D.C. bill mandates college application for high school diploma

Brown also wants all students to take entrance exams

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Also Wednesday, council member Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, will move emergency legislation to help implement ethics provisions that the council passed Dec. 20.

Specifically, it would compel Mayor Vincent C. Gray to nominate three members of the newly formed Board of Ethics and Government Accountability within 45 days. The council then would have 45 days to confirm the nominees.

The legislation also would speed up the charter amendment process, allowing D.C. voters to weigh in on whether elected officials should be disqualified from office for a felony conviction and if they approve of the council’s new procedure for expelling a sitting council member.

City legislators are expected to put their final stamp on a separate bill by council member Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, that tightens hiring practices in the executive branch after personnel issues plagued the first months of Mr. Gray’s term.

The legislation abolishes nepotism in D.C. government hiring, reduces the number of the mayor’s political appointees from 160 to 100 and requires appointees to be “well-qualified” instead of “minimally qualified.”

Among other items, Ms. Cheh said, the council will consider a bill that centralizes debt collection efforts in a single unit within the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

She said the city estimates that it can collect an additional $10 million per year through the legislation, which tasks the unit with examining which debts are collectable, the costs of collection and methods to withhold city funds from debtors to offset the amount they owe.

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