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Washington Report – July 12, 2019

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: July 15, 2019

On July 12, in a significant victory for NAPO and law enforcement across the country, the House passed the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (H.R. 1327) by an overwhelming vote of 402-12. NAPO members are leading lobby days on July 16 and 17 to pressure the Senate to act on the permanent reauthorization of the 9/11 VCF. Majority Leader McConnell has stated that he will act on the House-passed bill prior to the Aug. 2 recess; In another victory for NAPO, on July 10, the House passed the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act (S. 998). The Senate passed the STOIC Act during National Police Week, so the bill is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Passage of this bill was a priority for NAPO as it will reauthorize and revitalize a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant program for law enforcement officer family-support services that expired in 2000 and was last funded in 2005. In addition to the family-support services available under the grant, the STOIC Act will expand the grant programs to use funds to establish suicide-prevention programs and to support officers suffering stress and mental-health issues; The House plans to vote on the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 748) on July 17. This is an incredible step forward for our efforts to repeal the 40 percent excise tax (“Cadillac Tax”) on employer-sponsored health plans. Two-thirds of lawmakers will need to vote for the bill, which will be considered under a floor process that limits debate, for it to pass. The bill has 359 co-sponsors, which is well over the two-thirds necessary; NAPO pledged its support for the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act (H.R. 3735), introduced July 12 by Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL), Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Greg Steube (R-FL). This bill would require the DOJ establish a program to collect data on law enforcement suicides and attempted suicides. An April 2018 white paper by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that first responders are more likely to die from suicide than in the line of duty. In 2018, there were at least 159 police officer suicides compared to 145 line of duty deaths; Please help sponsor an event at NAPO’s 41st Annual Convention at the Skamania Lodge, in Stevenson, Washington. Each member organizations that contributes $500 – $1000 will have a sign displayed at the events to recognize sponsors. For more information on these and other legislative issues, please click on the July 12, 2019 Washington Report and related links below.

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