Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The District Sleeps Tonight

As anyone who knows me knows, I think DC is the greatest city in America.

This was reinforced when that beautiful city I love made multiple headlines today.

The DC Council voted 12-1 to ban smoking indoors, hopefully bringing an end to the drawn out agony that has been the effort to create a smoke-free DC. Perennial hag and lone Republican Carol Schwartz voted in opposition. But Mayor Anthony Williams, a lame-duck with a solid year left in office, has already signalled his opposition and might veto.

Then, of course, the bill must clear Congress.

Hashbrown's former Member of the Council, Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), is attempting to get an exemption for Hookah bars, of which there are plenty in his Ward, written into the bill in its second reading. I'm not kidding.

At-Large Member of the Council Phil Mendelson also presented a Bill to grant full Domestic Partnerships for District same-sex couples. The Bill passed 13-0 on a unanimous consent voice vote but must pass a mandatory second reading and vote on December 21st.

Then it must clear Congress, which can veto any piece of DC legislation within 30 days.

If it is passes into law, DC's law will be the nation's 5th most comprehensive, behind Massachusetts' marriage, Vermont and Connecticut's civil unions, and California's Domestic Partnership Law.

Unfortunately for MLB, the Stadium deal is looking far less certain these days.


Anonymous Mark said...

Of course, the ban won't affect bars or other nightspots until 2007, giving the council PLENTY of time to bow to pro-smoking pressure.

Most conversations, though, seem focused on baseball and not smoking or domestic partnerships. In the interest of actually keeping the Nationals, perhaps MLB and DC should just compromise and build a new stadium at the RFK site and not in Anacostia. I don't think Williams will get the Anacostia site through, given rumors of a new price tag of $700+ million. We'll know the new price tag on Friday.

9:37 AM  

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