).


§ 1–301.44b. Legislative branch information technology acquisition.

(a) A legislative branch agency may invest in, acquire, use, and manage, independent of the Executive branch, information technology and telecommunications systems and resources, including hardware, software, and contract services.

(b) A legislative branch agency may, independent of the Executive branch, establish, acquire, maintain, and manage electronic mail messaging systems and services, internet access services, and information technology security systems and services.


(July 24, 1982, D.C. Law 4-127, § 2b; as added Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 1101, 57 DCR 181; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 6, 59 DCR 6190.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-301.44a.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 made a technical correction to D.C. Law 18-11 which did not affect this section as codified.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1101 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 1101 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).


§ 1–301.44c. Disclosure of information to the Council; District of Columbia Auditor; conditions on disclosure.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no document or information that the following persons or entities have requested for the purpose of performing their official duties shall be withheld by a subordinate or independent agency, instrumentality, board, or commission, or by an official or employee thereof, based upon a statutory or regulatory provision restricting or prohibiting disclosure to the general public:

(1) The Council;

(2) A Council committee;

(3) A member of the Council acting in an official capacity;

(4) The District of Columbia Auditor; or

(5) An employee of the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor.

(6) Not Funded.

(b) Documents or information obtained under subsection (a) of this section shall remain subject to the underlying statutory restrictions and shall not be disclosed to the public or any third party unless permitted by that statute.

(c) Documents or information shall not be disclosed to the Council under subsection (a) of this section if:

(1) A District statute expressly prohibits disclosure of the information to the Council; or

(2) A federal law or regulation requires that the information be withheld from disclosure to the Council in such a manner that it leaves no discretion on the issue.

(d) Disclosure of documents or information under subsection (a) of this section shall not constitute a waiver of any privilege or exemption that otherwise could lawfully be asserted by the District of Columbia to prevent disclosure to the general public or in a judicial or administrative proceeding.


(July 24, 1982, D.C, Law 4-127, § 2a (renumbered); as added Mar. 11, 2010, D.C. Law 18-119, § 2, 57 DCR 906; renumbered as § 2c, Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 7, 59 DCR 6190; Apr. 5, 2021, D.C. Law 23-270, § 205, 68 DCR 001510.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 redesignated D.C. Law 4-127, § 2a as D.C. Law 4-127, § 2c.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 23-270: § 301 of D.C. Law 23-270 provided that the change made to this section by § 205 of D.C. Law 23-270 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 1–301.45. Construction of terms set forth in acts and resolutions.

For the purposes of any act or resolution of the Council of the District of Columbia, unless specifically provided otherwise:

(1) Words importing the singular include and apply to several persons, parties, or things.

(2) Words importing the plural include the singular.

(3) With regard to resolutions, words importing 1 gender include and apply to the other gender as well.

(4) Words used in the present tense include the future as well as the present.

(5) The words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.

(6) “Officer” includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office.

(7) “Signature” or “subscription” includes a mark when the person making it intended that mark as such.

(8) “Oath” includes affirmation, and “sworn” includes affirmed.

(9) “Writing” includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise.

(10) The words “include” and “including” mean “includes, but not limited to” and “including, but not limited to”.

(11) Words such as “stepparent,” “stepmother,” “stepfather,” “stepchild,” “stepsister,” and “stepbrother” are used to indicate a category of a family step-relationship created when an individual who is a parent of a child:

(A) Marries an individual who is not a parent of that child; or

(B) Becomes a domestic partner of an individual who is not a parent of that child by registering the domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-17, § 2, 22 DCR 1990; June 4, 1982, D.C. Law 4-111, § 2(b), 29 DCR 1684; Apr. 7, 2006, D.C. Law 16-91, § 105, 52 DCR 10637; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 2, 55 DCR 6758.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-230.

1973 Ed., § 1-146a.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1115.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-91 added par. (10).

D.C. Law 17-231 added par. (11).

Cross References

General rules of construction, see § 45-601 et seq.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Tunnel Compact, see § 9-1115.03.


§ 1–301.46. Enacting and resolving clauses in acts and resolutions; numbering of sections.

(a) Each act of the Council of the District of Columbia shall have an enacting clause only in the 1st section of each act and such enacting clause shall be in the following form: “Be it enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia,”.

(b) Each resolution of the Council of the District of Columbia shall have a resolving clause in the following form: “Resolved, by the Council of the District of Columbia,”.

(c) Each section of each act or resolution shall be numbered consecutively.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-17, § 3, 22 DCR 1991.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-231.

1973 Ed., § 1-146b.


§ 1–301.47. Definition of terms set forth in acts and resolutions.

For the purposes of any act or resolution of the Council of the District of Columbia, unless specifically provided otherwise:

(1) The term “Council” means the Council of the District of Columbia established under § 1-204.01.

(2) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia established under § 1-204.21.

(3) The term “Act” means an Act of the Congress.

(4) The term “act” means an act of the Council.

(5) The term “District” means the District of Columbia.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-17, § 4, 22 DCR 1992; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 105, 51 DCR 881.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-232.

1973 Ed., § 1-146c.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-105 added par. (5).


§ 1–301.47a. Fiscal impact statements.

(a) Bills and resolutions. —

(1) In general. — Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, all permanent bills and resolutions shall be accompanied by a fiscal impact statement before final adoption by the Council.

(2) Contents. — The fiscal impact statement shall include the estimate of the costs which will be incurred by the District as a result of the enactment of the measure in the current and each of the first four fiscal years for which the act or resolution is in effect, together with a statement of the basis for such estimate.

(b) Appropriations. — Permanent and emergency acts which are accompanied by fiscal impact statements which reflect unbudgeted costs, shall be subject to appropriations prior to becoming effective.

(c) Applicability. — Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:

(1) Emergency declaration resolutions;

(2) Ceremonial resolutions;

(3) Confirmation or appointment resolutions;

(4) Sense of the Council resolutions; and

(5) Resolutions that express simple determinations, decisions, or directions of the Council of a special or temporary character as provided for in § 1-204.12(a).


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-17, § 4a; as added Oct. 16, 2006, 120 Stat. 2038, Pub. L. 109-356, § 204; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 207, 56 DCR 1117; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 1082, 64 DCR 7652.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-204.24d.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-353, in the section credit, validated a previously made technical correction.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1082 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1082 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 3 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Second Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-202, Nov. 23, 2015, 62 DCR 15276).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-307, Feb. 18, 2016, 63 DCR 2182).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 3 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-76, Feb. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 264).


§ 1–301.48. Seal.

The Council of the District of Columbia shall, by resolution, adopt an official seal, which shall be judicially noted.


(May 22, 1981, D.C. Law 4-3, § 2, 28 DCR 1422.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-235.


§ 1–301.49. Council record reproduction fees authorized.

Pursuant to § 1-207.42, the Secretary to the Council of the District of Columbia may establish and collect reasonable fees for the reproduction of transcripts or transcriptions of legislative meetings, committee meetings, legislative hearings, investigative hearings, and any other records that are part of the Council of the District of Columbia’s official legislative files.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-6, § 2, 32 DCR 2954.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-236.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) disclosure of District of Columbia government documents to the Council, see § 2 of Disclosure of Information to the Council Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-354, February 18, 2004, 51 DCR 2319).