LEGISLATIVE
 
 

FOP NEWS: DAY ON THE HILL 2015!!!

Your participation in this year's Day on the Hill is of critical importance as the 114th Congress will be sworn in early next year. We need to make our voices heard at the start of this First Session and work hard to ensure that our issues are considered in the next two years. Please attend if you can­we need your participation!!!

The FOP Day on The Hill 2015 will begin on Monday, 9 February 2015. The National Legislative Office and the National Legislative Committee will host a short briefing on our legislative agenda. The briefing will take place on Monday afternoon at D.C. Lodge #1 and last approximately one hour.

Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-11 February, will be devoted to your meetings with Members from your home States and districts. These appointments should be made in advance!!! Event participants should make every effort to have their Representative or Senator attend the meeting along with the appropriate staff person.

Accommodations for Day on the Hill Participants
The National Legislative Office has arranged for accommodations at the Hyatt Place Hotel at 33 New York Avenue, NE. The hotel is located just a few blocks from the Metro, making it easy for you to move around the city.

The rate is $179 per night, and you must identify yourself as part of the Fraternal Order of Police to get this special rate. Make your reservations now by calling 202-289-5599 or visit:
http://www.washingtondcuscapitol.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=G-FRAP


The cut-off date for reservations is 16 January 2015, so don't delay--make that reservation today!!!


The cut-off date for reservations is 16 January 2015, so don't delay--make that reservation today!!!



 
 
 

 

 
2014 Legislative Agenda
 
Check Here
After Crossover

 

Washington Watch: Legislative Update
For the Week of 23 March 2015

I. Legislative News and Activity
II. This Week in Congress
III. Update on Top Legislative Priorities
IV. BLUE ALERT AND BVP BILLS PASS SENATE COMMITTEE!!!
V. FOP Hails Introduction of House Blue Alert Bill: Senate Committee to Consider Blue Alert and BVP Bills This Week
VI. Follow the FOP National Legislative Office on Twitter


I. LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
Executive Director Jim Pasco spoke to Senate leadership regarding S. Amdt. 504, which was offered by Senator Daniel S. Sullivan (R-AK). The amendment would have stripped Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the authority to carry firearms. (See Item II. for more detail).

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson represented the FOP at the Public Safety Officers' Benefit Program's National Stakeholders Group Meeting.

Senior Legislative Liaison Richardson met with Judiciary Committee staff in the offices of Senators R. Edward "Ted" Cruz (R-TX), Michael S. Lee (R-UT), and David B. Vitter (R-LA) to discuss S. 125, the "Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Reauthorization Act," and S. 665, the "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act."

FOP members from the Anne Arundel, MD Lodge #70 participated in a press conference on the introduction of H.R. 1269, the House companion bill to S. 665 (see Item IV. for more details).

The National Legislative Office bids farewell to our Legislative Liaison, Marie Carchedi, who will leave the office at the end of this week.


II. THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
Both chambers were in session this week, but went into a two-week recess on Friday in observance of the Easter and Passover holidays. Congress will return to session on Monday, 13 April.

Action in the House
The House considered and adopted their budget resolution, H. Con. Res, 27 on a 228-199 vote.

The House also considered and passed H.R, 2, the "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act," on a 392-37 vote. The bill, which makes permanent changes in how physicians are compensated under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act, now goes to the Senate for further action.

Action in House Committees
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing entitled: "U.S. Secret Service: Holding the Protectors Accountable."


Action in the Senate
The Senate considered and adopted its budget resolution, S. Con. Res. 11 on a 52-46 vote.

Among the amendments considred was S. Amdt. 504, which was offered by Senator Daniel S. Sullivan (R-AK) which would have stripped Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the authority to carry firearms.

Among the amendments considered was S. Amdt. 504, which was offered by Senator Daniel S. Sullivan (R-AK) and proposed to strip Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the authority to carry firearms. After strong opposition from the FOP, the amendment was withdrawn and not considered.

Action in Senate Committees
The Committee on the Judiciary held a mark-up on S. 125, the "Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Reauthorization Act," and S. 665, the "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act." The bills were favorably reported on a single, up-or-down voice vote of 16-4. Four Republicans, Senators Jeffry L. Flake (R-AZ), Michael S. Lee (R-UT), David A. Perdue (R-GA) and Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL), voted "Nay" on the bills. (See Item IV. for more information).

The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing entitled: "Securing the Border: Assessing the Impact of Transnational Crime."


III. UPDATE ON TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
For the complete list of cosponsors for all of our top legislative priorities, or to find out if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of specific bills, check out http://thomas.loc.gov.

A. Support H.R. 973, the "Social Security Fairness Act"
We added 6 cosponsors to H.R. 973, bringing our total to 86 cosponsors.

The Senate companion bill has not yet been reintroduced.

B. Support the "Law Enforcement Officers' Equity Act"
This bill has not yet been introduced.

C. Support Legislation to Grant Statutory Arrest Authority to Civilian DoD Law Enforcement
This bill has not yet been introduced.


IV. BLUE ALERT AND BVP BILLS PASS SENATE COMMITTEE!!!
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed news that the Senate Committee on the Judiciary considered and favorably reported S. 125, the "Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program Reauthorization Act," and S. 665, the "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act," by voice vote.

"These two bills are key pieces of the FOP's Officer Safety Agenda, which we outlined earlier this year, and we're so grateful to Senator Leahy for all of his work on both bills, but especially the BVP," Canterbury said. "And of course, we sincerely appreciate Chairman Grassley's making good on his word to move these bills early in the year. Without his efforts, it was likely both bills would have been pushed off until next month."

The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant program provides matching Federal funds to State and local law enforcement agencies allowing them to purchase or upgrade the soft body armor worn by their officers. More than one million vests have been bought through this program, which has greatly increased the safety of officers on the beat. The legislation favorably reported by the Committee today would reauthorize the program through 2020.

The "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act," would provide for local, regional, and national dissemination of time sensitive information that would help apprehend a suspect accused of killing, kidnapping, seriously wounding, or who may pose an imminent and credible threat to a law enforcement officer.

The Interim Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended the establishment of a National Blue Alert System and the reauthorization of the BVP program.

The Committee considered both bills on a single vote and four Senators requested that their vote be recorded as “Nay.” They are: Senators Jeffry L. Flake (R-AZ), Michael S. Lee (R-UT), David A. Perdue (R-GA) and Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL).


V. FOP Hails Introduction of House Blue Alert Bill: Senate Committee to Consider Blue Alert and BVP Bills This Week
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, applauded today's introduction of H.R. 1269, the "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act" by Representatives David G. Reichert (R-WA) and William J. Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ).

"Make no mistake­law enforcement officers in uniforms are targets of those who want to make a headline by killing a cop," Canterbury said. "Officers Ramos and Liu were two of nine officers killed from ambush last year and the attempted murder of two police officers in Ferguson is a stark reminder of the danger these brave officers are in on every shift."

Members of the FOP joined Representatives Reichert and Pascrell, along with the Senate bill's cosponsors Senators Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), at a press conference on Capitol Hill today. The legislation will establish a National Blue Alert System to provide for local, regional, and national dissemination of time sensitive information that would help apprehend a suspect accused of killing, kidnapping, seriously wounding, or who may pose an imminent and credible threat to a law enforcement officer.

"I also want to thank Chairman Grassley for scheduling the Judiciary Committee's consideration of the Blue Alert and Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant reauthorization bills for this week," Canterbury said. "The BVP program saves lives­more than 3,000 officers are alive today because they were wearing their vest. By reauthorizing this program, Congress renews a commitment to officer safety."

Establishing a National Blue Alert and reauthorizing the BVP program are two of the 59 recommendations made in the Interim Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The National Blue Alert bill passed the House overwhelmingly in the 112th and 113th Congresses, and the BVP program was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in both Congresses as well. Senate floor votes on both these bills were blocked by the objections of former Senator Thomas A. Coburn, MD (R-OK). Both pieces legislation will be considered by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Thursday, 26 March.



Posted 8/6/2012

 

Attached, you will find a letter detailing the upcoming change in the third party administrator of the National Fraternal Order of Police Legal Plan.
The National Fraternal Order of Police Legal Plan Board.
www.foplegal.com
www.fop.net

 

Posted 5/11/2012

Govenors Proclamations:

Virginia Public Services

Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Week

Correctional Officer's Week


Posted 5/10/12

FOP Releases Score Card System for Members of Congress


Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, announced the release of the FOP Scorecard System earlier today to help State and local lodge evaluate their Congressmen and Senators in the upcoming election cycle.

“The ability for a member or Lodge to look at the grading system and see where their member ‘grades out’ will provide them with the necessary information to make an informed decision and will provide Lodge Leadership information to keep their members informed,” Canterbury said. “It is vital that we stop endorsing candidates that say all the right things but don’t do them in Washington. It will be rare for a candidate to always be with us on every issue, but on our list of priorities it is essential that they walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”

Developed as a tool that State and local lodges can use in assessing their Members of Congress for use in the endorsement process, the Scorecard System is meant to be used in conjunction with the Congressional Questionnaires. Each Member is evaluated on their votes and bill cospsonsorships on public safety and labor issues in the 112th Congress.

The Scorecard System will be available through the Members Only section of the FOP website and will be updated regularly.

For more information, please contact the National Legislative Office at 202-547-8189.


To remove your name from our mailing list, please send an email to grassroots@fop.net with REMOVE and the State in which you live, in the Subject Line
Questions or Comments? E-mail us at grassroots@fop.net or call (202) 547 - 8189.

Grand Lodge Website | Legislative Office

 

Please click here for June E-Newsletter:

 

 

 


Posted 10/17/2011

 

FOP-IAFF TEAM UP WITH VICE PRESIDENT AND SENATE LEADERS
ON PUBLIC SAFETY

Police, Firefighters, Vice President Biden and Senate Leaders United on Public Safety Funding

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, applauded his counterpart, Harold A. Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for hosting an event in Washington, D.C., with Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and Senate leaders to highlight the Administration’s proposal to provide Federal assistance to local and State public safety agencies.

“Thousands of law enforcement and other public safety officers have been laid off around the country,” Canterbury said. “This is making our streets and neighborhoods less safe and putting emergency responders at greater risk because we do not have the resources we need to protect the public.”

Today’s event is a follow up to a similar event held last week at a fire department in Flint, Michigan. National President Canterbury and General President Schaitberger both accompanied Vice President Biden and spoke in support of the Administration’s proposal to provide $4 billion for the hiring program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and $1 billion for similar programs administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Maryland State Lodge President John A. “Rodney” Barlett, Jr., a twenty-one year veteran of Prince George’s County Police Department and a former Sheriff, spoke on behalf of the National FOP at today’s event, telling the officers and firefighters in attendance:
Many of the politicians working in this building say that we simply have to do more with less. More with less. We keep hearing that, but what they do NOT tell you is what that really means. It means there will be less cops on the street and more crime in your neighborhoods. It means more time to get a fire under control because there will be less firefighters and equipment responding when your home catches fire. It means more crimes will go uninvestigated and less criminals caught and prosecuted. It means your family will be less safe and the officers on the street will be in more danger.

The hiring program administered by the COPS Office has been part of our nation’s crime-fighting strategy for nearly two decades. Community oriented policing, zero tolerance, the broken windows theory, cops on the street. Abandoning these approaches is not a new public safety strategy, this is a public safety disaster. We cannot let this happen to our communities.
The event was streamed live at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/back-to-work-act

“We are very grateful to Vice President Biden and our allies in the Senate who are supporting us while we try and keep the streets safe,” Canterbury said.


 

Posted 9/8/2011

VICE PRESIDENT BRIEFS FOP LEADERS ON ADMINISTRATION’S JOBS PLAN
$4 Billion for COPS Hiring Program

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, joined Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on a conference call with other law enforcement leaders to brief them on elements of the Administration’s jobs plan which will be laid out by President Barack H. Obama II in a speech to a joint session of Congress tonight.

Vice President Biden revealed that the Administration will call on Congress to make $4 billion available for the hiring program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). He noted that there were approximately 30,000 unfilled law enforcement positions nationwide and more than 10,000 officers who have been laid off in just the past year.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the COPS program $1 billion dollars, yet the office received nearly $8 billion in requests. In the most recent fiscal year, the COPS office received only $300,000 and received more than $5 billion in funding requests.

“These requests demonstrate a legitimate need in law enforcement,” said Vice President Biden. “We do not need to apologize. This funding is needed. There is a direct correlation between the number of officers and the safety of officers on the beat.”

Vice President Biden also singled out the FOP specifically, thanking them for our past support and describing us as a “great friend.” He exhorted our members to stand with him in the battles to come. The funding will be more flexible than previous hiring programs and allow Federal monies to be used to hire, rehire or retain law enforcement officers.

Canterbury, who was the first caller to be recognized by the Vice President, said, “We will be there for you and for the COPS program, just as we have been since 1994.”

The Vice President also mentioned the Administration’s efforts to develop and pass legislation to allocate the “D Block” of spectrum directly to public safety and use $10 billion from the sale of other spectrum to fund the build out of a nationwide broadband network for public safety. The sale of other spectrum is anticipated to raise more than $28 billion in revenue, which many will insist be diverted for other purposes. The Vice President vowed to fight to make sure that $10 billion went to fund the public safety network.

“As you know, Mr. Vice President, the FOP immediately endorsed your approach once you pledged that the network build out would be funded by revenues from the auction,” Canterbury said on the call. “It was your efforts that brought us aboard and we fully support this shared goal.”

The Vice President closed the call by remarking, “If there is any definition of a middle-class American, it’s a cop.” He said the Administration’s plan is designed for middle class Americans and to help them keep their homes and to keep or find a job. The plan would reduce payroll taxes by half, putting more than a thousand dollars annually in the pocket of working Americans.

“This is not a problem that we can deal with on a local, State or regional basis,” Canterbury said following the call. “This is a national issue and must be addressed at the national level.”

National Vice President Ed Brannigan, Executive Director Jim Pasco and Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson were also on the call.


Posted 7/21/2011

CALL TO ACTION
Ask Your Members to Help Restore Funding to COPS, Byrne-JAG, and SCAAP

Since the enactment of the FY2011 spending bills in February, the FOP has been working with our allies on Capitol Hill to build support for the Federal programs of greatest interest to our nation’s law enforcement officers: the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) program, the hiring program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). You can read National President Canterbury's letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations concerning the cuts here.

The FOP and its partners in the law enforcement community have faced tough opposition, not just from historical opponents of the COPS Office, but also from politicians more interested in cutting programs than crafting policy. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee favorably reported a draft version of the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations measure for the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. The draft bill completely eliminates funding for the COPS Office and SCAAP, and imposes deep and unreasonable cuts to the Byrne-JAG program.

The current draft eliminates the hiring program administered by the COPS Office, which the FOP has identified as one of the most successful and vital programs assisting State and local law enforcement. The COPS Program has made more than $13.5 billion in awardsincluding $7.5 billion through its hiring program to advance the policy community policing nationwide. The COPS Program's awarding more than 42,400 community policing grants have added more than 100,000 police officers to our streets and funded more than 13,600 State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Community policing has been a key component of our nation’s crime-fighting strategy for nearly two decades and, as a result, we have the lowest crime rates in our history. Reducing budgets at the cost of reducing public safety is not sound public policy and the FOP urges that the COPS Office and the grant programs it administers continue to be part of our national strategy.

To find out if your agency received COPS funding last year, please visit: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=2296

In addition, the draft legislation drastically and disproportionately reduces funding for the Byrne-JAG program, which has been cut sixteen percent below FY2011 levels and thirty percent below FY10 levels. The Byrne-JAG program is the cornerstone of our national crime prevention and crime-fighting strategy, enabling communities to target resources to their own needs. Critical collaboration occurs among local, State and Federal law enforcement agencies through multi-jurisdictional drug task forces using Byrne-JAG funds, enabling law enforcement agencies to join together in targeting regional drug trafficking organizations, gangs and other public safety threats.

To find out if your jurisdiction received funding through Byrne-JAG last year, please visit: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/11jagallocations.html

The draft legislation also cuts funding for SCAAP, which provides Federal payments to State and local governments for the incarcerations of persons illegally present in the United States who have committed other serious crimes. The Federal government has asserted quite forcefully that the enforcement of immigration law is the province of the Federal government and has made the deportation of dangerous criminal aliens a priority. It is at variance with common sense and abhorrent to public policy to burden State and local agencies with costs directly associated with these alien offenders.

To find out if your agency or jurisdiction received funding last year, please visit: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/scaap_site.html

The FOP will continue to work with our allies in Congress to ensure that these programs receive adequate funding for FY2012. But your Senators and Representatives need to hear from you. We need you to call your Members of Congress and urge them to support you, and your State and local law enforcement agencies by ensuring that these programs are funded in FY2012.

Tell them:
  • The COPS program has been a critical component of the fight against crime for nearly 20 years. During this time, crime rates have dropped to historic lows. Fewer officers on the street means more crime in our communities.
  • Byrne-JAG monies help keep vital anti-drug, anti-gang and other multi-jurisdictional task forces operating. Criminals do not respect jurisdictional boundaries, and Byrne-JAG programs help law enforcement agencies cooperate against public safety threats.
  • Enforcing Federal immigration law is a Federal responsibility, but State and local agencies are often forced to hold criminal aliens at their own cost, draining resources which could be better used in the community. The SCAAP reimburses State and local agencies for shouldering this Federal responsibility
To find out who your representatives are as well as their contact information, please visit: http://www.house.gov and http://www.senate.gov

Posted 4/17/2011
Social Security Fairness Act Introduced in the House
H.R. 1332: Repeal of WEP and GPO

 

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed the introduction of H.R. 1332, the “Social Security Fairness Act.” in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“For more than ten years now, the FOP has been pushing for this repeal,” Canterbury said.  “Congress knows this issue well because it’s held six hearings on this issue in last few years.  The repeal of the WEP and GPO should be part of the discussion as Congress grapples with fiscal reform.”
                 
The bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Howard L. Berman (D-CA).  The bill, which already has forty-eight (48) cosponsors, would repeal both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) in current Social Security law.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects workers who spent some time in jobs not covered by Social Security and also worked other jobs where they paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for retirement benefits.  The provision has a disproportionate effect on law enforcement officers, who retire earlier than most other public employees and are more likely to begin a second career after they leave law enforcement.  Officers in this position are penalized and may have their Social Security benefit reduced by up to sixty (60%) percent.

“The WEP substantially reduces a benefit that workers had included and counted on when planning their retirement, and it substantially penalizes lower paid public employees with short careers or, like many retired law enforcement officers, those whose careers are evenly split inside and outside the Social Security system,” Canterbury explained.  “This is a loss of benefits to which they are entitled, not an adjustment for a ‘windfall.’”

Like the WEP, the Government Pension Offset was adopted to shore up the finances of the Social Security trust fund.  This “offset” law reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension. 

“Nine out of ten times,” Canterbury said, “this so-called ‘offset’ completely eliminates the spousal benefit even though the covered spouse paid Social Security taxes for many years, thereby earning the right to these benefits.”
                                                     

“The WEP and GPO provisions do not eliminate a windfall for workers, instead they have proved to be a windfall for the Federal government at the expense of public employees.  That’s not right and it’s not fair,” he said.  “Congress should repeal these inequitable provisions and pass the ‘Social Security Fairness Act.’”

 

 

 


10/13/2010

President Signs LEOSA Amendments Bill!!!
 

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, thanked President Barack H. Obama II, who kept his word and signed S. 1132, the "Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act Improvements Act," into law this evening.

"Many of our retired officers, who had been facing significant hurdles because some States have failed to implement the law as intended by Congress. will now be able to overcome those obstacles," Canterbury said.

The legislation, which was crafted by Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary and author of the original statute, will improve certain provisions of the Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act (LEOSA), especially with respect to retired law enforcement officers. Chairman Leahy worked hand-in-hand with the FOP to develop the legislation, which also makes clear that law enforcement officers employed by the Amtrak and Federal Reserve Police Departments, as well as those employed by the executive branch of the Federal Government who are classified as GS-0083s--especially the U.S. Department of Defense--meet the definition of "qualified law enforcement officer" in current law. The new law also lowers the aggregate years of service needed to meet the definition of "qualified retired law enforcement officer" from fifteen (15) to ten (10) and removes confusing language related to that same definition.

"No other law enforcement organizations or police groups took played any role in its successful passage despite intense interest in the bill on the part of active and retired officers," Canterbury said. "The FOP made this bill a top priority and we got it done."

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the country with more than 328,000 members.



 


 9/30/2010

House Passes LEOSA Amendments Bill!!!
S. 1132 will go to the President to be signed into law

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, hailed action in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed S. 1132, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act Improvements Act,” last night by voice vote under a suspension of the rules.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was the sponsor of S. 1132.  With the active support of the Judiciary Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL), the legislation was favorably reported by that committee in March of this year and passed by unanimous consent in May. 

“I want to express my deep appreciation to Chairman Leahy and Majority Leader Hoyer for their commitment to this issue,” Canterbury said.  “Both of these gentlemen are FOP champions who worked very hard, first to win passage in the Senate and then to get the bill on the calendar for action in the House before the end of the regular session.  They deserve a lot of the credit for today’s victory.”

The House companion bill, H.R. 3752, as introduced by Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and championed by Representatives Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), the House Majority Leader, and Lamar S. Smith (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Robert C. Scott (D-VA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and an opponent of the original LEOSA, had previously announced his intention to hold the bill in subcommittee, which would have killed the bill for the year.  FOP members in his home State and District, as well as continuous contact with the FOP’s Washington staff and personal contact with Chairman Leahy eventually prevailed on Rep. Scott to release the bill for a floor vote.

“Many of our retired officers are facing significant hurdles because some States have failed to implement the law as intended by Congress.  This bill, which the President has promised to sign,  will help them overcome those obstacles,” Canterbury said.

The bill, which was crafted in large part by the FOP, was given a high priority by the organization.  No other law enforcement organizations or police groups took played any role in its successful passage despite intense interest in the bill on the part of active and retired officers.  The legislation will improve certain provisions of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (LEOSA), especially with respect to retired law enforcement officers, and will make clear that law enforcement officers employed by the Amtrak and Federal Reserve Police Departments, as well as those employed by the executive branch of the Federal Government who are classified as a GS-0083 branch–especially the U.S. Department of Defense–meet the definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” in current law.  The bill would also lower the aggregate years of service needed to meet the definition of “qualified retired law enforcement officer” from fifteen (15) to ten (10) and removes confusing language related to that same definition. 

The bill will be transmitted to the President to be signed into law.

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the country with more than 328,000 members.


 

 


Posted 3/5/2010

 


                                   SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES LEOSA BILL!!!

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed today’s news that S. 1132, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act Improvements Act,” was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on a unanimous voice vote.

“I want to first express my deep appreciation to Chairman Leahy for his commitment to this issue,” Canterbury said.  “I know he’s been trying to move the bill for us since late last year, and his persistence paid off today.”

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is also the sponsor of S. 1132.  He had repeatedly placed the legislation on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda, but the weather, pressing nominations, and the threat of controversial amendments forced him to hold the bill over on several occasions.  The bill had broad bipartisan support with Senator Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL), the Committee’s Ranking Member, and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as lead cosponsors.

“We’re very fortunate to have a champion like Chairman Leahy and strong supporters like Senator Sessions,” Canterbury said.  “Many of our retired officers are facing significant hurdles because some States have failed to implement the law as intended by Congress; this bill will really help them overcome those obstacles.”

The bill would improve certain provisions of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (LEOSA), especially with respect to retired law enforcement officers, and would make clear that law enforcement officers employed by the Amtrak and Federal Reserve Police Departments, as well as those employed by the executive branch of the Federal Government who are classified as a GS-0083 meet the definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” in current law.  The bill would also lower the aggregate years of service needed to meet the definition of “qualified retired law enforcement officer” from fifteen (15) to ten (10) and removes confusing language related to that same definition.  The bill will now move to the Senate floor for further consideration.



 


 
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