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  • Writer's pictureCenter for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA)

Vote Report: Bill B25-0734, the Opioid Crisis and Juvenile Crime Public Emergencies Extension Authorization Temporary Amendment Act of 2024

This month, the Council voted on a bill addressing two of the city’s most pressing issues: the opioid crisis and juvenile crime. Bill B25-0734, known as the "Opioid Crisis and Juvenile Crime Public Emergencies Extension Authorization Temporary Amendment Act of 2024," is at the center of this development. This piece seeks to demystify the bill, offering a clear, accessible explanation of its purpose, history, supporters, and opponents, and how it stands to impact the residents of D.C.





A Glimpse into the Bill’s History

Introduced by Councilmember Brooke Pinto on March 4, 2024, with the support of Councilmembers Trayon White and Christina Henderson, Bill B25-0734 swiftly moved through the initial legislative process. By March 5, the Council retained it for further deliberation, followed by its first reading and engrossment. The bill had its final reading on April 2. It now awaits review by mayor.


What Will the Amendment Do?

At its core, Bill B25-0734 seeks to temporarily amend the District of Columbia Public Emergency Act of 1980. The amendment aims to expand the definition of public emergencies to include situations like the opioid crisis and juvenile crime. It proposes to grant the Mayor additional powers to extend public emergency declarations for these issues and to bypass certain legislative requirements for swift action.


Specifically, the bill would allow the Mayor to waive the constraints of the Procurement Practices Reform Act of 2010 and the Grant Administration Act of 2013 when dealing with these emergencies. This means the Mayor could expedite the procurement process and grant administration to quickly address the crises, provided the Council is notified in advance.


Supporters and Opponents

The bill has garnered support from various stakeholders, including community leaders, public health advocates, and law enforcement agencies, who see it as a necessary step to address the urgent needs of the opioid crisis and juvenile crime effectively. They argue that the bill's temporary measures will provide the flexibility needed to combat these issues more aggressively and promptly.


However, the bill also faces opposition, particularly from those concerned about the potential for overreach and the erosion of checks and balances in governance. Critics argue that waiving procurement and grant administration laws could lead to less transparency and accountability in government spending and actions.


Impact on Residents


For the residents of D.C., Bill B25-0734 has visible implications. If passed, it could lead to more rapid and flexible governmental responses to the opioid crisis and juvenile crime, potentially reducing the number of overdose deaths and incidents of juvenile delinquency. However, the bill's temporary nature also means that these changes would not be permanent. Instead, they would provide a short-term solution to allow for immediate action while longer-term, structural solutions are developed and implemented.


What does all of this mean?


Bill B25-0734 represents a critical legislative effort to address urgent public health and safety challenges in Washington, D.C. By proposing temporary amendments to existing laws, it seeks to strike a balance between the need for quick, decisive action and the principles of democratic oversight and accountability.


Vote Report

Action Date

Apr 02, 2024

Action Type

Final Reading, CC

Vote Type

Roll Call

Vote Result

Approved

Vote Detail

Anita Bonds

Yes

Brianne K. Nadeau

Yes

Brooke Pinto

Yes

Charles Allen

Yes

Christina Henderson

Yes

Janeese Lewis George

Yes

Kenyan R. McDuffie

Yes

Matthew Frumin

Yes

Phil Mendelson

Yes

Robert C. White, Jr.

Yes

Trayon White, Sr.

Yes

Vincent C. Gray

Yes

Zachary Parker

Yes



Vote Summary

Yes

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