By Meredith Mays, Legislative Representative, IACP
fter returning from the summer congressional recess, both the House of Representatives and the Senate continued to work on many appropriations and other legislation.
While the House has completed fiscal year (FY) 2008 appropriations work on several bills, the Senate has yet to vote on some key appropriations bills. Once the Senate approves these bills, they can then go to conference, where both houses of Congress will work out their differences and produce a final bill.
Of particular interest to the law enforcement community are Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations, which fund the DHS, and Commerce-Justice-Science and Related Agencies (C-J-S) appropriations, which fund the Department of Justice. Although the full Senate has approved DHS appropriations, it has yet to approve C-J-S funding. The House has completed work on both.
The table below highlights the proposed funding levels for various critical programs (values in millions of dollars).
Senate Passes Interoperable Emergency Communications Funding
Just before the start of its summer recess, the Senate passed an amendment as part of the DHS appropriations bill that would make $100 million available in grants for firstresponder interoperable communications. The IACP supported the amendment, which was sponsored by Senator Joseph Lieberman (IConn.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Me.).
Law enforcement agencies and other first responders can use these grants to acquire, deploy, and train on interoperable communications systems.
All appropriations bills must go to conference before they can pass, where both houses work out their differences and produce a final bill.
The IACP will keep members informed as the appropriations process continues.
Legislative Committee Meeting
The IACP is holding its 114th annual conference in New Orleans in October. The Legislative Committee Meeting is being held on Saturday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. During this session, committee members will be updated on pertinent legislation and resolutions and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
All members are invited to this meeting, which is being held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
For more information, please contact Meredith Mays, legislative representative, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IACP Executive Committee Passes Resolution Opposing Collective-Bargaining Legislation
The IACP Executive Committee recently approved a resolution opposing a current federally mandated collective-bargaining bill at its August meeting in Ottawa, Canada. The legislation, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007 (H.R. 980), has been passed by the House of Representatives and is expected to be considered in the Senate this fall.
The resolution is worded as follows:
WHEREAS, safe streets and neighborhoods require well-trained and well-managed police departments; and,
WHEREAS, in order to succeed, law enforcement agencies need to be responsive and accountable to the communities they serve; and,
WHEREAS, the United States Congress is currently considering legislation, known as the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, that would impose mandatory collective bargaining requirements on state and local public safety agencies; and
WHEREAS, by mandating a “one-size-fit-sall” approach to labor management relations, this legislation ignores the fact that every jurisdiction has unique needs and requires the freedom to manage its public safety workforce in the manner they have determined to be most effective; and
WHEREAS, these mandated requirements would severely limit the ability of state and law enforcement executives to manage their departments effectively; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED: that the International Association of Chiefs of Police is opposed to the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the IACP calls upon Congress and the Administration to oppose this legislation and preserve the ability of state and local public safety executives to manage their departments effectively.
In early August, the IACP sent an alert to members encouraging them to write their representatives and express opposition to the bill. If you have not done so already, please visit the Legislative Action Center (LAC), where you can write or e-mail your representative. The LAC includes a sample letter about H.R. 980 that can be personalized simply by entering your contact information.
The LAC can be accessed through the IACP Web site (www.theiacp.org).1 The IACP will keep members informed as H.R. 980 progresses through the legislative process.■
1Readers may also access the LAC page directly by visiting http://capwiz.com/theiacp/issues/alert/?alertid=10018286&type=CO.