Washington Watch: Legislative Update

 

… For the Week of 14 March 2011 …
 

I.          Legislative News and Activity  
II.        This Week in Congress
III.       Update on FOP Top Legislative Priorities
IV.      FOP teams up with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
V.       FOP NEWS: National Legislative Office is now on Facebook!

I.   LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND ACTIVITY
Executive Director Jim Pasco was in Denver to attend the 2011 National Fusion Center Conference.

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson and Legislative Liaison Breanna Bock-Nielsen represented the FOP at a meeting of law enforcement organizations to discuss strategy for reducing cuts to state and local law enforcement programs in both the FY11 and FY12 budgets.

Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson and Legislative Liaison Breanna Bock-Nielsen, as well as representatives from several law enforcement organizations, met with staff from the offices of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), and Senator E. Benjamin Nelson (D-NE) to discuss funding reductions in the FY11 budget as well as potential funding levels in FY12.

Legislative Liaison Breanna Bock-Nielsen represented the FOP at a labor organization stakeholder meeting to discuss public pensions.

Legislative Liaison Breanna Bock-Nielsen attended a meeting with staff for Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and several labor organizations to discuss H.R. 567, “Public Employee Pension Transparency Act.”

 
II.  THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS
Both the House and Senate were in Session.
 
Action in the House
The House considered and passed H.J. Res. 48, the �Additional Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011,� by a vote of 271-158. The measure provides continued funding to the federal government through 8 April 2011, while cutting an additional $6 billion from the federal budget through program reductions and eliminations.

Action in the Senate
The Senate considered and passed H.J. Res. 48, the �Additional Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011,� by a vote of 87-13. The measure will now go to the President for his signature.

 
III. UPDATE ON FOP TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
For the complete list of cosponsors for all of our top legislative priorities, or to find out if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of specific bills, check out http://thomas.loc.gov .
 
A.  Social Security Issues

(1)  Support the “Social Security Fairness Act”
This legislation, which would repeal both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), has not yet been reintroduced.  Staff from the National Legislative Office are engaged with staff in both the House and the Senate to get these bills introduced.

(2)  Opposing any legislation that would require the participation of public employees in Social Security
The FOP will continue to lobby against this scheme and oppose any legislation which would mandate participation in Social Security.

B.  Support the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act”
This legislation, which would which would guarantee the right of public safety employees to bargain collectively with their employers over hours, wages and conditions of employment, has not yet been introduced.  The National Legislative Office staff has already contacted key Members of Congress regarding this legislation and we are working on an introduction strategy.

C.  Support the “Law Enforcement Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act”
This legislation, which would provide a minimum level of procedural protections for law enforcement officers accused of administrative wrongdoing because of the gravity of potential harm to officers created by this lack of uniform safeguards, has not yet been introduced.  National Legislative Office staff are engaged with staff in both the House and the Senate to get these bills introduced.

D.  Support the H.R. 327, Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act”
This legislation, which would provide would provide 6 (c) benefits to approximately 30,000 Federal law enforcement officers who currently do not have them, was introduced in the House on 19 January 2011.  National Legislative Office staff are engaged with staff in the Senate to get a companion introduced.
 
IV.  FOP teams up with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Fraternal Order of Police has joined forces with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) on their safety prevention resource, Take 25 campaign. Each lodge, State and local, should have received a packet about this campaign and how you and your lodge can help. The Take 25 campaign was created in honor of National Missing Children�s Day annually recognized on May 25th. The Take 25 campaign provides free resources and child safety information leading up to the month of May to local communities. Please feel free to contact Jessica Caswell in the NFOP Legislative office at (202) 547-8189 if you did not receive information or have any questions.

V . FOP NEWS: National Legislative Office is now on Facebook!
Because our grassroots are so important to our efforts on Capitol Hill, we have created a National Legislative Office Facebook page to keep our members informed.

Take a moment now to join our Facebook page to stay current with the latest information from Washington, D.C.  Please feel free to join in any of our discussions and don’t forget to invite all your FOP brothers and sisters to join!

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Contributions or gifts to the National Fraternal Order of Police PAC are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.  Only PERSONAL or NON CORPORATE checks may be accepted.  A contribution of $25 is suggested, but please contribute more if you are able, and a lesser amount if you are not.  Contributions to the NATL FOP PAC are strictly voluntary and FOP members have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal.  Your contribution will be used to support candidates for federal office who support law enforcement.  Federal law requires political action committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 per calendar year.

Questions or Comments?  E-mail us at grassroots@fop.net or call (202) 547 – 8189.

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