NSA Capitol Watch Newsletter December 2011
On Capitol Hill

The House and Senate continue work on a payroll tax extension bill and an omnibus appropriations bill for the remaining funding bills for FY2012.

The House hopes to recess for 2011 on Friday, December 16th, with the Senate recessing in the coming week.

The House will begin the 2nd Session of the 112th Congress on January 17th. The Senate will return for the 2nd Session of the 112th Congress on January 23rd.  

In This Issue

Law Enforcement Funding Included Within FY12 Minibus

NSA Supports IP Legislation Aimed at Combating Counterfeit Goods and Online Piracy

Update on D Block Legislation

NSA Leadership Meets with Vice President Biden to Discuss Issues Critical to the Nation's Sheriffs

ICE Unveils Revised Detainer Form

REMINDER: NSA 2012 Winter Conference - January 18-21, 2012
aLaw Enforcement Funding Included Within FY12 Minibus
During the week of November 14th, the Senate and House completed work on the FY12 Appropriations "Minibus" package that included funding for FY12 for programs under the Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS); and Transportation-HUD Appropriations bills.

The FY12 "Minibus" includes the funding for state and local law enforcement programs for FY12 - including $352M for Byrne JAG; $198.5M for COPS ($110M for COPS Hiring); $240M for SCAAP; and $12.5M for COPS Meth. While these funding numbers are significantly lower than they have been in previous fiscal years, law enforcement still obtained a huge victory getting funding restored for the COPS Office and SCAAP in the final bill. As you recall, these programs had initially been zeroed out by the House; however, as the Senate had included funding for these programs in their initial bill version, the House and Senate came to a compromise on the funding numbers. The President signed the "Minibus" bill into law during the week of November 14th.

As of the week of December 12th, Congress continues to work on an overall appropriations package, or omnibus, for the remaining FY12 appropriations bills. On Thursday, December 15th, the House unveiled its omnibus funding levels for the remainder of FY12. In regards to state and local law enforcement funding under DHS - $1.35B ($880M or 40% reduction from FY11) is proposed. Under the proposal, the Secretary has discretion to allocate those funds, which actually total $977M (after the carve-outs such as Operation Stonegarden and Training) for all state and local assistance programs (except that at least $100M shall be for areas at highest threat of a terrorist attack), including:
  • UASI
  • MMRS
  • Citizen Corps
  • Public Transportation Security Assistance and Railroad Security Assistance
  • Over-the-Road Bus Security
  • Port Security Grants
  • Driver's License Security Grants
  • Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program
  • Emergency Operations Centers
  • Buffer Zone Protection Program
  • High-Risk Non-Profit Organization Security Grants
Of the remaining $1.35B (not including the $977M going to state and local law enforcement programs listed above), the House proposes:
  • $50 million for Operation Stonegarden
  • $231 million for training, exercises, and technical assistance - of which $155 million is for training of State/local/tribal emergency response providers
bNSA Supports IP Legislation Aimed at Combating Counterfeit Goods and Online Piracy
The National Sheriffs' Association has supported legislation to combat online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods from foreign websites to the American consumers: S968 - the PROTECT IP Act of 2011, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT); and HR3261 - the Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

In the past decade, counterfeiting and piracy have increased to threatening levels due to the Internet. Criminals are now exploiting the unrestricted distribution opportunities that the Internet has to offer, expanding their illicit activities and profits. They create rogue Internet websites to sell of a myriad of products including counterfeit pharmaceuticals; toothpaste; and baby formula, all of which pose a serious risk to the safety and health of the American consumer. Moreover, organized crime rings who deal in drug and human trafficking are now getting involved in online counterfeiting and piracy, including through the sale of pirated DVDs, as there is an incredibly low risk associated with the sale of counterfeit goods, while reaping high profit margins.

Consumers can easily find these sites through well-known search engines, and they often look exactly like legitimate sites. These rogue sites are often based overseas, outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement. The bills will provide law enforcement the tools necessary to prevent these foreign "rogue" websites, dedicated to the online piracy and the sale of counterfeit good, from accessing the American consumer. Through the legislation, the United States Department of Justice will have the authorization it needs to prevent these rogue sites from profiting off of the sale of counterfeit goods; authorize the Attorney General to serve an order on U.S.-based Internet third parties, such as search engines and payment processors, requiring them to either prevent access or cease doing business with the foreign "rogue" site; and enable victims of the site to bring action against owner or registrant of the site.

Piracy and counterfeiting pose a serious risk to the health, safety and well-being of our communities throughout the nation. NSA looks forward to working with the House and Senate to pass this critical legislation during the 112th Congress.
cUpdate on D Block Legislation
Public safety continues to make headway on the fight to allocate the D Block to public safety.

On Tuesday, November 15, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) hosted a press conference calling for the allocation of the D Block Spectrum to public safety and urging the Supercommittee to include the D Block allocation and funding within their final recommendation. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Congressman Peter King (R-NY), and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) also urged their colleagues to support this cause.

Additionally, NSA President Paul H. Fitzgerald also took the podium to speak specifically about the needs of sheriffs across the nation and why allocation of the D Block would help the sheriffs, and all law enforcement officials, communicate more efficiently with their own members as well as other offices and departments. *Side note - the Supercommittee failed to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction bill before the November 23rd deadline and all discussions have ceased.*

Meanwhile, in the House, the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act, authored by Rep. Walden (R-OR), was attached to the recent tax extension bill in the House. While the JOBS Act included the D Block to public safety, the bill would mandate would require public safety to give back 14 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which is currently used for mission-critical narrowband voice and guard bands; creates an "Administrator" governance model which is extremely problematic for public safety; and only includes $5B -$6.5B for the public safety network build-out.

The Public Safety Alliance (of which NSA is a founding member) continues to reiterate support for S911, a bipartisan bill that was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in June. The PSA urges the House to pass legislation that includes D block allocation to public safety along with sufficient funding, and that does not include damaging provisions related to 700 MHz narrowband give-back or an unworkable, unaccountable private entity "Administrator" governance model.  Additionally, the PSA urges Congress to continue to allow states and localities maximum flexibility in utilizing "secondary use" and private and public partnerships that best meet their specific needs to assure sustainment of their mission-critical public safety broadband systems.

As the House tax extension bill has passed the House, the bill now moves to the Senate. NSA and the PSA will continue to work with the Senate to ensure that the concerns of public safety are addressed in regards to D Block legislation and that S911 is the ultimate language included in the tax extension bill upon final passage.
dNSA Leadership Meets with Vice President Biden to Discuss Issues Critical to Nation's Sheriffs
The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) met with Vice President Joseph Biden to discuss issues facing the nation's sheriffs. The meeting, held at the White House on November 17th, was attended by NSA's Executive Committee, including NSA President Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald; 1st Vice President Sheriff Larry Amerson; 2nd Vice President Sheriff Michael Leidholt; 3rd Vice President Sheriff John Aubrey; Treasurer Sheriff Greg Champagne; Sergeant-at-Arms Sheriff Harold Eavenson; Immediate Past President Sheriff B.J. Roberts; and NSA Executive Director Sheriff (ret.) Aaron D. Kennard.  

The meeting focused on several key issues including the allocation of the D Block to public safety to create a national public safety interoperable network; federal funding vital to state and local law enforcement; legislation regarding mentally ill offenders and the nation's jails; comprehensive immigration reform; the National Crime Commission Bill; and legislation to amend the federal Hatch Act and its impact on the nation's sheriffs.

Additionally, Hampton City, VA Sheriff B.J. Roberts, NSA's Immediate Past President (2010-2011), presented Vice President Biden with the 2010-2011 NSA President's Award for all of his work on behalf of the nation's sheriffs. The Vice President has been and continues to be a strong and vocal advocate for the nation's law enforcement community and demonstrates a tireless commitment to the nation's sheriffs.

Vice President Biden has long understood the needs of law enforcement, authoring the 1994 Crime Bill that created both the COPS Hiring Program and the Violence Against Women Act; protecting the funding of critical law enforcement programs; and ensuring the Administration's vital support for the allocation of the D Block to public safety. NSA greatly appreciated the opportunity to share with the Vice President our concerns and positions on these key issues facing sheriffs in their communities nationwide.
eICE Unveils Revised Detainer Form
ICE has unveiled a revised detainer form to be used by state and local law enforcement agencies. The new detainer form will go into effect on December 19th.

The primary changes to the revised detainer form are as follows:
  1. The new detainer form requests that the arresting agency provide a copy of the detainer to the alien.
  2. The new detainer form underscores that the existence of a detainer does not limit or influence an LEA's discretion with respect to an individual's custody classification, work, quarter assignments, or other matters. Further, the revised form also states that ICE discourages dismissing criminal charges based on the existence of a detainer.
  3. Phone numbers are included if a law enforcement agency needs an individual to remain in the United States as a witness, and for the detainee to call if he/she has complaints or believe he/she is a victim of a crime.
Local ICE offices will be reaching out to their state and local law enforcement partners in the coming days to further discuss the new form and answer any questions.
fREMINDER: NSA's 2012 Winter Conference - January 18-21, 2012
NSA's 2012 Winter Conference is just around the corner - have you made your plans to attend?

The Conference will be held on January 18-21, 2012 in Washington, D.C., at the J.W. Marriott Hotel (1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW).

Keynote Speakers for Winter Conference are:
Plenary Session I (January 19th)
Secretary Janet Napolitano, United States Department of Homeland Security   

Plenary Session II (January 20th)

Director Gil Kerlikowske, Office of National Drug Control Policy
Director Stacia Hylton, United States Marshals Service

The Winter Conference is the perfect opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress to discuss critical issues affecting your office. As such, we encourage you to schedule meetings with your Members of Congress during our Hill Day on Wednesday, January 18th.

Additionally, we would invite you to attend the "Capitol Hill Briefing Session" on Wednesday, January 18th from 8:30AM-9:30AM held in the Garden Terrace (Lobby Level). This session, held by NSA's Government Affairs Division, will provide sheriffs with talking points, an overview of NSA's legislative issues, and allow opportunity for any last minute questions before heading to Capitol Hill.

For more information and the current agenda for the 2012 Winter Conference, please visit www.sheriffs.org.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington!
News & Updates
Save the Date!
2012 Winter Conference
January 18-22, 2012
JW Marriott
Washington, DC

If you have any questions, please contact:
Stephanie Garlock


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