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January 18, 2024

Councilmember Christina Henderson Votes in Favor of the Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024 in Committee

Washington, DC – Councilmember Henderson made the following statements regarding the Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024.

WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, DC Councilmember Christina Henderson voted to approve the Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024 in the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. The bill seeks to address concerns about public safety by bolstering the ability of law enforcement to apprehend those who commit crimes, enhancing penalties for certain crimes, and improving information sharing between government agencies. The Committee Print includes provisions from 10 bills, including the Self-Defense Spray Sale and Transfer Clarification Amendment Act of 2023 authored by Councilmember Henderson.

“I am thankful to Councilmember Pinto and her team for tackling the immense undertaking that this bill required,” said Councilmember Christina Henderson. “This bill has been a year in the making, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Committee on suggested changes which I believe not only aid the DC criminal justice system in its fight against crime, but also seeks to protect our residents and businesses.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues over the next few weeks to refine some provisions I still have concerns about. I want to ensure that this public safety legislation does not harm our efforts to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic or set the District back in terms of government transparency. I’m confident we can strike the appropriate balance,” Councilmember Henderson concluded.

Councilmember Henderson’s team directly collaborated with the Committee over the past week to secure various changes to the Committee Print. Some changes to the bill include:

  • Establishing that speedy trial extensions may not exceed 45 days each, which is slightly above the national average:
  • Requiring the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) Victim Services Division report be submitted annually rather than every 6 months, ensuring timely delivery;
  • Requiring that the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Behavioral Health, and the Department of Health be informed before the Chief of Police establishes a drug-free zone. This is to minimize disruption of health and human services provided in an area. Councilmember Henderson still has concerns about this provision and will work with her colleagues on adjustments ahead of first reading by the Council; and
  • Enhancing the Department of Corrections nutrition standards, which will allow for requirements to be set regarding the nutrient dense food served in correctional facilities and increase the oversight of food and nutrition.