Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (11/12/1997)


Title I: Fiscal Year 1998 Appropriations

Title II: Clarification of Eligibility For Relief From

Removal and Deportation For Certain Aliens

Makes appropriations for the District of Columbia for FY 1998.

Title I: Fiscal Year 1998 Appropriations - District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1998 - Appropriates Federal funds for: (1) payment for management reform; (2) the contribution to the operation of the District government; (3) payment to the District's Corrections Trustee; (4) payment to the District's Corrections Trustee for Correctional Facilities; and (5) payment to the District's criminal justice system.

Appropriates specified sums out of the District's general fund (and other funds, in some cases) for the current fiscal year for: (1) governmental direction and support; (2) economic development and regulation; (3) public safety and justice; (4) the public education system; (5) human support services; (6) public works; (7) financing and other uses; (8) enterprise funds and other uses; (9) the Water and Sewer Authority and the Washington Aqueduct; (10) the Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board; (11) the Starplex Fund; (12) the District of Columbia (D.C.) General Hospital; (13) the D.C. Retirement Board; (14) the Correctional Industries Fund; (15) the Washington Convention Center Enterprise Fund; (16) the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (Authority); (17) capital outlay; and (18) deficit reduction and revitalization.

Sets forth authorized uses of, and limitations on, such funds.

Bars the use of revenues from Federal sources to support the operations of the D.C. Statehood and Statehood Compact Commissions. Requires the District to identify the sources of funding for Admission to Statehood from its own locally-generated revenues.

(Sec. 110) Prohibits funds appropriated in this Act from being available to pay the salary of any District government employee whose name, title, grade, salary, work experience, and salary history are not available for inspection by specified congressional committees and subcommittees and the District Council.

(Sec. 114) Bars the D.C. Mayor from borrowing any funds for capital projects without prior approval of the Council.

(Sec. 124) Applies any sequestration orders under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to each account appropriating Federal funds in this Act rather than to the aggregate total of such accounts. Requires the Mayor, in the event such an order is issued after amounts appropriated to the District have been paid, to pay sequestered amounts to the Secretary of the Treasury.

(Sec. 127) Bars the use of Federal funds provided in this Act to provide for salaries or other expenses associated with the offices of U.S. Senator or Representative under the District of Columbia Statehood Constitutional Convention Initiatives of 1979.

(Sec. 130) Amends the District of Columbia Home Rule Act of 1973 to require the Authority (currently, the Mayor) to submit certain annual reports and plans on performance accountability of the District government to specified congressional committees and the Comptroller General. Requires the Chief Financial Officer (currently, the Mayor) to submit annual plans and reports regarding financial accountability as well as quarterly financial reports. Changes the deadline for the initial plans and reports.

(Sec. 131) Sets forth conditions regarding the Mayor's nomination of department heads pursuant to the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Improvement Act of 1997.

(Sec. 132) Prohibits the expenditure of funds appropriated under this Act for abortions except where the mother's life would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in cases of rape or incest.

(Sec. 133) Bars the use of funds made available in this Act to enforce the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 or to implement any system of registration of unmarried, cohabitating couples for purposes of extending employment, health, or governmental benefits to such couples on the same basis as extended to married couples.

(Sec. 138) Establishes a ceiling on total operating expenses for the District for FY 1998. Permits increases of such amount for: (1) one-time emergency or unanticipated operating or capital needs transactions approved by the Authority; and (2) additional approved expenditures which the Chief Financial Officer certifies will produce additional revenues during such fiscal year at least equal to 200 percent of such expenditures. Sets forth conditions under which grants excluded from such ceiling may be accepted.

Requires the Authority to submit to specified congressional committees a quarterly report providing an itemized accounting of all non-appropriated funds obligated or expended by the Authority for the quarter.

(Sec. 140) Requires agencies under administration of court-appointed receivers or other officials to submit annual estimates of agency expenditures and necessary appropriations to the Mayor for inclusion in the annual District budget. Provides that the Council shall have no authority to revise such estimates.

(Sec. 141) Makes additional appropriations for U.S. Park Police operations in the District.

(Sec. 142) Requires the District government to maintain funding for homeless services in FY 1998 at FY 1997 levels.

(Sec. 143) Directs the Authority and the Chief Executive Officer of the District public schools to report to specified congressional committees on measures to be taken to ensure that the District's public schools open on time to begin the 1998-99 academic year.

(Sec. 144) Appropriates from applicable District funds sums necessary to hire 12 additional inspectors for the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

(Sec. 145) Requires the General Accounting Office to study and report to the Congress on: (1) the effects of the District's lower excise taxes on alcoholic beverages on consumption of such beverages; (2) ways in which the District's tax structure can be revised to bring it into conformity with the higher levels in surrounding jurisdictions; and (3) ways in which increased revenues can be used to lower consumption and promote abstention from alcohol among young people.

(Sec. 146) Authorizes funds appropriated in this Act to be expended to hire five additional: (1) inspectors for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to focus on monitoring day care centers and home day care operations; and (2) Department of Human Services monitors to focus on selecting quality day care centers eligible for public financing and monitoring safety standards at such centers.

(Sec. 147) Nation's Capital Bicentennial Designation Act - Designates: (1) the year 2000 as the Year of the National Bicentennial Celebration for Washington, D.C.--the Nation's Capital; and (2) the President's Day holiday as a day of national celebration for the 200th anniversary of the District.

(Sec. 150) Amends the District of Columbia Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 to restrict providers from whom District employees may receive disability compensation services to District government medical officers and hospitals or physicians or managed care organizations approved by the Mayor. (Currently, employees have the option of choosing services by physicians or hospitals approved by the Mayor.)

Authorizes District government agency heads, during FY 1998, to identify positions for abolishment. Requires any District employee in such a position, regardless of hiring date, to be separated without competition or assignment rights, except as provided by this section.

Entitles an affected employee who, but for this section, would be entitled to compete for retention, to one round of lateral competition limited to positions in the employee's competitive level.

Sets forth provisions regarding notification, contests of determinations or separations, and severance pay.

Requires the Mayor, with respect to agencies which are not subject to management reform plans under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, to submit a listing of all positions to be abolished to the Council by March 1, 1998, or upon the delivery of termination notices to individual employees.

(Sec. 151) Sets forth Buy-American requirements.

(Sec. 153) Directs the District Council to annually review and adjust the amount of the monthly assistance payment that may be made under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program so that such payment is comparable with those made under such program in Maryland and Virginia counties contiguous to the District.

(Sec. 155) Requires District permit or license application forms to include the telephone number established by the District Inspector General for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse. Directs the Inspector General to make quarterly reports to the Congress on the number and nature of calls and on the waste, fraud, and abuse detected as a result of such calls.

(Sec. 156) Requires the use of direct deposit or checks through the mail for payments made by the District.

(Sec. 157) Amends the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 to require the Secretary of the Treasury, during any control year, to deposit the Federal contribution to the District into an escrow account held by the Authority, which shall allocate such funds to the Mayor. (A control year is any year in which a financial plan and budget approved by the Authority is in effect for periods in which the District is unable to meet certain financial obligations.)

Repeals a provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 that requires heads of Federal agencies and the Architect of the Capitol to provide notice before carrying out activities that affect real property in the District.

(Sec. 158) Makes the real property of the National Educational Association located in the District subject to taxation by the District in the same manner as any similar organization.

(Sec. 160) Appropriates an additional amount for a Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration Project in the District.

(Sec. 162) Amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act (effective as if included in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997) to revise provisions regarding an increased Medicaid Federal medical assistance percentage for expanded coverage of optional targeted low-income children. Revises the definition of "targeted low-income child" to include children whose family income does not exceed the Medicaid applicable income level as of a specified date or who reside in a State that does not have such an income level.

Increases the amount appropriated for FY 1998 for allotments to States for the State children's health insurance program under such Act.

(Sec. 164) Provides that the evaluation process and instruments for evaluating District public school employees shall be a non-negotiable item for collective bargaining purposes.

(Sec. 165) Appropriates from District funds a specified amount for a five percent pay increase for uniformed fire fighters.

(Sec. 166) Authorizes the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to waive certain limitations on Federal annuities and pay for reemployed annuitants appointed as Corrections or Pretrial Services, Defense Services, Parole, Adult Probation and Offender Supervision Trustees or for employees of such Trustees.

(Sec. 167) Amends the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 to revise the timetable for the approval of public charter school petitions.

(Sec. 168) Increases the maximum allowable number of trustees for such schools.

(Sec. 170) Provides for adjustments of annual payments for: (1) schools serving a high number of students to whom room and board in a residential setting are provided; and (2) public charter schools, upon request, to take into account leases or purchases of, or improvements to, real property.

(Sec. 172) Revises provisions regarding payments for new schools.

Establishes the New Charter School Fund for making annual payments for certain new public charter schools. Authorizes appropriations.

Title II: Clarification of Eligibility For Relief From Removal and Deportation For Certain Aliens - Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act - Requires the Attorney General to adjust the status of certain Nicaraguan and Cuban nationals (and their spouses and children) to lawful permanent residents.

Provides for stays of removal or deportation orders based on the filing of applications for adjusted status by such aliens. Authorizes applicants to work in the United States during the pendency of an application.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 with regard to suspension of deportation provisions to modify the physical presence rule concerning certain reinitiated proceedings.

Provides a special determination of physical presence rule for certain Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Albanian, or Yugoslavian nationals as well as nationals of the former Czechoslovakia, East Germany, or Soviet Union granted temporary deportation protection.

Establishes a special rule for the cancellation of removal, and the adjustment to permanent resident status, of such nationals, subject to certain conditions. Authorizes such aliens to file motions to reopen their removal or deportation proceedings.

Revises related annual limitation and offset provisions.