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111th Congressional Summary

The 111th Congress adjourned sine die December 22, 2010

[The 112th Congress convenes 12 noon January 5, 2011]

There were 81 bills of interest followed during the 111th Congress.  Of these bills, 54 were introduced by the House, and 27 by the Senate. Most died in one committee or another.  But a few did manage to pass the Congress and get signed into law by the President. Most notably, was Senate Bill 1132.

PASSED bills of interest:

S 1132 “Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2009.”
(Public law 111-233)
On September 30, 2010, the US Congress passed, and the President signed, SB 1132, which modified the nation-wide concealed carry law for active and retired officers. Other than including AMTRAK and other federal police, the major modifications involved the changes affecting retired officers. This bill changed coverage from “retired” to “separated.” It also reduced the terms of required service from 15 years to 10 years.

S 1472 Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2009 (Public law 111-122)
“Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment, the Attorney General shall establish a section within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice with responsibility for the enforcement of laws against suspected participants in serious human rights offenses.”

While the intent is to prosecute foreign violations, it could be abused by DOJ and applied to domestic law enforcement officers suspected of violations.

Following, are bills of particular importance to PBA members, with the location of their final resting place as well as a listing of elected officials from PBA states who sponsored or cosponsored the legislation. The list begins with a short summary of the public safety collective bargaining efforts in the 111th Congress.

Collective bargaining for state and local public safety summary:
The “collective bargaining” bill for public safety personnel appeared many times with this Congress. The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act was found in House bills HR 413 and HR 4899 (where it was tacked on as Amendment 4174 by the Senate). The Senate introduced their versions in S 1611, S 3194 and S 3991.

HR 413 was introduced on January 9, 2009 by Rep. Kildee-D (MI-5). The House Education & Labor committee held hearings on March 10, 2010. Police Benevolent Association representatives attended and presented support into the record. The committee voted to give the bill a favorable report. It went no further.

On March 21, 2010, the House introduced HR 4899, the supplemental appropriations act. On March 24th the House got it the way they wanted and passed it to the Senate. The Senate tacked on amendments including S Amend. 4174 (collective bargaining rights for public safety officers). The Senate passed HR 4899, but not before withdrawing S Amend. 4147. The Senate then passed “their” version back to the House on May 28th. The House agreed to some parts and not others, then added back in the “public safety employer-employee cooperation act” in the late hours of July 1st. On July 13, the Senate received the House’s action and on July 22 the Senate then “disagreed” with the House version by unanimous consent. On July 27 the House agreed to the Senate version and HR 4899 passed into law without the collective bargain amendment.

S 1611 was introduced on in the Senate on August 6, 2009 by Sen. Gregg-R (NH). The bill went to the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee where it remained.

Senator Harry Reid introduced S 3194, a collective bargaining bill for law enforcement. It was the same as the others, however this bill was introduced directly on the floor of the Senate on April 13 2010, read twice, and was calendared (#343) for a floor vote. It was not called up. Instead, Sen. Reid modified the bill “slightly” and on November 30, 2010 introduced it as S 3991 on the floor of the Senate. The “slight” modification was to remove all Deputy Sheriffs from the bill. A cloture (end debate and vote on bill) vote was held on this bill on December 8, 2010. The vote failed, leaving it open for endless debate and amendments. This bill was never heard from again.

We look forward to working with the 112th Congress on reviving this important piece of employment legislation.

Employment Issues

HR 413 “LEO Collective Bargaining”
This bill provides for collective bargaining by local and state law enforcement officers.
Intro: 1/9/09 Rep. Kildee (MI-5/D) Status: Ed & Labor cmte. hearings held 3/10/10.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Davis (TN-4), Bishop (GA-2), Cohen (TN-9), Scott (GA-13), Connolly (VA-11), Watt (NC-12), Gordon (TN-6), Snyder (AR-2), Lewis (GA-5), Barrow (GA-12), Price (NC-4), Yarmuth (KY-3), Cooper (TN-5)
Republicans: John Duncan (TN-2), Wamp (TN-3), Jones (NC-3), Davis (KY-4),
Griffith (AL-5), Whitfield (KY-10)

S 1611 Law Enforcement Collective Bargaining
This bill provides for collective bargaining by local and state law enforcement officers.
Intro: 8/6/09 Sen. Gregg (NH/R) Status: Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Lincoln (AR), Pryor (AR)
Republicans: none

S 3194 Law Enforcement Collective Bargaining
This bill provides for collective bargaining by local and state law enforcement officers.
Intro: 4/13/2010 Sen. Reid (NV/D) Status: Read 2nd time calendared #343.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states: none


S 3991 Collective Bargaining State/Local Public Safety Officers
This bill provides for collective bargaining by local and state law enforcement officers.
Intro: 11/30/2010 Sen. Reid (NV) Status: Read first time/Calendared
Cosponsors from SSPBA states: None

HR 1972 “Due Process” for State/Local Law Enforcement
This bill provides for due process in disciplinary actions against state & local officers.
Intro: 4/2/09 Rep. Stupak (MI-1/D) Status: 5/26 to Homeland Security sub-cmte.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Price (NC-4)
Republicans: Jones (NC-3), Whitfield (KY-10)

HR 1176 Secret Ballot Protection Act
This bill and companion bill S 478, would require secret ballot for employee union representation selection.
Intro: 2/25/09 Rep. Kline (MN-2/R) Status: Health Education Labor Pensions
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Alexander (LA-5), Boustany (LA-7), Cassidy (LA-6), Fleming (LA-4), Scalise (LA-1), Bachus (AL-6), Bonner (AL-1), Barrett (SC-3), Brown (SC-1), Inglis (SC-4), Wilson (SC-2), Blackburn (TN-7), Duncan (TN-2), Roe (TN-1), Wamp (TN-3), Boozman (AR-3), Broun (GA-10), Deal (GA-9), Gingrey (GA-11), Kingston (GA-1), Linder (GA-7), Price (GA-6), Westmoreland (GA-3), Coble (NC-6), Forbes (VA-4), Foxx (NC-5), Goodlatte (VA-6), Jones (NC-3), McHenry (NC-10), Myrick (NC-9), Harper (MS-3), Rogers (KY-5), Wolf (VA-10)

S 478 Secret Ballot Protection
(See HR 1176)
Intro: 2/25/09 DeMint (SC/R) Status: Calendared
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Alexander (TN), Bunning (KY), Burr (NC), Corker (TN), McConnell (KY), Shelby (AL), Vitter (LA), Wicker (MS), Cochran (MS)

HR 1409 Employee Free Choice Act
This bill provides “card check” provision, as opposed to secret ballot election, for selection of union representation.
Intro: 3/10/09 Miller (CA-7/D) Status: Health, Employment, Labor Pension cmte.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Bishop (GA-2), Boucher (VA-9), Clyburn (SC-6), Cohen (TN-9), Connolly (VA-11), Davis (AL-7), Johnson (GA-4), Kissell (NC-8), Lewis (GA-5), Melancon (LA-3), Miller (NC-13), Mollohan (WV-1), Moran (VA-8), Price (NC-4), Rahall (WV-3), Scott (GA-13), Scott (VA-3), Thompson (MS-2), Watt (NC-12), Yarmuth (KY-3)
Republicans: none

S 560 Employee Free Choice Act
(companion bill to H 1409)
Intro: 3/10/09 Kennedy (MA/D) Status: Health, Education, Labor Pension cmte.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Rockefeller (WV), Byrd (WV),
Republicans: none

HR 4107 National “Right-to-Work”
This bill provides workers choice not to join union.
Intro: 1/4/10 King (IA-5/R) Status: Education & Labor sub-Cmte.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Inglis (SC-4), Foxx (NC-5)

Benefits

HR 2441 Public Safety Benefits
Increases death benefit to $350,000.  Disability beginning at 50% and redefines disability.  Add $6m in 2010-2014 to expedite claims.  Provides tax credit for medical payments due to injury in line duty.  Grants for mental health treatment of officer disabled and family survivors.
Intro: 5/14/09 Rep. Melancon (LA-3/D) Status: Judiciary and Ways & Means
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Sponsor
Republicans: Forbes (VA-4)

S1037 (companion to HR 2441)
Intro: 5/14/09 Landrieu (LA/D) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

HR 4338 Public Safety Benefits
Increases death benefit to $350,000 and other enhancements (see HR 2441)
Intro: 12/16/09 Rep. Melancon (LA-3/D) Status: Homeland Sec. Sub-cmte.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

S 2885 (companion to HR 4338)
Intro: 5/14/09 Landrieu (LA/D) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

HR 2485 Public Safety Benefits to NON-Governmental Employees
Proposes to include non-governmental employee or volunteer of a fire department, ground or air ambulance service, or first responder or rescue squad, which is licensed or recognized by the State or local government; and who is performing official duties serving the public in fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical/ambulance services.
Intro: 5/19/09 Ellison (MN-5/D) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Bishop (GA-2)
Republicans: none

S 1353 (companion to HR 2485)
Intro: 6/25/09 Leahy (VT/D) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

S 1299 Protect First Responders Infectious Diseases
To protect from workplace exposure to infectious diseases
Intro: 6/18/09 Menendez (NJ/D) Status: Health, Ed, Labor & Pensions
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

HR 3162  Public Safety Survivors Health Insurance
This bill provides for survivors of officers killed in line-of-duty to apply for health coverage under federal employees health plan
Intro: 7/9/09 Rep. Stupak (MI-1/D) Status: Gov. Reform
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

HR 4704  “Disabled Public Safety Officers Fairness Act of 2010”
To provide public safety officer disability benefits to living officers disabled before the enactment of the Federal public safety officer disability benefits law in 1968.
Intro: 2/25/10 Rep. Massa (NY-29/D) Status: Homeland Security sub-cmte.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

Legal Issues

HR 866 Law Enforcement Protection Act
This bill removes from minimum sentencing for use of firearm, any law officer in performance of duty who is convicted of crime.
Intro: 2/4/09 Brady (TX-8/R) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Alexander (LA-5), Broun (GA-10), Gingrey (GA-11), Harper (MS-3), Kingston (GA-1), Linder (GA-7), Wamp (TN-3), Forbes (VA-4)

HR 1343 Immunity in acts to prevent terror attacks
This bill would provide immunity to first responders engaged in terror act prevention
Intro: 3/5/09 Myrick (NC-9/R) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: (sponsor)
Concealed Carry

HR 1620 Concealed carry reciprocity
Allow cross-state concealed carry
Intro: 3/19/09 Boozman (AR-3/R) Status: Homeland Security
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Ross (AR-4), Mollohan (WV-1),
Republicans: Aderholt (AL-4), Barrett (SC-3), Boustany (LA-7), Broun (GA-10), Duncan (TN-2), Gingrey (GA-11), Rogers (KY-5), Scalise (LA-1), Westmoreland (GA-3), Wilson (SC-2)

S 371 Concealed Carry Reciprocity
This bill allows for weapon conceal carry reciprocity among states.
Intro: 2/3/09 Thune (SD/R) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Burr (NC), Chambliss (GA), Cochran (MS), DeMint (SC), Graham (SC), Isakson (GA), Vitter (LA), Wicker (MS)

S 845 Interstate Concealed Carry
This is another clarification for CCW permit holders to carry cross state lines.
Intro: 4/21/09 Sen. Thune (SD/R) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Burr (NC), Chambliss (GA), Cochran (MS), DeMint (SC), Graham (SC), Isakson, (GA), Vitter (LA), Wicker (MS)

S 1132 Law Enforcement Concealed Carry
Seeks to improve the provisions regarding law enforcement carry of concealed weapons
(“Retired” to “separated”/ 15 yrs. to 10 yrs. service)
Intro: 2/23/09 Leahy (VT/D) Status: 9/30 PASSED & signed into law 10/12/2010!
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: Sessions (AL)

HR 3752 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act Improvements 2009
This bill makes changes that would include AMTRAK police and additional federal “officers.” It also changes “retired” officer definitions, reducing to 10-yr service and other changes. (companion to S 1132)
Intro: 10/7/09 Rep. Forbes (VA-4/R) Status: Moot as S 1132 (companion) passed
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Boucher (VA-9)
Republicans: (sponsor)

Law Enforcement Profession Issues

S 714 National Criminal Justice Commission
To study the criminal justice system
Intro: 3/26/09 Webb (VA/D) Status: Calendared #369.
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Hagan (NC), Warner (VA), Landrieu (LA), Lincoln (AR)
Republicans: Graham (SC)
(House version: HR 5143, passed House, to Senate read 2x calendared #514 8/5/2010)

HR 2154 State/local officers holding elected office.
Provides for removal of certain prohibitions regarding local and state officers from holding elected office.
Intro: 4/28/09 Rep. Stupak (MI-1/D) Status: Government Reform
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: none
Republicans: none

HR 4466 State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2010
This bill permits law enforcement officers to be candidates for sheriff, and for Sheriffs to be politically active in other elections.
Intro: 1/19/10 Rep. Latta (OH-5/R) Status: House sub-Committee on Fed Workforce
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: Connolly (VA-11)
Republicans: Wittman (VA-1)

S 3972 National “Blue Alert”
This bill would create “Blue Alert” program nation-wide. Blue alert is similar to “Amber Alert” for cases involving the killing/seriously injuring a law enforcement officer.
Intro: 11/18/2010 Sen. Cardin (MD) Status: Judiciary
Cosponsors from SSPBA states:
Democrats: None
Republicans: Graham (SC)

H.RES.1399
Title: Honoring the lives, and mourning the loss, of Sergeant Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans, members of the West Memphis Police Department
(and PBA members).
Sponsor: Rep Berry, Marion [AR-1] (introduced 5/26/2010)      Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 7/26/2010 Referred to Homeland Security sub-cmte.committee.

 

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