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Washington Report – Nov. 18, 2022

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: November 18, 2022

Implementation of the President’s Police Reform Executive Order is ramping up and NAPO has participated in several meetings on how to execute various sections of the order, including Section 4, “Officer Wellness”, Section 12, “Limiting the Transfer or Purchase of Certain Military Equipment by Law Enforcement”, and Section 20, “Supporting Safe and Effective Policing Through Grantmaking”; NAPO filed a new amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (Texas) in Crane v City of Arlington, Texas. The brief, filed with our member organization the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), requested the entire Court of Appeals rehear this case because we believe the three-judge panel of the Court got their decision wrong; NAPO sent a letter Nov. 16 to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) urging them to act on Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reform during the lame duck period. NAPO strongly urged the inclusion of the current WEP exemptions in any WEP reform proposal and that they are extended to the new benefit formula. Most officers retire after 20 to 25 years of service and must find a second job, which is often covered by Social Security. Without the exemptions, these public servants will be hard hit by the WEP because they had to take a job in a covered position after retirement from their non-covered job; The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee are working to finalize a broad retirement package before the end of the year and staff is diligently working through the differences between the House’s Securing a Strong Retirement Act and the Senate’s Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act. Three of NAPO’s priority retirement provisions were included as part of the EARN Act: Putting First Responders First Act, Police and Fire Health Care Protection Act, and Protecting Public Safety Employees’ Timely Retirement Act. NAPO sent a letter to the leadership of both Committees Nov. 15 underscoring the importance of including these first responder related provisions in the final package; In a victory for NAPO, the Senate passed the First Responder Fair Return for Employees on Their Initial Retirement Earned (RETIRE) Act, H.R. 521, by unanimous consent Nov. 18, which previously passed the House by a unanimous vote. The bill is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law. H.R. 521 would help federal firefighters, law enforcement officers, Customs and Border Protection officials, and other federal employees with potentially dangerous jobs receive full retirement benefits if they get disabled while on duty; In a victory for NAPO, the Senate passed the Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to (PROTECT) Our Children Act (S. 4834) by unanimous consent Nov. 15. This bill is a straight two-year reauthorization of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program; NAPO joined with our member organization, the Air Marshal National Council (AMNC), to urge the halting of the forced deployment of Federal Air Marshals to the southern border. Up until Nov. 7, 21-day deployments to the southern border have been voluntary. During these deployments, air marshals are not using their law enforcement skills to help secure the border, but are tasked with non-law enforcement jobs, including janitorial duties; TOP COPS nominations are due by Jan. 11, 2023; and register today for NAPO’s 34th Annual Police, Fire, EMS, & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar, Jan. 29 – 31, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information on these and other legislative issues, please click on the Nov. 18, 2022 Washington Report below.

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