D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown offered an alcohol compromise Wednesday, recommending for the city to allow bars to sell alcohol until 4 a.m. on all District and federal holidays, according to The Washington Examiner.
The plan, which he unveiled at a council budget meeting, would also permit sales to 4 a.m. throughout weekends surrounding New Year's Eve, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
When Mayor Vincent Gray unveiled his original budget in March, it included a proposal to extend bar hours by an hour to 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends—a measure that could have generated $3.2 million in tax revenue.
Gray was relying on this revenue to help close a budget shortfall, but the plan was ultimately shot down due to safety concerns over extending bar hours.
Brown is hoping his plan will ease neighborhoods' concerns and predicts the measure could bring in $2 million of the necessary revenue.
Washington City Paper had this to say Thursday about Brown’s booze compromise:
“This compromise actually strikes us as practically worthless for the city's drinkers—though since this is all about tax revenue, then maybe that's the point.”
*The Obama campaign issued a new ad in Virginia highlighting the success of his intervention with the auto industry.
“The decision to intervene with the auto industry was not popular. But I was convinced it was the right thing to do, because it wasn’t just the million jobs that were at stake. It was also part of what built our middle class, creating products stamped with those words “Made in America”. What happened in Detroit can happen in all sorts of communities where when you combine American innovation with the best workers in the world, we can succeed,” Obama said in the ad.
* The National Rifle Association has endorsed Republican George Allen in the U.S. Senate race. The gun-lobbying organization said it endorsed Allen because of his strong stance on the Second Amendment and willingness to protect the “hunting heritage."
* D.C. employees are angry over a recently passed law that could translate to a loss of as much as two weeks of vacation pay.
According to The Washington Post, until March, employees could take as much as six weeks of unused vacation time and carry it over to the following year. But under new rules the council passed in January, employees can now only carry over 20 days, or four weeks.
The personnel change went largely unnoticed at first, but now, as employees are scrambling to use up their vacation time, their bosses are trying to figure out how they’ll pay for the overtime inevitably required to cover for vacationing employees.
“This kind of got by us,” said Steve Anderson, president of the union representing lawyers in the D.C. attorney general’s office. Anderson is particularly annoyed that the D.C. Council would quietly chip away at employee benefits that match those enjoyed by federal workers, who get to carry over 30 days.
City officials are looking to fix the problem by either delaying implementation or repealing the new restriction altogether.