Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–204.04. Powers of the Council.

(a) Subject to the limitations specified in §§ 1-206.01 to 1-206.04, the legislative power granted to the District by this chapter is vested in and shall be exercised by the Council in accordance with this chapter. In addition, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all functions granted to or imposed upon, or vested in or transferred to the District of Columbia Council, as established by Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967, shall be carried out by the Council in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The Council shall have authority to create, abolish, or organize any office, agency, department, or instrumentality of the government of the District and to define the powers, duties, and responsibilities of any such office, agency, department, or instrumentality.

(c) The Council shall adopt and publish rules of procedures which shall include provisions for adequate public notification of intended actions of the Council.

(d) Every act shall be published and codified upon becoming law as the Council may direct.

(e) An act passed by the Council shall be presented by the Chairman of the Council to the Mayor, who shall, within 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) after the act is presented to him, either approve or disapprove such act. If the Mayor shall approve such act, he shall indicate the same by affixing his signature thereto, and such act shall become law subject to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c). If the Mayor shall disapprove such act, he shall, within 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) after it is presented to him, return such act to the Council setting forth in writing his reasons for such disapproval. If any act so passed shall not be returned to the Council by the Mayor within 10 calendar days after it shall have been presented to him, the Mayor shall be deemed to have approved it, and such act shall become law subject to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c) unless the Council by a recess of 10 days or more prevents its return, in which case it shall not become law. If, within 30 calendar days after an act has been timely returned by the Mayor to the Council with his disapproval, two-thirds of the members of the Council present and voting vote to reenact such act, the act so reenacted shall become law subject to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c).

(f) In the case of any budget act adopted by the Council pursuant to § 1-204.46 and submitted to the Mayor in accordance with subsection (e) of this section, the Mayor shall have power to disapprove any items or provisions, or both, of such act and approve the remainder. In any case in which the Mayor so disapproves of any item or provision, he shall append to the act when he signs it a statement of the item or provision which he disapproves, and shall, within such 10-day period, return a copy of the act and statement with his objections to the Council. If, within 30 calendar days after any such item or provision so disapproved has been timely returned by the Mayor to the Council, two-thirds of the members of the Council present and voting vote to reenact any such item or provision, such item or provision so reenacted shall be incorporated in the budget act and become law subject to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c). In any case in which the Mayor fails to timely return any such item or provision so disapproved to the Council, the Mayor shall be deemed to have approved such item or provision not returned, and such item or provision not returned shall be incorporated in the budget act and become law subject to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c). In the case of any budget act for a fiscal year which is a control year (as defined in § 47-393(4)), this subsection shall apply as if the reference in the second sentence to “ten-day period” were a reference to “five-day period” and the reference in the third sentence to “thirty calendar days” were a reference to “5 calendar days.”


(Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 787, Pub. L. 93-198, title IV, § 404; Oct. 27, 1978, 92 Stat. 2023, Pub. L. 95-526; Apr. 17, 1995, 109 Stat. 116, Pub. L. 104-8, § 202(f)(2); July 25, 2013, D.C. Law 19-321, § 2(b), 60 DCR 1724.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-227.

1973 Ed., § 1-144.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-202.02, § 1-204.102, § 1-207.12, § 1-301.191, § 1-1001.16, § 1-1401, § 2-218.11, § 2-218.21, § 2-219.33, § 2-1203.01, § 2-1411.01, § 2-1411.06, § 2-1515.02, § 3-603, § 6-623.03, § 7-761.03, § 7-771.02, § 8-151.03, § 10-166, § 10-1301, § 31-1202, § 38-171, § 38-191, § 38-1208.02, § 39-201, § 47-392.02, § 47-392.08, § 50-901, and § 50-921.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-321 substituted “incorporated in the budget act and become law subject to the provisions of § 1-206.02(c)” for “transmitted by the Chairman to the President of the United States” twice in (f).

Cross References

Acts and resolutions, effectiveness, publication prerequisite, see § 2-602.

Boxing and wrestling commission, statement of authority, see § 3-603.

Budget and financial management, review of financial plan, see § 47-392.02.

Budget and financial management, special rules for fiscal year 1996, see § 47-392.08.

Commission on the arts and humanities, authorization, see § 39-201.

Council, authority over elections, see § 1-207.52.

Department of administrative services and related agencies, transfer of functions to Council, see § 10-1301.

Department of human rights and local business development, abolishment, see § 2-1411.06.

Department of insurance and securities regulation, establishment, see § 31-102.

Department of motor vehicles, establishment, see § 50-901.

Economic development liaison office, establishment, see § 2-1203.01.

Initiative and referendum process, see § 1-1001.16.

Insurance regulatory trust fund, establishment, see § 31-1202.

National capital housing authority, creation, see § 1-202.02.

Office of chief technology officer, establishment, see § 1-1401.

Office of economic development, transfer of authority to board of corporation, see § 2-1219.29.

Office of human rights, establishment, see § 2-1411.01.

Office of property management, establishment, see § 10-1001.

Office of zoning, powers and duties, see § 6-623.03.

Open meetings, availability of written transcripts, see § 1-207.42.

Public acts and resolutions, publication requirements, see § 2-602.

Public space park areas, transfer of jurisdiction to department of recreation, see § 10-166.

Transitional council and offices, delegation and transfer of functions, see § 1-207.12.

Washington convention center, board of directors, powers and duties, see § 10-1212.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary enactment of reorganization plan to consolidate all psychiatric services provided to inmates at the D.C. Jail and the Lorton Correctional Facility within the DOC, see § 3 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-57, March 31, 1997, 44 DCR 2226), and see § 3 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-201, December 10, 1997, 44 DCR 7600).

For temporary transfer of the Bureau of Correctional Services from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Corrections, see § 2 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-57, March 31, 1997, 44 DCR 2226), §§ 2-3 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-201, December 10, 1997, 44 DCR 7600), and §§ 2-3 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Emergency Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-510, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 8149).

For temporary reorganization of the Department of Human Services to transfer the Bureau of Correctional Services from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Corrections, see §§ 2-3 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Emergency Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-510, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 8149), and §§ 2-3 of the Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-8, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2313).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1022 of Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-93, June 29, 2011, 58 DCR 5599).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of title D of article VI of D.C. Res. 19-1, see § 401(b) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of article I of D.C. Res. 19-281, see § 401(p) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).

For temporary amendment of (f), see § 2(b) of the Local Budget Autonomy Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-566, January 7, 2013, 59 DCR 15061, applicable as of January 1, 2014, and effective as provided in § 1-203.03.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Temporary Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-214, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2409).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Temporary Act of 1997 (D.C. Law 12-80, March 24, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 2115).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections Temporary Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-214, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3836).

Effective Dates

Section 5 of D.C. Law 19-321 provided that the act shall take effect as provided in § 1-203.03.

Editor's Notes

Waiver of Congressional review for certain revenue bond acts: Section 1 of Pub. L. 99-242 amended § 2 of Pub. L. 99-216 to include also D.C. Laws 6-78 and 6-79. Section 2 provided that they should take effect as if included in Pub. L. 99-216, with certain restrictions.

Waiver of Congressional review for certain revenue bond acts: Section 136(a) of H.R. 3067, amended by H.R. 99-419, incorporated in Pub. L. 99-190 by § 101(c), the D.C. Appropriation Act, 1986, provided that § 602(c) of the Self-Government Act (Pub. L. 93-198) shall not apply to certain acts authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Section 136(b) of H.R. 3067 provided that the subject revenue bond acts shall take effect on the date of enactment of the act. Pub. L. 99-190 was approved Dec. 19, 1985. The revenue bond acts subject to waiver of review, set forth in § 136(c) of H.R. 3067, are The Georgetown University Higher Education Facilities Revenue Bond Act of 1985 (D.C. Law 6-75), The Sibley Memorial Hospital Revenue Bond Act of 1985 (D.C. Law 6-70), The Forrest Marbury House Project Revenue Bond Act of 1985 (D.C. Law 6-86), The American University Revenue Bond Act of 1985 (D.C. Law 6-78), and The George Washington University Revenue Bond Act of 1985 (D.C. Law 6-79).

Section 2 of Pub. L. 99-216 also waived Congressional review for D.C. Laws 6-75 and 6-70, providing that they take effect on the date of enactment of the public law, which was approved Dec. 26, 1985.

Exchange of property: Act of February 26, 1981, D.C. Law 3-116, authorized the Mayor to transfer the Old Benning Road Elementary School to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in exchange for the Brook Mansion and basic renovation thereof.

Act of February 24, 1984, D.C. Law 5-49, authorized the Mayor to exchange parcel 260/13, owned by the District of Columbia, for parcel 261/12, owned by the Potomac Electric Power Company (Ward 8).

Act of March 14, 1984, D.C. Law 5-68, authorized the Mayor to convey, by sale or exchange, in whole or in part, to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority certain real property owned in fee simple by the District for municipal use in Squares 3831 and 3828 and Parcel 1.

Establishment and elimination of building restriction lines: Section 3 of D.C. Law 8-8 provided that following June 16, 1989, the Surveyor shall record a copy of this act and the Surveyor’s plat filed under S.O. 87-394.

Conveyance of parcel : Section 2 of D.C. Law 6-164 provided that the Mayor is authorized to convey that portion of parcel used by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for parking lot and access road purposes, and may execute a deed or deeds for the conveyance of the real property.

Establishment and elimination of building restriction lines: Section 2 of D.C. Law 8-8 provided that (1) The building restriction line in Lot 26 in Square 1853 on the north side of Reno Road, N.W., as shown on the Surveyor’s plat filed under S.O. 87-394, is unnecessary for public purposes and it was ordered eliminated; and (2) A building restriction line in Lot 26 in Square 1853 on the south side of Ingomar Street, N.W., as shown on the Surveyor’s plat filed under S.O. 87-394, is necessary for public purposes and it was ordered established.

Transfer of the Office of the Surveyor: Sections 5002 through 5004 of D.C. Law 12-261 provided that pursuant to this section, the Office of the Surveyor, in the Department of Public Works (“DPW”), established by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1982, effective December 8, 1982, and transferred to DPW under Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1983, effective March 1, 1984, is hereby transferred to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”). The purpose of the transfer is to provide for the more efficient operation of the Office of the Surveyor and the development process in the District of Columbia. All of the duties and functions assigned or delegated to the existing office of the Surveyor in DPW, are hereby transferred to the Office of the Surveyor in DCRA, along with all positions, property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriation, allocations and other funds available or to be made available relating to the above functions.

Reorganization Plan No. 5 for the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections: Section 2 of D.C. Law 12-256 provided for the reorganization, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, of the Department of Human Services in transferring the Bureau of Correctional Services from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Corrections as set forth in § 3 of D.C. Law 12-256.D.C. Law 12-256.

Rules Resolution for the Council of the District of Columbia Council Period XI: Pursuant to Resolution 11-1, effective January 3, 1995, the Council provided rules of organization and procedure for the Councils of the District of Columbia during Council Period XI.

Rules Resolution for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period XI, Federal-Aid Highway Contract Review Amendment Resolution of 1996: Pursuant to Resolution 11-368, effective June 4, Council amended the Rules Resolution for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period XI to permit proposed federal-aid highway contracts in excess $1 million to be transmitted to the Council for review during a Council recess, to permit the time period for Council review of a proposed federal-aid highway contract in excess of $1 million to begin on the day following its receipt by the Council and to permit the establishment of a procedure to permit the Council to complete its review of proposed federal-aid highway contracts in excess of $1 million upon approval the Department of Public Works’ annual capital program.

Rules Resolution for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period XI, Contract Review Emergency Amendment Resolution of 1996: Pursuant to Resolution 11-476, effective July 17, Council amended, on an emergency basis, the Rules Resolution for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period XI to permit specified proposed contracts in excess of $1 million to be transmitted to the Council for review during a Council recess, and to permit the time period for Council review of specified proposed contracts in excess of $1 million to begin on the day following its receipt by the Council.

Rules Resolution for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period XII, and the MOU on the President’s Plan Resolution of 1997: Pursuant to Resolution 12-047, effective Mar. 4, 1997, the Rules Resolution for Council Period XII, and the MOU on the President’s Plan Resolution, were adopted.

Authority Recommendation Procedure and Fiscal Impact Rules Amendment Resolution of 1997: Pursuant to Resolution 12-100, effective May 6, 1997, the Authority Recommendation Procedure and Fiscal Impact Rules Amendment Resolution of 1997 was adopted.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-321: Section 3 of D.C. Law 19-321 provided that section 2 of the act shall apply as of January 1, 2014.

D.C. Law 19-321 was declared invalid by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in a memorandum opinion dated May 19, 2014, Civil Action No. 2014-0655. The court held that although the Council of the District of Columbia, the Mayor, and United States District Court for the District of Columbia are powerless to grant to the residents of the District of Columbia full budget autonomy, the United States Congress and the President of the United States are empowered to do so; and concluded that the Budget Autonomy Act was unlawful. See Council of the Dist. of Columbia v. Gray, 42 F. Supp. 3d 134, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68055 (2014).

On May 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued Order No. 14-7067, vacating the lower court’s judgment, dismissing the appeal, and remanding the case to the District Court with instructions to remand the case to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. See Council of the Dist. of Columbia v. Bowser, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8881 (2015). The amendments contained in D.C. Law 19-321 are codified in this section.

Resolutions

Resolution 19-1, the “Rules for the Council of the District of Columbia, Council Period 19 Resolution of 2011”, was adopted effective January 3, 2011, and by D.C. Resolution 19-281, § 3, effective November 1, 2011, and by D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(b), effective April 27, 2012.