By Meredith Mays Ward, Legislative Representative, IACP
n early July, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science passed its funding levels for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011—that is, amounts that will fund the Department of Justice in FY 2011. The bill provides a total of almost $4 billion for state, local, and tribal law enforcement activities. Included in that total is $442 million for programs administered by the Office on Violence Against Women; $690 million for programs administered by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office; nearly $2.7 billion for programs administered by the Office of Justice Programs; and $413 million for Adam Walsh Act activities and other sex offender and child exploitation prevention and enforcement programs.
The subcommittee’s proposed budget for FY 2011 represents the first step in the federal budget process. Appropriation bills now head to full House and Senate appropriations committees to craft the annual appropriation bills that fund the federal government.
House Passes Mandatory Collective Bargaining Legislation
In early July, the House of Representatives passed the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 413) by adding it to the War Supplemental Appropriations bill. H.R. 413 now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration. The legislation is strongly opposed by the IACP.
This legislation would mandate that all state and local governments
- allow for the unionization of their police force;
- require collective bargaining with the union; and
- require bargaining over hours, wages, and terms and conditions of employment.
In addition, the legislation would 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 will reduce the effectiveness of our nation’s law enforcement agencies. Therefore, the IACP urges you to contact your senators and tell them to oppose H.R. 413. You may do this by visiting the IACP’s Legislative Action Center (LAC), where you can write or e-mail your senators about this important issue. The LAC includes a sample letter about H.R. 413 that can be personalized and sent simply by entering your contact information. Please visit www.capwiz.com/theiacp/home.
U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Chicago Handgun Ban
In early July, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago. The core issue in McDonald is whether the city of Chicago’s handgun ban was constitutional and whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms recognized by the Court in District of Columbia v. Heller (which overturned D.C.’s handgun ban) is incorporated—that is, whether it applies to restrict the actions of state and local governments. The Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 majority, ruled that the Second Amendment does apply to state and local ordinances, and, based upon the decision in Heller, the city of Chicago’s handgun ban was unconstitutional and was therefore struck down.
However, the Court did rule—as IACP argued in its amicus brief—that incorporation does not strike down other gun laws that fall short of a complete/broad ban. The Court restated the findings in Heller that even though the District of Columbia’s ban on guns in the home was unconstitutional, a wide gamut of gun laws remained “presumptively lawful.”
To read the decision in its entirety, please visit the Supreme Court’s website at www.SupremeCourt.gov. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Mays Ward, "House Appropriations Subcommittee Releases FY 2011 Appropriation Amounts," The Police Chief 77 (August 2010): 8, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CPIM0810/index.php#/8 (insert access date).