Register to Attend NAPO’s Legislative Day on Capitol Hill; NAPO Attends NCJA Brown Bag, Blue Mass Meeting and FirstNet Telecon; NAPO Supports the Line of Duty ActApril 28, 2014
Register to Attend NAPO’s Legislative Day on Capitol Hill
Please join NAPO on May 13th for our Legislative Day on Capitol Hill. Use this opportunity to lobby Congressional offices on behalf of your members concerning the issues which affect law enforcement.
Prior to lobbying on Capitol Hill, plan to attend NAPO’s Legislative Breakfast for an update on NAPO’s legislative priorities, results to date from the 113th Congress, and to receive handouts to use during Hill visits.
The Legislative Breakfast will be followed by NAPO’s Congressional Luncheon in the Cannon Caucus Room, where several members of Congress will be recognized for their continued support of law enforcement. Although the House of Representatives is not in session on May 13th, Senator Franken will be in attendance, as well as key law enforcement staffers. This is a prime opportunity to voice your priorities to those who play a pivotal role in setting the Congressional agenda.
The deadline to sign-up for NAPO’s Legislative Day is May 2nd. The brochure and registration form is attached to this report. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Attends the National Criminal Justice Association
On April 24, 2014, NAPO attended the monthly National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) Brown Bag. During the meeting, senior staffers for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) provided background on the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act (S.2177).
Senators Leahy and Cornyn introduced the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act on March 28, 2014. This legislation is intended to improve the use of forensic evidence in criminal cases. The bill would:
- Create an Office of Forensic Science (OFS) within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and require coordination between the new office and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Establish a Forensic Science Board (FSB), with members appointed by the President.
- Require that all forensic science laboratories that receive federal funding be accredited according to rigorous standards set by the FSB and OFS.
- Require that all relevant personnel who perform forensic work for any laboratory or agency that receives federal money to become certified in their fields.
- Create Committees of scientists to examine forensic science disciplines to develop standards, best practices, and research priorities.
- Promote basic and applied scientific research in the forensic sciences, and encourage public-private collaborations.
- Provide support and training for State and local laboratories and law enforcement.
NAPO is currently reviewing the legislation, and will keep our members updated on the status of the bill. If you have any questions about the legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Attends Blue Mass Steering Committee Meeting
On April 23, 2014, NAPO participated in the second committee meeting on the 20th Annual Blue Mass. The Blue Mass is held each year at the beginning of National Police Week at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. Representatives of Federal and local law enforcement and public safety agencies from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area attend the Blue Mass to pray for those in law enforcement and fire safety, remember those who have fallen, and support those who serve.
This year’s Blue Mass is scheduled for Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at 12:10pm. (The flyer is attached to this report for your review).
If you have any questions about the Blue Mass, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Supports the Line of Duty Act
NAPO continues to work with the sponsor of the McLelland-Hasse Line of Duty Act, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), to ensure the passage of the bill.
Over the past several months, NAPO has stressed our support of this legislation, which would create a new federal crime for the killing, attempted killing, or conspiring to kill a federally funded public safety officer. The bill would also create a new federal crime for interstate flight to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federally funded public safety officer. This is important for NAPO members because so many of our jurisdictions receive federal funding, and this legislation will help to bring federal resources to bear in the prosecution of those who attempt to murder or murder any of these officers. Additionally, the bill would expressly allow all judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials, subject to limited regulations, to carry firearms into all federal facilities, federal courts, and in jurisdictions where the carrying of such weapons is otherwise prohibited by law.
NAPO sent the attached letter of support for the bill to Congressman Poe on April 22, 2014. NAPO will continue to work with Congressman Poe and the Senate bill’s sponsor, Senator Cornyn (R-TX), to ensure this legislation is passed. We will keep our members updated on the status of this initiative.
NAPO Participates in FirstNet Teleconference
On April 25, 2014, NAPO participated in a National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Finance Committee teleconference.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet as an independent authority within NTIA. The Act directs FirstNet to establish a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The teleconference focused on managing proposed budget levels to achieve milestones in the program’s strategic roadmap.
Teleconference leaders highlighted that NTIA is engaged in state outreach and consultation efforts. NTIA has met with multiple state officials & key stakeholders over the past year. NTIA is also developing the FY 2015 budget for FirstNet. It was stressed that the budget process will continue to be as transparent as possible.
NAPO continues to support the FirstNet mission and will keep our members updated on its progress.
Workers’ Compensation Reform Act
Over the past year, NAPO has worked with key stakeholders to urge Senators to remove the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act from the Postal Reform Act of 2013 (S.1486). NAPO is concerned that the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation ReformAct would cut benefits for federal workers injured on the job once they reachretirement age.
Currently, federal workers injured on the job receive 66 2/3percent of their basic salary once they reach retirement age. The new planwould trim the benefits to 50 percent of an employee’s salary, once thatemployee is eligible for retirement, and additional compensation for dependentswould no longer be provided.
The Workers’ Compensation Act would severely impact honorably injured federal law enforcement officers currently on worker’s compensation. Additionally, this text would negatively impact state and local law enforcement officers that are covered by federal workers’ compensation benefits. NAPO has stressed that postal reform legislation is not the appropriate vehicle for this text.
The following Washington Post Article provides additional background on the impact of leaving this language in the Postal Reform Act:
Senate postal bill would cut workers comp for feds across the government
By Joe Davidson, Published: April 20
Plans to stabilize the money-losing U.S. Postal Service have been bouncing around Capitol Hill for a long time, long enough to make you wonder if Congress will ever do anything about it. The proposals are designed to help the Postal Service deal with a changing business climate that left it with a net loss of $5 billion in fiscal year 2013.
Yet if the legislation in the Senate becomes law, its reach will extend well beyond the postal facilities and those who work there. The measure could have a significant impact on many federal employees, particularly those who are injured.
That worries feds across the government.
The legislation would cut some payments provided through the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), better known as workers’ comp, for staffers injured on the job. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved the legislation, sponsored by its chairman, Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.).
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said she “strongly opposes . . . unwarranted cuts in FECA benefits for injured federal workers who are either older or have family obligations. Under this bill, injured workers would have their FECA benefits reduced by one-third to one-quarter when they reach the retirement age for Social Security.”
A committee aide said that benefits would not change for workers who are permanently and totally disabled, or age 65 or older. The aide added that the bill includes programs to help injured workers get back to work.
So far, opposition by NTEU and other labor organizations has not been strong enough to prevent the workers’ comp provision from advancing along with the rest of the legislation. The overall bill won bipartisan approval in the committee with a 9-1 vote in February and the full Senate voted 62-37 on the same measure two years ago.
The one “no” vote in February was cast by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). He complained that the legislation “includes sweeping changes to the federal workers compensation program, even though the committee has yet to hold a single hearing on the issue.”
It certainly seems there was time to hold a hearing, given how long the provision has been around. And the Senate seems in no rush to move the legislation now.
Asked for an update on the legislation, the committee aide said Carper “remains hopeful that the full Senate can consider the bill later this year.”
NAPO will continue to provide updates on the progress of the above initiatives. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
2014 Legislative Update and Capitol Hill Lobbying
May 13, 2014
Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel
Please join NAPO on May 13 for our Legislative 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 113th Congress, and to receive handouts to use during Hill visits. While on Capitol Hill, be sure to stop by NAPO’s Congressional Luncheon in the Cannon Caucus Room, where several Congressmen and Senators will be recognized for their continued support of Law Enforcement.
The registration fee of $100.00 per person includes the Legislative Update Breakfast, Handouts, and Congressional Awards Luncheon. Please contact Elizabeth Loranger, NAPO’s Director of Events, at (800) 322-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the seminar. Please complete the registration form attached and return to NAPO at email@example.com or
fax to (703) 684-0515 by May 2