McDuffie announces a public roundtable on legislative proposals relating to the Office of the Attorney General and the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel

The roundtable will take place on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Room 123 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., at 10:00 a.m.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary, will hold a public roundtable to discuss legislative proposals relating to the powers of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel (MOLC). The roundtable will provide the public with an additional opportunity to discuss both important proposals outside of the Council’s budget process.

On Monday, March 16, 2015, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia introduced Bill 21-0139, the “Attorney General Independence and Authority Implementation Amendment Act of 2015”. According to the introducer, the purpose of the bill is to outline the powers of the Attorney General by making OAG an independent body equal with the Council and the Mayor; giving OAG the power to provide legal advice to all parts of the District government and to review and certify legislation, rulemakings, and certain transactions; clarifying that OAG has settlement authority for matters in litigation, with settlements in excess of $1.5 million subject to the consent of the Mayor; giving OAG independent personnel and procurement authority; expanding OAG’s subpoena authority; and allowing OAG to bargain collectively independent of the Executive.

On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Bill 21-0158, the “Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Act of 2015”, was referred to the Committee of the Whole. Notably, Title I, Subtitle E, of the bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and proposes that MOLC provide legal sufficiency reviews of legislation, regulations, and contracts at the request of the Mayor, and that the relationship between the District government and the Attorney General shall be as client to attorney.

The Committee invites the public to testify or to submit written testimony. Anyone wishing to testify at the roundtable should contact Kate Mitchell, Committee Director, at (202) 727-8275, or via e-mail at kmitchell@dccouncil.us, and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation, and title (if any) by close of business Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Representatives of organizations will be allowed a maximum of five minutes for oral testimony, and individuals will be allowed a maximum of three minutes. Witnesses should bring ten copies of their written testimony and, if possible, also submit a copy of their testimony electronically to kmitchell@dccouncil.us.

For witnesses who are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements will be made part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted either to the Committee or to Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 5, Washington, D.C. 20004.  The record will close at the end of the business day on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

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