Government Affairs Monthly Update – February 2024

Chamber Members, we need your help!!!

On behalf of the D.C. Policy Center, we are excited to share with you that the Rivlin Initiative’s Business Sentiments Survey is now open. The survey is designed to gather and disseminate systematic, comprehensive information on the regional business community’s experiences to elected officials, the media, and the public. Using the survey results, the Rivlin Initiative will offer actionable insights to steer policies in productive directions.  

How to participate:

Chamber members can access and fill out the survey by clicking on this LINK.  The survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete, and will remain open until 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.  

You can also view this website for additional information.

We also encourage you to distribute the survey to other business representatives. Contacts should have industry-specific knowledge and also be engaged in high-level business decision-making.  Contacts from any for-profit or nonprofit businesses— whether currently or previously located in the D.C. region — are welcome to participate. 

Here are two ways you can share:

  1. Simply forward the survey link. The linkis reusable so that you can share it with any of your local or regional business contacts, or. 
  2. Complete this formto share contact information of all those you think would be well-positioned for and interested in participating.

DC Council Updates

Omnibus public safety legislative package introduced by DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto 

Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, has introduced the “Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024”.  The legislation is the combined product of Pinto’s Secure DC Plan, proposals from fellow Councilmembers, and components of Mayor Bowser’s Safer Stronger 2.0 and ACT Now bills. In total, the package contains more than 100 initiatives aimed at comprehensively addressing public safety issues.

Led by our sister advocacy organization, Opportunity DC, the DC Chamber and many other business community stakeholders, submitted a join letter to DC Council, urging prompt passage of the measure. The Bill is scheduled for its first of two Council votes on February 6, 2024.Councilmember Pinto hopes to have her legislation approved in February and funded in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2025 budget. 

Executive Updates

Mayor Bowser assembles task force on Capital One Arena and Gallery Place 

On January 8th, the Mayor launched a new task force charged with developing a vision and recommendations for potential future uses of Capital One Arena and the broader Gallery Place neighborhood. The task force, chaired by Jodie McLean and Deborah Ratner Salzberg, will seek to create both an immediate and a long-term growth plan for this key DC neighborhood, with four priority areas of focus: Visioning, Activation, Investment and Incentives, and Community Engagement and Marketing. Input from business stakeholders can be shared with the task force here: https://bedowntown.dc.gov/

Chamber Advocacy Updates

DC Chamber Technology Subcommittee

On Thursday, January 24, 2024, the subcommittee met virtually to discuss how it can best benefit the DC Chamber and the business community generally. Led by Subcommittee Chair Yohannes Tefesse, the group discussed the idea of hosting an upcoming Chamber Technology Forum. This initiative will be further pursued at our next meeting scheduled for February 15, 2024 at 4:30 PM. If you are interested in joining the Technology Subcommittee, please contact Brett Allen ([email protected]) or Kevin Wrege ([email protected]).

Scorecard

The Chamber has formed a working group to build on the success of our first-ever Council Scorecard.  The group is considering updates and enhancements to the current Scorecard.  Please notify Brett Allen ([email protected]) or Kevin Wrege ([email protected]) if you are interested in participating. To download and view the full scorecard, please visit: https://dcchamber.org/2022-scorecard.

Tax Revision Commission

With the help of an expert working group, the Chamber has been providing the DC Tax Revision Commission (TRC) both our written input and oral testimony on dozens of tax reform proposals the TRC is actively considering.

The TRC recently released its Draft Chairman’s Mark and held its first public review session to summarize the Mark and gain initial Commissioner reactions to it.  Our Working Group has intensified its efforts now that the TRC has released its initial set of draft tax proposals. The Commission has yet to reach consensus on the recommendations, or even on the threshold question on whether or not the proposals should net out as revenue neutral, and has scheduled at least two additional public meetings to discuss, debate and, likely, amend them. The Chamber is focused at this early juncture on the Business Activity Tax ($275 M annually) and the data excise tax ($7 M annually).  We have been advised there will be ample opportunity for public comment in the coming weeks, and we expect to be fully engaged on that front. The Chairman’s Mark and a schedule of upcoming meetings can be found on the TRC’s website.   

The Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for February 7, 2024 at 4:00 PM. Also, attached is a recently published piece by one of our working group member, Joseph Bishop-Henchman, that offers a fine summary of the major Chairman’s Mark proposals. Note that the package’s foundational tax increase comes in the form of the newly proposed “Business Activity Tax,” (or BAT) the revenues from which the Commission is proposing as an offset to pay for several tax cuts, as outlined in Joe’s article.  We have recently learned that the TRC may be dropping the BAT from its list of tax proposals, which would have a materials impact on other proposals included in the Chairman’s Mark.  There are also ongoing concerns about the scope and legality of the TRC’s data excise tax proposal. 

Please notify Kevin Wrege ([email protected]) or Brett Allen ([email protected]) if you have questions or input.

Council Agency Performance Oversight Hearings

The DC Council’s agency performance oversight efforts are now in full swing. Click  HERE for the full schedule and learn how to watch or participate in these hearings.  Here are a few pertinent, upcoming oversight hearings:

Key Dates:

  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2024- COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Chairperson Kenyan McDuffie- 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Events DC
    Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration
    Destination DC
    Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking

  • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2024- COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION & THE ENVIRONMENT Chairperson Charles Allen- 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    District Department of Transportation
    Bicycle Advisory Council
    Multi-modal Advisory Council
    Pedestrian Advisory Council

 

  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2024-COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Chairperson Kenyan McDuffie- 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Office of the Chief Financial Officer
    Office of Lottery and Gaming
    Department of Small and Local Business Development
    Real Property Tax Appeals Commission

 

  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2024- COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
    Chairperson Christina Henderson- 9:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
    D.C. Health Benefit Exchange

 

  • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2024- COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS & OPERATIONS
    Chairperson Brianne Nadeau- 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Office of Contracting and Procurement
    Contract Appeals Board

 

  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2024- COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Chairperson Kenyan McDuffie – 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

 

  • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2024- COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY & PUBLIC SAFETY Chairperson Brooke Pinto – 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Office of the Attorney General

Upcoming Events

  • A Virtual Small Business Town Hall: Medicaid Unwinding — What it Means for Your Business and Employees, Monday, February 12, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. Register Here!

 

  • Employee Assistance Program Seminar: Let’s dive into the world of unemployment insurance! As an employer, it’s crucial to know the ins and outs of this program to meet requirements and safeguard your rights.
    Virtual, February 13, 2024, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Register Here!

 

  • Go for the Money: Build Green – A panel discussion
    Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ DC Chamber of Commerce Headquarters, 1133 21st Street, NW, Suite M200, Washington DC 20036
    Networking Continental Breakfast: 9:30 am – 10 am
    Panel Discussion: 10 am – 11 am
    Closing & Networking: 11 am – 11:30 am
    Register Here!

  • ChamberWorks: New Member Orientation – February 28, 2024 from 10am – 11:30am. Learn more about the DC Chamber of Commerce and member benefits at this free, virtual orientation. Register Here!

News, Updates, and Blog Posts

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