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Washington Report – April 24, 2020

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: April 24, 2020

On April 23, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, also referred to as the Phase 4 stimulus bill, to provide much needed emergency additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and to hospitals in areas hard hit by COVID-19 as well as increase testing capabilities at the Federal, State and local levels. House Democrats continue to pull together their priorities for a phase 5 coronavirus stimulus package and NAPO is actively working to ensure the needs of our members are reflected in it; NAPO endorsed Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gary Peters’ (D-MI) proposal for the creation of a “Heroes Fund”, which not only would provide premium pay for first responders, but also would provide families of officers who die due to exposure to COVID-19 with the full lump sum of what the officer would have received in premium pay; On April 9, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program issued an important update regarding how it will handle COVID-19 law enforcement officer death and disability cases. NAPO brought up the subject of how to prove the exposure, and the link between the exposure and the illness/death. The response from PSOB in their update is about as good as we could have hoped; NAPO strongly supports the intent of the Public Safety Officer Pandemic Response Act of 2020 (H.R. 6509) and we have asked for a small technical change for us to fully throw our weight behind it. Creating a presumption under PSOB that all COVID-19 related deaths or disabilities occurred in the line of duty is a top priority for NAPO; NAPO opposes the COVID-19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act of 2020 (H.R. 6414), which would provide for the immediate release of low-risk inmates over the age of 50 who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma in order to stave off outbreaks of COVID-19 in state and local correctional facilities; Click here for NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet and “Legislative Positions” document.

Please click on the links below for the full April 24, 2020 Washington Report and related documents.

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