The D.C. Council kicked off its fall session Wednesday. Here’s a roundup of some of the bills and issues discussed:
* The biggest item of the day was likely Mayor Gray’s tax incentive package for the tech sector. The bill failed on first reading. But before it went to vote, Councilmember Jack Evans, who chairs the Committee on Finance and Revenue, removed the most controversial portion of the bill -- a reduction of the capital-gains tax to 3 percent for people who invest in tech companies in the District. The Washington Times reports that Evans said it would make more sense for the newly established D.C. Tax Revision Commission to consider whether the tax break for investors is a good idea.
* Evans also introduced a bill that would require each D.C. public school to a hire a full-time librarian. Currently, schools with fewer than 300 students are not required to have a librarian. Mayor Gray spoke out against the bill. More from the Examiner here.
* Councilmember Michael Brown introduced legislation that would create a task force to study the possibility of publicly financed campaigns. (Brown’s campaign is currently missing $114,000.) WCP wrote more about this bill: “Michael Brown: Trust Me With Your Money”
* The Council approved emergency legislation that would prevent D.C. residents from having their licenses revoked for somewhat minor speeding tickets in other states. The AP reports that the bill brings the District’s penalties for reckless driving in line with other jurisdictions. A hearing is scheduled for Friday to make the changes permanent.
* The classroom pet bill was also approved in emergency legislation. This bill fixed an oversight in the 2008 amendments to the animal rights bill, which some people said inadvertently included school pets and science lab animals in the animal-welfare laws. This new bill, according to the Post, makes clear that schools can keep hamsters, fish, frogs, small reptiles and other small animals.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* Tom Sherwood on the Virginia Senate race: “closer than two roaches on a bacon bit there.”
* Teddy Roosevelt, John McCain and the Washington Nationals all in one story.
* Loose Lips looks into the possibilities of what would happen if, as expected, there is a special election to fill D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson’s at-large seat. Mendelson has been presiding over Kwame Brown’s seat since he resigned.
* Adam Lambert of "American Idol" fame will headline a Maryland same-sex marriage benefit.
* A union executive resigned from the MWAA board, a sign that Gov. McDonnell is establishing more authority over the beleaguered board. (Bacon’s Rebellion)
* D.C. is getting some inspiration from the bike mecca of Portland.
SENATE CANDIDATES DEBATE: You can see the debate between George Allen and Tim Kaine, Virginia candidates for U.S. Senate, live on NBC4 from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 20. You can also watch it online right here at NBCWashington.com.