McDuffie Announces Hearing on Fair Housing and Rail Safety Bill – Monday, July 11

Councilmember McDuffie Announces Hearing on the “Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016” and the “Rail Safety and Security Amendment Act of 2015”

On Monday, July 11, 2016, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary, will hold a public hearing on Bill 21-0706, the “Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016”, and Bill 21-0003, the “Rail Safety and Security Amendment Act of 2015”. The hearing will be held in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., at 11:00 a.m.

The stated purpose of Bill 21-0706 is to assist in the successful integration of those with a criminal history by removing barriers to securing adequate housing accommodations; to prohibit the consideration of a housing applicant’s arrest record during the application process; to restrict a housing provider’s inquiry into a housing applicant’s prior convictions until after a conditional offer of housing; to establish penalties; and to give authority for enforcement to the Office of Human Rights.

The stated purpose of Bill 21-0003 is to provide the state safety office within the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department with the authority to participate in carrying out rail safety inspection activities and to coordinate with the state safety office of any state with a rail system that operates in the District; and to require the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency to receive and review rail transportation security plans.

The Committee invites the public to testify or to submit written testimony. Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing should contact the Committee at (202) 724-7808, or via e-mail at judiciary@dccouncil.us, and provide their name, telephone number, organizational affiliation, and title (if any) by close of business, July 6, 2016. Representatives of organizations will be allowed a maximum of five minutes for oral testimony, and individuals will be allowed a maximum of three minutes. Witnesses should bring twenty, single-sided copies of their written testimony and, if possible, also submit a copy of their testimony electronically to judiciary@dccouncil.us.

For witnesses who are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements will be made part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted either to the Committee or to Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 5, Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at the end of the business day on July 25, 2016.