National Sheriffs' Association Newsletter: Capitol Watch
May 24, 2012
Vol. 8 Issue 5
On Capitol Hill

 

The House is in recess for the week and will resume legislative business following the Memorial Day weekend.

 

The Senate was in session this week and worked on the various FY2013 appropriations bills at the subcommittee and full committee level. Additionally, on May 23rd, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Secret Service incident in Columbia. The Senate will be in recess the week of May 28th.

 
In This Issue
House Committee Holds Hearing on Hatch Act Overhaul
FY2013 Appropriations Continue to Move Through Congress
National Blue Alert Legislation Passes House
DOJ Release Final PREA Rules
National Take-Back Day Nets Record Drug Collection
2012 Annual Conference
House Committee Holds Hearing on Hatch Act Overhaul

 

On May 16, the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on "Hatch Act: Options for Reform."

 

Testifying at the Hearing were: Ms. Carolyn N. Lerner, U.S. Office of Special Counsel; Ms. Ana Galindo-Marrone, U.S. Office of Special Counsel; Mr. Irvin B. Nathan, Attorney General, D.C.;  Mr. Jon J. Greiner, Former Utah State Senator;  Mr. Scott A. Coffina; Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; and Mr. Jon Adler, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.  

 

During the hearing, witnesses and Subcommittee members discussed the need to reform the Hatch Act to keep up with the changes in the workplace, as well as to reform the federal Hatch Act as it applies to state and local government employees. Furthermore, there was a strong bipartisan consensus among the Subcommittee members that action needed to be taken to reform the Hatch Act as it applied to state and local employees and stated their intention to work to achieve this goal. To read more information about the hearing, including witness testimony, please visit: http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/hatch-act-options-for-reform/

 

Furthermore, the National Sheriffs' Association submitted a statement for the hearing record to the Subcommittee, urging action on our legislative bill - HR498-the State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2011. To read NSA's Statement, please CLICK HERE.

 

NSA continues to work diligently with our bill sponsors in both the House and Senate, as well as the various committees of jurisdiction in both chambers, to achieve bill passage during the 112th Congress. 

 

FY2013 Appropriations Continue to Move Through Congress 

 

The House and Senate continue to work diligently on the various FY2013 Appropriations bills, including CJS and Homeland Security (where the majority of local law enforcement funding is located).

 

On May 10, the House passed their version of the FY2013 CJS Appropriations bill by a vote of 247-163. The House debated the FY2013 CJS bill under an "open rule," which enabled House Members to offer a number of amendments to increase funding. Two amendments were offered to increase funding to Byrne JAG and COPS Hiring - both which passed on the House Floor.

 

Final funding numbers for the House version of the FY2013 CJS Appropriations bill include:

  • $392M - Byrne JAG (before carve outs) ($383M AFTER carve outs)
    • $5M for VALOR
    • $4M for NIJ
  • $165M - SCAAP
  • $20M - Byrne Competitive
  • $9M - MIOTCRA
  • $0 - Byrne Innovation
  • $20M - Bulletproof Vest Program
  • $45M - RISS
  • $199M - COPS Program Overall
    • $166M - COPS Hiring
    • $12.5M - COPS Meth
    • $0M - Community Policing Development Grants

 

In the Senate, both the Senate CJS and Full Appropriations Committee have released their proposed numbers for FY2013. The Senate CJS bill has passed both the Subcommittee and the Full Appropriations Committee; and currently awaits action on the Senate Floor. The Senate is purported to take up their FY2013 CJS Appropriations bill in mid-June.

 

Current funding number for the Senate version of the FY2013 CJS Appropriations bill include:

  • $392M - Byrne JAG (before carve outs) ($375M AFTER carve outs)
    • $2M for S/L Law Enforcement Intel
    • $4M for S/L/T Help Desk
    • $5M for VALOR
    • $6M for CJ Reform and Recidivism Reduction program
  • $255M - SCAAP
  • $9M - MIOTCRA
  • $20M - Byrne Innovation
  • $18M - Byrne Competitive
  • $24M - Bulletproof Vest Program
  • $30M - RISS
  • $247.5M - COPS Program Overall
    • $215M - COPS Hiring
    • $12.5M - COPS Meth
    • $10M - Community Policing Development Grants
Regarding FY2013 Homeland Security Appropriations, while the funding initially allocated appears to be favorable to the nation's first responders, there is a concern with how appropriators have worded the language within the House bill. The draft legislation calls for $1.8B in general funding for state and local first responder programs; however, it is to be distributed, according to threat, vulnerability, and consequence, at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security. There is a concern that through this discretion the National Preparedness Grant Program could be created through a loop-hole, and that dedicated funding the various programs such as SHSGP, UASI, etc would no longer exist. NSA will continue to work with our first responder and local intergovernmental partners to ensure dedicate funding is continued to be provided for local first responders.  

 

National Blue Alert Legislation Passes House  

 

On May 15, the National Blue Alert Act (HR365) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 394-1.

 

As you recall, HR365 builds upon current state Blue Alerts and enables the Attorney General to establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. Additionally, the bill establishes a national coordinator of the Blue Alert communications network within the DOJ, who will be tasked with encouraging states and local governments to develop additional Blue Alert plans; establishes voluntary guidelines for states and local governments to use in developing such plans; develops protocols for efforts to apprehend suspects; and establishes an advisory group to assist states, local governments, law enforcement agencies, and other entities in initiating, facilitating, and promoting Blue Alert plans.

 

NSA applauds the House for their passage of HR365 and urges the Senate to vote on the legislation without delay.

 
DOJ Release Final PREA Rules

 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released its final rules concerning the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) on May 17. The final rules do not contain any significant changes from the previous suggested rules.

 

To read the final rules in their entirety, please visit: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_final_rule.pdf

 

To read the Executive Summary, please visit: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_executive_summary.pdf

 

To read the Regulatory Impact Assessment, which summarizes the costs and benefits of the rule, please visit: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_ria.pdf    For more information on the National Resource Center for the Elimination of Prison Rape, please visit: www.prearesourcecenter.org    

Additionally, NSA will be holding a seminar on PREA during our Annual Conference in Nashville. "Workshop 7:  How-to Implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Rules and Standards" will be held on Sunday, June 17, 2012 from 1:00pm - 4:00pm in room: Delta Island E. This in-depth session looks at the new regulations and their effect on local jails, holding cells, transportation, and human resource areas. Sheriff (ret.) Margo Frasier, Travis County, TX will serve as the seminar presenter.

 

For any questions regarding the final PREA rule or the Nashville seminar, please contact: Fred Wilson, fwilson@sheriffs.org or 703 838-5322. 

 

National Take-Back Day Nets Record Drug Collection   

 

On April 28, the DEA, in partnership with state, local, and tribal law enforcement, once again held the very successful National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day; and the overall collection response from the community was outstanding.

 

A record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications was collected for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Since the DEA, in partnership with state, local, and tribal law enforcement, began the National Take-Back Days in late 2010, over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication has been properly removed from communities nationwide.

 

The official release on the National Take-Back Day results can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr050312.html 

 

HAVE YOU REGISTERED: NSA 2012 Annual Conference Just Around the Corner   

 

SHERIFFSNSA's 2012 Annual Conference is just a few weeks away - Have you finalized your registration and travel arrangements?

 

The National Sheriffs' Association 2012 Annual Conference will be held from June 15-20 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN.

The Keynote Speaker is:

  • Opening General Session (Sunday, June 17)
    • Eric Greitens, PhD, Author, Rhodes Scholar, Humanitarian, Navy SEAL, and Founder of "The Mission Continues," America's leading organization for helping wounded and disabled warriors. 

During the Conference, a multitude of committees will be meet to discuss issues affecting the nation's sheriffs, including Homeland Security; Immigration & Border Security; Congressional Affairs; Emerging Technologies; Jails, Detention, & Corrections; Crime Victims; Drug Enforcement and many more.

 

Additionally, a variety of important seminars will be held during the conference, including issues surrounding immigration; crime victims; information sharing; issues affecting jails; and emergency preparedness. To view a full and more detailed list of available seminars, please visit www.sheriffs.org/nashville.

 

On June 19-20, NSA will also be holding a Mini-Conference for Deputies, Corrections, and Court Security Officers. The Mini-Conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville TN. The cost for attending the two-day conference is $150. For more information, including a schedule of events and how to register please visit: www.sheriffs.org/miniconference.

Furthermore, NSA's Annual Banquet will take place on Wednesday, June 20. The banquet is the finale to the Annual Conference. Events during the banquet include the swearing in of the newly elected NSA Board Members and NSA President.

For more information on NSA's 2012 Annual Conference including registration, hotels, and full conference agenda, please
visit www.sheriffs.org/nashville.

We look forward to seeing you there!
 

 

News & Updates
capitol
Save the Date!
NSA 2012 Annual Conference
June 16-20, 2012
Gaylord Opryland
Nashville, TN

For more information, go to www.sheriffs.org

If you have any questions, please contact
Stephanie Garlock at   sgarlock@sheriffs.org or (703) 838-5316.
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