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Washington Report – Oct. 29, 2021

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: October 29, 2021

The House passed the Protecting America’s First Responders Act, S. 1511 on Oct. 27 by an overwhelming vote of 420 to 3, taking NAPO one step closer to getting this important legislation signed into law; In another victory for NAPO, the House passed the Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila Federal Law Enforcement Protection Act (S. 921) by voice vote, sending the bill to the President’s desk to be signed into law. This bill would ensure justice is served by applying federal extra territorial jurisdiction to federal murder or attempted murder cases of federal law enforcement officers; The Senate Appropriations Committee released the text of its FY 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations measure. In a victory for NAPO, none of the police reform provisions that were in the House version of the CJS Appropriations bill, H.R. 4505, were included in the Senate bill. NAPO lobbied hard against any attempt to pursue the goals of the partisan George Floyd Justice in Policing Act through the appropriations process. In the Senate CJS measure, NAPO’s priority grant programs are sufficiently funded and there are no strings attached to force divisive police reform policies on state and local law enforcement; Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, H.R. 5727, which would grant the basic rights to collectively bargain over wages, hours and working conditions to all public servants, except for state and local law enforcement. The legislation excludes law enforcement from its definition of “public employee”, exempting law enforcement from benefiting from the collective bargaining rights extended in this bill. Corrections, though, are included; The House passed the Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support (COPS) Counseling Act, S. 1502 by a vote of 424 to 3. This bill will implement confidentiality standards for federal law enforcement peer support counseling programs and direct the U.S. Attorney General to report on best practices and professional standards for state and local peer support counseling programs. The COPS Counseling Act is now on its way to President Biden to be signed into law; and NAPO pledged its support for the Violent Incident Clearance and Technological Investigative Methods (VICTIM) Act of 2021, introduced by Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Val Demings (D-FL). This bill would establish a DOJ grant program to help state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies improve their clearance rates for homicides and non-fatal shootings.

For more on these legislative issues, please click on the Oct. 29, 2021 Washington Report link below.

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