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109th Congress Summary

Governmental Affairs monitored 183 bills of initial interest to the PBA membership in this Congress. Of these bills 17 have passed, the remainder either died at adjournment or were passed in an amended form that no longer contain provisions affecting PBA membership.

Of the bills that became law, the bills of PBA “interest” included 13 from the House, mostly funding bills providing additional monies to local law enforcement. One retirement bill (HR 4), two bills with provisions to help officers in the areas hit by Katrina (HR 3673 /HR 3768) and HR 2862 which waived the matching requirement for local agencies to get funding to replace their defective Zylon protective vests. The 4 from the Senate were the Patriot act extension (S 2167), waiver of gun maker liability (S 397) and two budget bills.

Some of the bills that died included 15 immigration bills with provisions affecting local and state law enforcement agencies. We took action on two of these bills, HR 3137 and companion S 1362 referred to as the “CLEAR Act” which provides an immigration national database available to local agencies. Also included is local authority to enforce immigration laws and training for local officers in the enforcement.

S 1362 Introduced: 6/30/05
Last action: 6/30/05 referred to Judiciary
PBA sponsors: AL, GA

H 3137 Introduced: 6/23/05
Last action: 9/15/05 referred to subcommittee on immigration
PBA sponsors: AL. GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA

We also initiated support for a bill in the Senate, S 1605, modifying the nation-wide concealed carry law to clarify state requirements for carry approval. It died in Judiciary.

S 1605 Introduced: 7/29/05
Last action: 7/29/05 referred to Judiciary
PBA sponsors: AR, GA, NC, SC

Five bills directly related to the SS PBA Congressional Agenda for the 109th Congress. Two are due process bills, HR 354 and companion S 718. Both died in committee.

S 718 Introduced: 4/6/05
Last action: 4/6/05 referred to Judiciary
PBA sponsors: GA

H 354 Introduced: 1/25/05
Last Action: 3/2/05 referred to subcommittee on homeland security
PBA sponsors: GA, NC, SC, TN, VA
The remaining are ERISA (retirement) bills mostly inactive due to passage of HR 4, which has some direct effect on local law enforcement officers. This bill would allow for distribution from some plans at age 50 as opposed to 55 and would waive the 10% early withdraw penalty for certain withdraws by public safety officers.

H 4 Introduced: 7/28/06
Last action: Passed 8/17/06
PBA sponsors: none

While the SS PBA agenda item on “meet and confer” had no directly related bills, a collective bargaining bill for law enforcement officers was introduced in both chambers. Both bills died.

H 1249 Introduced: 3/10/05
Last action: 4/18/05 referred to subcommittee on employee relations
PBA sponsors: AL, AR, GA, MS, NC, TN, VA

S 513 Introduced: 3/3/05
Last action: 3/3/05 referred to committee on labor
PBA sponsors: AR

Although not part of the SS PBA agenda for the 109th Congress but passed in 2005 as part of the PBA agenda for the 110th Congress, the SS PBA Board of Directors included an item to protect the personal information of law enforcement officers from public release. The 109th Congress has taken up three bills, which attempt to address this growing problem, HR 1710 and HR 1751 and S 1968. The best opportunity, HR 1751 went from the House to Senate and returned to House with Senate amendments, where it died.

H 1710 Introduced: 4/19/05
Last action: 5/10/05 added to HR 1751
PBA sponsors: none

H 1751 Introduced: 4/21/05
Last action: 12/7/06 amended by Senate sent to House
PBA sponsors: LA, SC

S 1968 Introduced: 11/7/05
Last action: 11/7/05 referred to Judiciary
PBA sponsors: none

The Governmental Affairs department looks forward to working with the 110th Congress to pass bills of interest to our membership.

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