The D.C. Council’s Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery voted Wednesday to approve a set of recommendations aimed at reducing economic inequity, helping small businesses and raising educational achievement.
The recommendations have been developed over a year by the panel co-chaired by Council members Charles Allen and Vincent Gray.
The final report — which includes the proposals — will now serve as a framework for the council as it tackles legislation aimed at helping the District emerge from the pandemic.
Under the proposals, the city’s low-wage workers would continue to receive basic monthly income from D.C. — about $250 a month — and the program would be expanded to include, for the first time, undocumented workers.
To energize small locally-owned businesses, especially Black- and brown-owned businesses, the panel recommends low-interest loans, technical support and rent guarantees.
The pandemic recovery plan also recommends giving every D.C. resident $100 per month to use on Metro, the idea is that the transit subsidies would improve both bus and rail.
There is also a recommendation to create a portable subsidy for after- and out-of-school care for low-income families. The plan also aims to ensure access to high-speed internet for every household in the District.
The health care recommendations are to expand access to Medicaid school-based services and hire more rental inspectors to search for mold and other contaminants.
It could take some time for the council to decide which proposals should become law. According to Allen’s office, while some of the recommendations are inside legislation that has been proposed to the D.C. Council, others have not yet made their way into bills.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.