September 2012 Washington ReportSeptember 19, 2012
SEQUESTER’S IMPACT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS
On January 2, 2013, the vast majority of federal nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs will face deep, across-the board cuts. Sequestration would reduce the nation’s gross domestic product by $215 billion, decrease personal earnings of the workforce by $109.4 billion and cost the economy 2.14 million jobs.
The sequestration was meant as a last resort. Members of both political parties in both chambers were to come together and find a solution to our nation’s growing deficit problems by November 23, 2011. When Congress reached an impasse they were ordered by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act to begin spending cuts to both discretionary and nondiscretionary appropriations; unless a joint committee bill achieving an amount greater than $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions can be enacted.
Sequestration will be enacted unless Congress acts to change the law and the cuts will be 8.2 percent/year across the board. Cuts will continue at this rate until 2021. Please note, these cuts are in addition to a 43 percent cut over FY11 and FY12 that Justice Programs have already experienced.
In July, Congress passed H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which required the President to submit to Congress a detailed report on the implementation of discretionary reductions and nonexempt direct spending reductions in the sequestration. The White House delayed the release of the report by a week.
The OMB Report notes that the Administration strongly believes that sequestration is a bad policy. Congress can and should take action to avoid it by passing a comprehensive and balanced deficit reduction package. The report also notes that sequestration would be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments and core government functions.
There isn’t much time for members of Congress to act on this issue. The legislative calendar has Congress in recess until after the November elections and there will be few work days through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This time constraint makes it even more important for members of Congress to take this matter seriously.
NAPO attended a Town Hall Meeting on Sequestration Implementation with speakers Robert Gordon (Executive Associate Director, Office of Management and Budget) and Jon Carson (Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.) They emphasized that the President does not have discretion on how cuts are administered.
The issue of sequestration does not lend itself to a simple solution. Cuts will need to be made to Congressional spending. It isn’t beneficial for any organization to seek an exemption from sequestration. The best path forward is to advocate for a balanced approach to deficit reduction, one that does not include additional cuts to discretionary programs.
NAPO SUPPORTS THE VETERANS JOBS CORPS ACT
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), along with Senate Democrats, has made numerous attempts to advance legislation that would provide jobs for American workers.
The first bill, supported by President Obama, is popularly known as The American Jobs Act of 2011 (S. 1549). Initially generating much attention, S. 1549 was never considered and remains on the Senate Legislative Calendar.
Following this effort, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act (S. 1723) in October of 2011. This bill failed to reach cloture by ten votes.
Recently, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012, (S. 3457) which the Senate voted for cloture on the motion to proceed with the legislation 95-1 with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) voting in the negative. Later in the week the Senate again voted on the motion to proceed on the substitute amendment of the Veterans Job Corps legislation 84-8. The Senate is scheduled to resume debate before they break for recess for November elections.
All of these bills have one thing in common: funding for the COPS Hiring Grants.
The Veterans Jobs Corps bill is a $1 billion investment in our veterans. It will enhance their capacity to strengthen America over the next five years. The VA will transfer up to 10% of the appropriated funds ($100 million) to the Department of Justice for the hiring of veterans as law enforcement officers and first responders through COPS grants. NAPO strongly supports this legislation due to its inclusion of a provision that will award grants to hire veterans as law enforcement officers.
NAPO supports The American Jobs Bill and The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. The importance for funding of the COPS Hiring Grant Program cannot be overemphasized; law enforcement has experienced deep funding cuts and continues to do more with less resources. COPS Hiring grants go directly to state and local police departments and are an effective use of taxpayer dollars.
NAPO VICTORY: HOUSE PASSES BYRNE JAG REAUTHORIZATION
The House passed a five-year renewal of the Byrne JAG grant program by voice vote. The program will authorize up to $4 billion through FY17. The Senate has already passed its version of Byrne JAG reauthorization, S. 250 sponsored by Patrick Leahy (D-VT). There has been an effort in the Senate to pass the House bill via unanimous consent. However, there are a few concerns raised by Republicans, and it has yet to be determined if they can be resolved in order for the bill to pass.
The Byrne JAG grant program is a legislative priority for NAPO, and was approved as a resolution for 2012 at this year’s 34th Annual Convention. NAPO continues to work with our colleagues within the justice community and with members on Capitol Hill to reauthorize this important grant program.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
NAPO REMEMBERS 9/11 AND
APPLAUDS THE EXPANSION OF 9/11 HEALTH PROGRAM
September marks the anniversary of 9/11. NAPO joins the entire nation in remembering those who gave their lives on that day.
NAPO has worked to secure passage of legislation to improve the lives of those who serve and are survivors of the attacks. After enactment of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, NAPO urged the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) to expand the list of cancers to be covered under the 2010 law.
NAPO specifically requested that treatment for first responders be expanded to cover melanoma, thyroid and prostate cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With the exception of prostate cancer, all of NAPO’s recommendations were included. A total of twenty-three cancers were added to the WTC-Related Health Conditions eligible for coverage.
We would like to give special recognition and thanks to the members and survivors of The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, The NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association, The NYPD Lieutenants Benevolent Association, The NYPD Captains Endowment Association, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, The Port Authority Police Detectives Endowment Association, The Port Authority Police Sergeants Benevolent Association, and The Port Authority Police Lieutenants Benevolent Association.
NAPO SUBMITS COMMENTS ON IRS NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE
AND FCC INTEROPERABILITY ISSUES
On April 18, 2012, Treasury released updated guidance making modifications to the 2007 regulations covering retirement age. They also requested comments on the guidance under consideration.
Although the proposed regulations improve retirement conditions for many public safety participants, they still do not address the situation when “normal retirement” occurs after a set term of service, not based on age. NAPO urges the IRS to consider that the plans for public safety officers shall be deemed fully compliant, so long as the plan does not allow in-service distributions before age 40 and the attainment of the set number of years in a plan. Additionally, the IRS should adopt requirements that are not solely dependent on the age of the employees.
Please note that for the immediate future, the enactment date for the IRS Normal Retirement Age has once again been postponed. The new date of enactment has been moved to January 1, 2015. The IRS also fixed the “safe harbor” provision that allows public safety officers to qualify for “early unreduced retirement” and clarifies in-service distributions for public safety. For more information on how the IRS Normal Retirement Age affects you, please contact NAPO’s Director of Government Affairs, Rachel Hedge.
NAPO also submitted comments in reference to the Federal Communications Commission notice of proposed rulemaking on the promotion of interoperability for the First Responder Communications Network (D Block).
As the FCC considers how to implement a public safety interoperable network NAPO continues to advocate for interoperability across the 700 MHz spectrum specifically in the lower bands.
It is important to note that NAPO’s remarks were quoted in a CommDaily cover story on interoperability. NAPO was the only rank-and-file group to submit information on the subject.
HOUSE PASSES CONTINUING RESOLUTION
The Senate is scheduled to recess until after the November elections. This increases the likelihood that the signature legislative accomplishment of this work-period will be passage of the Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded from October 1st (start of FY13) through March 27th. Although there were many exceptions included in the CR to address critical needs, the funding resolution is still considered a clean CR. In exchange for a clean CR, Republicans agreed to a higher spending level of $1.047 trillion (less than 1 percent over the FY12 levels.)
The House has passed the CR 329-91 and the Senate is expected to clear the measure before breaking for recess. NAPO successfully lobbied to increase the spending allocated to priority funding programs such as Byrne JAG and COPS Hiring Grants. It is unclear if members of the 113th Congress will continue funding the remainder of FY13 with appropriations bills or another CR. NAPO will keep you informed of these and other legislative developments as they occur.
Special Thanks to the Exhibitors & Sponsors of our 34th Annual Convention
Wellness Program Providing Members Information They Need to Lead Healthier Lives
ADM Security Services
Security Services in over 40 Countries Worldwide
Research Driven Asset Management Firm
Armored Mobility Inc.
Cost Effective Threat Management Solutions for Law Enforcement
Associated Mortgage Bankers
Banking Mortgage Products
Government Retirement Plans
Broadridge Financial Solutions
Broadridge processes over 95% of shares voted in the U.S.
C Spire Wireless
Wireless Services/Mobile Broadband
Calibre Press & PoliceOne
Online and Instructor-led Training Resources for Law Enforcement
International Conference of Police Chaplains
Serving Law Enforcement Chaplains through Dynamic Education and Support
The Kairos Group, LLC
Advertising & Consulting
Nationwide Retirement Solutions
Public Sector Retirement Plans
Natixis Global Asset Management
Asset Management Firm
New Verity Corp
Priority Pay Plus
Auto & Home Insurance Products
Coalition Against Bigger Trucks
Protecting Our Public and Our Police Officers
Concerns of Police Survivors
Grief Support and Materials for Families of Law Enforcement
COPS Office- U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Grant Making Agency for Law Enforcement
Continental Home Loans, Inc.
Mortgage Bankers/National Law Enforcement Home Loan Program
Haix North America, Inc.
Law Enforcement Footwear
Real Estate Services &Commission Rebates for NAPO Members
Image Craft Ink
Awards of Honor
Security & Evidence Collection
Prudential Investment Management
One of the World's Leading Managers of Institutional Assets
Logo Merchandise & Promotional Products
Transportation Security Administration
Protecting Our Nations Transportation Systems
Solutions for the Union Workplace~ Specializing in Insurance and Investments
Automated Membership Management
Special Thanks To Our Law Enforcement Host
Palm Beach County PBA
Special Thanks To Our Law Enforcement Sponsors
Austin Police Association
Boston Police Patrolmen's Association
Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT)
Dade County Police Benevolent Association
Dallas Police Association
Detectives' Endowment Association of the NYPD
Detroit Police Officers Association, Inc.
Houston Police Officers' Union
Iowa State Police Association
Las Vegas Police Protective Association Metro, Inc.
Los Angeles Police Protective League
New Jersey State PBA
Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of New York, Inc.
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association
Phoenix Police Sergeants & Lieutenants Association
Port Authority Police Benevolent Association
Police Officers Labor Council
Rochester Police Locust Club, Inc.
Suffolk County Detectives Association, Inc.