The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety is chaired by Councilmember Charles Allen. The Committee oversees more than 30 agencies, boards, and commissions under a few broad topics: criminal justice and law enforcement; violence prevention and intervention; fire and emergency medical services; corrections; victims' rights; homeland security; forensic science; elections, ethics, and campaign finance; and juvenile justice. The Committee also serves as the Council’s liaison to the District’s federal justice system agencies. For a full list of agencies under the Committee's jurisdiction and the Committee's other members, visit the official landing page on the Council's website.
Press Contact: Erik Salmi - 202-724-8063 / firstname.lastname@example.org
To search for legislation pending before the Committee, click here.
Questions on how the committee process works? Here's a quick primer:
- When a new bill or proposed resolution is introduced, it is referred to one of the Council's eleven committees. If it relates to matters under the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, that means it comes to us.
- Once a bill or proposed resolution has been referred to the Committee, the next step is to schedule a public hearing. Witnesses providing testimony in support or opposition include community organizations, concerned residents, businesses, and government witnesses from relevant agencies. Archived hearings and roundtables can be viewed here. If you'd like to testify at an upcoming hearing, email the Committee at judiciary[at]dccouncil.us with your name, title, and organization.
- After receiving testimony, if the Committee Chair would like to move the bill forward, the staff prepares a Committee Report on the bill, resolves any legal or drafting issues, obtains a fiscal impact statement from the CFO and a legal sufficiency determination from the Council's General Counsel, and schedules a Committee vote on the bill called a "markup."
- If a majority of the Committee votes to approve the bill at the markup (with or without amendments), it is placed on the agenda of the Committee of the Whole (the big Committee where all bills go after markup) for one vote, and then on to two votes in successive Legislative Meetings before the full Council. Amendments can also be offered at the Committee of the Whole or either Legislative Meeting.
Following the Council’s approval, the bill must go to the Mayor for her signature, and then on to Congress for either a 30-day or 60-day period of passive review, depending on the subject matter. Then, it's law!
- Note: sometimes a bill will be "subject to appropriations," meaning it needs funding to take effect (even though it's already technically law). The Council has the opportunity to then fund the bill in its next annual spring budget process.