NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, Congressmen Engel’s and Guinta’s Staff; NAPO Supports the Family Health Care Flexibility Act; Civil Asset Forfeiture; May 13, 2015 Legislative Update and Capitol Hill LobbyingApril 13, 2015
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015
Last week, NAPO joined other stakeholders in meetings with senior staffers for the following members of the House Judiciary Committee: Congressmen Doug Collins (R-GA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Lamar Smith (R-TX). The meetings focused on the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015. This legislation would assist with the establishment of a nationwide Blue Alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers or who have made an imminent or credible threat to cause serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer. Blue Alerts also could be issued when a suspect is wanted in connection with a law enforcement officer who has gone missing in connection with his or her official duties. Based on the success of the Amber Alerts for missing children, a nationwide Blue Alert system would be used to disseminate critical information to law enforcement agencies, the public, and the media.
Each day, more than 900,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. Tragically, sometimes the unthinkable happens and a police officer is seriously injured, killed, or goes missing in the line of duty. In such instances, the rapid dissemination of important critical, time-sensitive information about suspected criminals is essential to keeping our communities safe.
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named in honor of two New York City Police Detectives, and NAPO members, who were assassinated while sitting in their police patrol car in December 2014. Their killer posted threats to law enforcement on social media before the attack. Implementing a nationwide Blue Alert system would help to ensure that information on credible threats, like those posted by the individual who killed Detectives Ramos and Liu, is widely disseminated so that officers have advanced warning, and can apprehend the criminal before he or she can do more harm.
NAPO has worked closely with the bill’s sponsors, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Congressmen Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), to garner support for this legislation. Our efforts have been successful. On March 26, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act on a voice vote. NAPO will continue to work with the legislation’s sponsors to build support for this important legislation.
We are committed to passing this legislation, and we will keep our members updated on our efforts. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland." Senator Cardin. N.p., 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
Last week, NAPO joined fellow stakeholders in a meeting with a senior staffer for Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) to discuss the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.
The Zadroga bill’s two critical programs providing medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 heroes – the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund – are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively. This legislation would continue these programs for 25 more years, through 2041.
9/11 responders and survivors are still battling serious health crises resulting from exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero. More than 30,000 9/11 responders and survivors have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness. Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and many more.
Medical research has identified more than 60 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins. More than 2,900 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by the aftermath of the attacks - more than 800 New York Fire Department members and more than 550 New York Police Department personnel are struggling with serious 9/11-related illnesses, not including the more than 70 firefighters and 60 NYPD officers who have died from their 9/11-related illnesses.
Responders came from all over the country to aid in the response to the attacks. And some area residents, workers, and survivors have since moved and are currently receiving care in cities and states across the country. Participants enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program for treatment currently reside in all 50 states and in 429 of the 435 Congressional districts in the country.
These heroes put their lives on the line to serve us, and must be afforded every resource available as they cope with chronic health conditions caused by exposure to toxic chemicals at the World Trade Center.
This legislation will also honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation. James Zadroga, a New York City Police Department Detective and member of NAPO, died of respiratory disease caused by his exposure to toxic chemicals at Ground Zero. It is our obligation and duty to remember these heroes and ensure that survivors who risked their lives to protect us continue to receive the treatment and compensation that they deserve.
NAPO will continue to work with fellow stakeholders to pass this legislation as expeditiously as possible. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
"Lawmakers Introduce Critical Reauthorization of James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act." Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. N.p., 17 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.
NAPO Meeting on Capitol Hill - Congressman Engel’s Staff
On April 7, 2015, NAPO met with a staffer for Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY). During the meeting, NAPO highlighted our top priorities, including the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act (see above articles for additional information).
Additionally, NAPO provided information on the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Act of 2015. This legislation would extend the authorization of the BVP Grant Program through fiscal year 2020, and ensure that America’s law enforcement officers are provided with the life-saving protection they need.
The BVP Grant Program is a critical resource for state and local jurisdictions. Over the past decade, this vital program has enabled the protection of over one million officers. However, while many officers are protected by bullet-resistant armor, an alarming number of officers, many in small departments across the United States, are not afforded this same protection due to local budget constraints. Reauthorizing this program would help to ensure that our officers are protected.
The staffer was receptive to our proposals. NAPO looks forward to working with the Congressman and his staff in the future.
If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Meeting on Capitol Hill – Congressman Guinta’s Staff
On April 8, 2015, NAPO met with a staffer for Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH) to discuss the Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act, sponsored by the Congressman.
Beginning in 2018, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act imposes a new 40% annual excise tax on taxpayers who are covered by high-cost, or “Cadillac” health insurance plans. NAPO continues to fight against the impending “Cadillac” health insurance plan tax, as the new tax will negatively impact public safety officers across the nation. This bill would repeal the “Cadillac Tax,” and ensure public safety officers and their families are not unduly burdened.
NAPO pledged our support for this important bill immediately after it was introduced. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Guinta and his staff to pass this important legislation.
NAPO also used the meeting to provide information on the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Act of 2015, National Blue Alert Act, and James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act (see above articles for additional information).
If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Supports the Family Health Care Flexibility Act
Last week, NAPO pledged our support for the Family Health Care Flexibility Act, sponsored by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN). (NAPO’s letter of support is attached to this report for your convenience and review).
Law enforcement officers across the United States rely on Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) to pay for health care services and items that are not covered by insurance. Officers have been negatively impacted by guidelines set forth in the Affordable Care Act, which decreased the amount an officer could contribute to an FSA from $5,000 per year to $2,500 per year.
The Family Health Care Flexibility Act solves this issue by repealing the $2,500 limit on FSAs. In addition, the bill repeals the requirement of needing a prescription in order to purchase over the counter medication using an FSA, Health Savings Account, Medical Savings Account, or Health Reimbursement Account.
In today’s economic climate, it is important to maximize personal savings, especially in regard to an officer’s annual health care expenses. The Family Health Care Flexibility Act will ensure that officers can build savings needed to address their families’ medical costs.
NAPO looks forward to working with Senator Barrasso and Congressman Paulsen to pass this important legislation. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will examine civil asset-forfeiture laws, which allow law enforcement to seize money from criminal organizations.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that the hearing will take place on April 15, 2015, with a focus on appropriate uses of the practice and legislative reforms to improve it.
Last week, NAPO joined other stakeholders in a meeting with Chairman Grassley’s staff to discuss possible changes to the program. NAPO will continue to stay engaged on this issue, and ensure our members’ voices are heard as policy reforms are considered.
If you have any questions about our engagement on this issue, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
"Sen. Grassley Calls Hearing on Controversial Asset Seizures." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
2015 Legislative Update and Capitol Hill Lobbying: May 13, 2015
Please join NAPO on May 13th for our Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Use this opportunity to lobby Congressional Representatives and Senators on behalf of your members concerning the issues which affect law enforcement. Prior to lobbying Capitol Hill, plan to attend NAPO’s Legislative Breakfast for an update on NAPO’s legislative priorities, results to date from the 114th Congress, and to receive handouts to use during Hill visits. While on Capitol Hill, be sure to stop by NAPO’s Congressional Awards Luncheon in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, where several Congressmen and Senators will be recognized for their continued support of Law Enforcement.
For assistance setting up Capitol Hill appointments, please contact Melissa Nee at: (800)322-6276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Registration Fee of $125.00 per person includes the Legislative Update Breakfast, Handouts, and Congressional Awards Luncheon. Advanced Registration is required to attend the Awards Luncheon.
Please contact Elizabeth Loranger, NAPO’s Director of Events, at (800)322-6278 or email@example.com, if you have any questions regarding the seminar or hotel arrangements.
Please complete the registration form and return it to NAPO at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to (703) 684-0515 by MAY 1st.
Please monitor NAPO’s website, www.napo.org, and Facebook page: National Association of Police Organizations, and follow us on Twitter at NAPOpolice for breaking news and updates.