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Three separate votes on the D.C. United stadium deal tomorrow

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We walk you through exactly what is going to happen at tomorrow's meeting of the D.C. Council.

Tomorrow, the D.C. Council will vote on the D.C. United stadium deal for the final time, at their meeting that starts at 10 AM in Room 500 of the John R. Wilson Building. Should it pass, it will then go to the Mayor for his signature and then it will be implemented (pending a 30 day review by the US Congress). Plainly said, if it passes it legally commits the District to their half of the bargain. But, since this is DC, let's walk through the details of what exactly is going to happen tomorrow.

After the Call to Order, Moment of Silence, and the Determination of a Quorum, the first order of business is the ceremonial resolutions. These are resolutions introduced to commend and recognize people and organizations for their service to the District; for example, there is one to recognize Marion Barry for his service as activist, council member, and mayor.

After that is the consent agenda, which looks massive but will be disposed of quickly. Everything on the consent agenda is supposed to be non-controversial and expected to pass with a unanimous vote. Before that vote happens, members have the chance to remove anything that they want from the consent agenda and move it to the non-consent agenda. Once everyone is satisfied, everything in the block will be voted upon en masse. So, while it looks like 36 bills, they will all be voted upon together.

The Council will then move onto the non-consent agenda, which includes the first (and most important) vote on the D.C. United stadium plan. The third item on the non-consent agenda is B20-805, entitled the "District of Columbia Soccer Stadium Development Act of 2014." The fact that it is on the non-consent agenda should not be cause for too much concern; it just means that it will be given an individual vote. Unlike the last time, I could see some no votes here (especially from people like David Catania), but the deal should not be in any danger. This is the main deal, the one that obliges the District to hold up their part of the bargain, so if this passes it will be time to celebrate.

There are two other bills that concern the D.C. United stadium deal, however. The next bill is the "District of Columbia Soccer Stadium Development Emergency Act of 2014," which is under emergency legislation. This bill is the product of the blowup and then makeup between Vincent Gray and Phil Mendelson over how the stadium was to be funded. Gray has agreed to send this budget bill to the Council, and in exchange Mendelson will make sure it passes without any riders. We still have no details of the funding streams, but this plan seems to be endorsed by Muriel Bowser, Vincent Gray, Phil Mendelson, and Jack Evans so it seems like a slam dunk to pass.

Speaking of that dustup, the last vote is to deal with that very bill that the Council passed to force Gray's hand last meeting. At the very end of tomorrow's meeting there will be a motion to reconsider B20-833, the resurrected budget bill that Mendelson amended to pay for the D.C. United stadium plan his way. This is to withdraw the Council's passage of this bill and to tie up the rest of the loose ends.

Should all of this happen as expected tomorrow, the only outstanding piece of business will be the acquisition of Akridge's part of the stadium footprint. Obviously that is a massive piece of business, but should everything pass tomorrow the District would be legally obligated to do so. We won't celebrate until there are shovels in the ground, but tomorrow could ensure that we are on that path.