By Meredith Mays, Legislative Representative, IACP
n early December, Congress passed a package of spending bills—or omnibus—that will fund government agencies through the end of this fiscal year, September 30, 2010.
The omnibus includes funding levels for the primary law enforcement assistance grants administered through the Department of Justice:
- $511 million for Byrne JAG
- $298 million for COPS hiring
Congress previously passed appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all of FY 2010:
- $652.5 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSG)
- $646.25 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)
- $459.25 million for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP)
The chart below illustrates these programs:
It is important to note that the Byrne-JAG Program received $2 billion and the COPS Hiring Program $1 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February 2009.
Also, please note that there is no separate line item for the LETPP. In accordance with the 9/11 Act, 25 percent of funds from the SHSG and UASI must be used for LETPP activities.
Congress Introduces Jobs Bill That Includes Funding for COPS Hiring
In addition to the regular funding for FY 2010, the House has introduced the Jobs for Main Street Act (H.R. 2847). The bill redirects $48.3 billion from repaid Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to save and create jobs in the United States. The bill includes $1.18 billion for Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Hiring grants and the funds may be used for hiring or re-hiring.
The House of Representatives passed this legislation in late December and the Senate will take it up this month.
Collective-Bargaining Bill Continues to Gain Ground
In mid-December Congressional supporters of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 413/S. 1611) again attempted to pass the legislation by adding it to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill. The legislation is strongly opposed by the IACP. Because of the hundreds of calls and letters by IACP members and other organizations, the provision was not included.
This legislation would mandate that all state and local governments do the following:
- Allow for the unionization of their police forces
- Require collective bargaining with the union
- Require bargaining over hours, wages, and terms and conditions of employment
In addition, the legislation would also empower the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to review the existing collective bargaining laws in all 50 states to ensure that they meet the new federal standard. If the FLRA determines that a state fails to meet the standard, it will have the authority to mandate changes to existing policies and procedures.
The IACP believes that, if passed, H.R. 413/S. 1611 will reduce the effectiveness of U.S. law enforcement agencies. Therefore, the IACP urges you to contact your senators and representatives and tell them to oppose H.R. 413/S. 1611. You may do this by visiting the IACP’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) where you can write or e-mail your senator about this important issue. The LAC includes a sample letter about H.R. 413/S. 1611 that can be personalized and sent simply by entering your contact information.
Day on the Hill
The IACP’s biennial Day on the Hill has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 9, in conjunction with the midyear meetings of both the Division of State and Provincial Police and the Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police. On this day, IACP members will have an opportunity to meet with their elected officials on issues important to the law enforcement community.
If you are interested in joining us for the Day on the Hill, please contact Meredith Mays for more information: