Norton Will Manage Three of Her D.C. Empowerment Bills on the House Floor Tuesday
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November 15, 2010
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November 15, 2010
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WASHINGTON, DC -- Three of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's (D-DC) bills will be considered on the House floor Tuesday under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5702, will amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to reduce the waiting period for holding special elections to fill vacancies for the D.C. Council and Mayor. Norton pressed the bill as a priority for this session in light of the upcoming vacancy created by the recent elections of Vincent Gray to become Mayor and Councilmember Kwame Brown to D.C. Council Chairman. In 2006, Ward 4 and Ward 7 council posts remained vacant for months after a municipal election because current law requires the city to wait 114 days before holding a special election to fill a vacant seat. Norton's bill is necessary because council vacancies are subject to the Home Rule Charter that only Congress can amend. The bill will reduce the waiting period to 70 days, as the Council and Mayor requested. H.R. 6278, the Kingman and Heritage Island Act, would make the man-made islands, located near RFK Stadium on the Anacostia River, a center for environmental education and recreation in the District, and fulfills a major Norton priority to renew the Anacostia River, which surrounds the islands, in keeping with her Anacostia Watershed Initiative, passed by Congress in 2007. H.R. 5367, the D.C. Courts and Public Defender Service Act of 2010, will permit the Public Defender Service for the District, which is funded by the federal government, to purchase professional liability insurance for its attorneys, staff and board members. In addition, H.R. 5367 authorizes certain judges to delay ongoing proceedings in court, without penalty, in the event of an emergency. The bill also will reduce the required term of service for judges in the Family Court Division of the Superior Court from five years to three years, easing the efforts to recruit judges.
"Each of these bills is uniquely important to empower District residents and the D.C. government to tend to their own affairs and to enhance the quality of life for residents," said Norton. These noncontroversial bills have been ready to go for some time. I particularly appreciate that our leadership has scheduled these bills in time for me to have a chance to get them enacted this year."
In addition to her three bills, Norton will also manage nine other bills on the House floor Tuesday.