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“With big bills like this, there are things that you don’t see,” council member Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, told members at their pre-meeting breakfast on Tuesday. “I think we’ve got to get it right.”

Council member Vincent B. Orange, at-large Democrat, said he would like to keep the Board of Elections and Ethics intact while providing it more auditors and investigators. Ms. Bowser’s bill divorces the ethics portion from the body.

Mr. Orange said if the ballot is opened up to proposals in Ms. Bowser’s bill, the voters should also weigh in on his proposal to make council members full-time with a prohibition on outside employment.