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Washington Report – June 18, 2018

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: June 26, 2018

On June 18, in a victory for NAPO, the President signed into law the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act (H.R. 3249 / S. 2703). Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), has brought together federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target violent gang and gun crimes in our communities since its inception in 2001. Although it has received funding throughout the years, PSN has never been authorized by Congress, making it susceptible to elimination; NAPO is urging members to register for the 40th Annual Convention, July 13 – 17, 2018 in San Diego at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and asking member organizations to sponsor the event by contributing $500 – $1000 towards the cost of the convention. See links below for more information; NAPO pledged support for Putting Our First Responders First Act (H.R. 5860), which will codify the 1985 IRS Revenue Ruling 85-105 that clarified service-connected disability compensation for first responders is tax-exempt. Unfortunately, many auditors and first responders are not aware of this tax benefit and the first responders end up paying the tax unnecessarily. By making the Revenue Ruling a federal statute, Putting Our First Responders First Act would help ensure first responders’ injury-related compensation is tax-exempt; The House passed two NAPO-supported bills that address the growing opioid crisis. The Synthetic Drug Awareness Act (H.R. 449), which passed the House unanimously, would require the Surgeon General to submit a report to Congress on the effects the increased use of synthetic drugs by children ages 12-18 years old has had on public health since January 2010. The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act addresses the issue of illegal drug traffickers’ and importers’ ability circumvent the current scheduling of drugs by minutely changing the formula of a synthetic drug, creating a new substance that is technically lawful, but still highly dangerous and deadly; The House and Senate Appropriations Committees took up and approved their own versions of the Fiscal 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill. Both bills are strong on NAPO priority Department of Justice law enforcement grant programs; and NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet and the latest “Legislative Positions” document are available below. For more information on these and other legislative initiatives, click on the June 18, 2018 Washington Report and related links below.

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