Occupy D.C. protesters are giving a mix of responses when asked what they will do Monday when the National Park Service begins its crackdown on their camps in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza. The agency posted fliers at both camps Friday saying the crackdown would begin at noon, after nearly four months of not enforcing the federal “no-camping” rule. The fliers stated officers would confiscate camping equipment and possibly arrest violators, reports Meredith Somers of The Washington Times.
About a quarter of the way through the Virginia’s General Assembly session, Republicans thus far have flexed their strengthened muscles to advance legislation on redistricting, abortion and gun rights — with many Democrats left simply to stand and protest, reports David Sherfinski of The Times.
D.C. lawmakers and other advocates spent roughly $4,000 to traveled to New Hampshire to get support from state lawmakers in their efforts to get full representation in Congress. However, their efforts were set back when a GOP caucus in the Assembly committee helped kill a resolution that would recognize the D.C.’s right to statehood. The bill still will go to the state House floor, but Mayor Vincent C. Gray and others hopped an early flight home before the testimony was finished, reports Tom Howell Jr. of The Times.
The Washington Times’ Emily Miller will testify this morning before a D.C. Council committee about gun-control laws. Ms. Miller, a senior editor of the paper’s editorial and opinion pages, has been writing a series titled “Emily Gets Her Gun” about the hurdles in cost, time and travel to take the five-hour gun-ownership class required to register a gun. Her series has captured the attention of advocates for Second Amendment rights and of the local and national news media.
The D.C. Council will hear testimony today on a bill that would make wide-ranging reforms to the taxicab industry. The bill would require taxicabs in the District of Columbia to accept credit cards, to be equipped with satellite navigation systems and to all be painted the same color. It would also mandate better training for cab drivers and allow regulators to set quotas for the number of drivers and cabs in Washington. D.C. cab drivers are largely self-employed individual licensees, and many operate on a cash-only basis, according to the Associated Press.
Two people were killed and three others injured early Sunday in a crash involving a D.C. police cruiser and a minivan being chased by another police vehicle, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. The accident occurred about 3:30 a.m. in the 400 block of Taylor Street Northeast, near Hawaii Avenue. Police followed the vehicle after it was identified as the source of gunfire, reports The Times.
Odds are slim that the District of Columbia’s first-in-the-nation bid to launch online gambling through the D.C. Lottery will go forward without further review, D.C. Council members say. Jack Evans, chairman of the council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue, said he did not want to tip his hand but hinted that he would act swiftly on a bill to repeal authority for online gambling. Mr. Evans’ committee on Friday heard hours of testimony on the proposal and Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby’s overdue report on it, reports Jeffrey Anderson of The Times.
Opponents of Maryland’s gay-marriage bill will rally tonight in Annapolis. The rally is scheduled to begin at about 6 p.m. next to the State House. Same-sex marriage legislation, which stalled in the House last year, is back in the spotlight of Maryland’s legislative session this year. Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, has made the measure a priority. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.