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Legislative Update – June 30

Posted by: POLC Staff Posted date: June 30, 2017


STATE ISSUES

Body Cameras  – MAPO supports the Runestad bill, HB 4427, that addresses some of the privacy concerns related to footage captured by body-worn cameras used by police officers. The bill passed the House 108-0 on May 23rd and the Senate 37-0 on June 22nd and was presented to the Governor on June 29th.  The bill does not make body cameras mandatory only if they are used by an agency, this provides some protections for the officers and guidelines for FOIA requests.

Targeting Public Safety – Both Senator Rick Jones and Representative Clint Kesto have introduced bills to add criminal penalties if a violent crime is committed upon a public safety officer as a result of their job status. While MAPO supports these bills, we are skeptical of their deterrent effect. We have made clear that these should not be viewed as helping public safety if legislative efforts proceed to dramatically reduce benefits for police and fire.

Retirement “Reform” – It is likely that the report of the Governor’s “Responsible Retirement Reform” Task Force will be made public this week.  MAPO, along with the other public safety unions, will be signing the report. Several improvements have been made to the final product at the request of the public safety unions.  We will make clear that our signature on the report does not mean we have endorsed any particular piece of legislation.

MAPO has focused and will continue to focus on two priorities in the discussions:

  1. Assumptions made in determining the size of the problem should be realistic. The Snyder Administration and the West Michigan Policy Forum have used financial assumptions that make the problem appear worse than it is. We believe all funds should be examined using the following factors: a 7.5% Assumed Rate of Return and a 30-35 year amortization schedule to eliminate the underfunding shortfall. There are certainly some communities in financial distress but we shouldn’t use overly conservative assumptions to make the problem appear larger or make it harder to solve.
  2. Every Wallet on the Table – As we look at solutions, MAPO believes all those involved should be held accountable. An “Employees-Only” solution should not be allowed. Local government and financial advisers should be held accountable before more money is taken from employees.

No License for Concealed Carry – House Bills 4416-4419 will make Michigan a “No-license carry” state. MAPO has joined with every other law enforcement group in Michigan to oppose the legislation as currently drafted.

 

FEDERAL ISSUES

Public Safety Officers Benefit Improvement Act – S 419 is a bi-partisan bill that was given final passage by both Houses on May 17, 2017.  President Trump signed this into law on June 2nd.,  The law attempts to streamline the process for the distribution of benefits to the family members of a fallen officer. The entire Michigan delegation voted in support of this legislation

Rapid DNA Act – S 139 and H 510 – These companion bills would provide additional tools to law enforcement to expedite the use of DNA in identifying suspects, providing evidence of guilt or providing exonerating information for the innocent. MAPO supports prompt passage.

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