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Nov 03, 2023

Register today and join NAPO Jan. 28 - 30, 2024 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for NAPO’s 35th Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar. NAPO's goal for the Pension & Benefits Seminar is to educate pension and union representatives along with their providers on the latest issues surrounding the pension and benefits industry. The program will focus on the challenges and causes for concern in today’s pension and benefits environment.

In a victory for NAPO, the Senate passed the Project Safe Childhood Act (S. 1170) by voice vote Oct. 24. Project Safe Childhood is a national initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse by pulling together federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children through the internet, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Act would reauthorize and update this important program to modernize how online child exploitation crimes are investigated and prosecuted. It would also improve how federal prosecutors and federal, state, and local law enforcement work together and use new technology to go after predators.

NAPO supports Expanding Health Care Options for First Responders Act (S. 3113), reintroduced Oct. 24. This legislation would allow retired public safety officers ages 50 to 64 to buy-in to Medicare. Across the country, retiring officers are losing their employer-provided health insurance and, as they are years away from being Medicare-eligible, are forced to spend their retirement money on health insurance premiums.

After weeks without a Speaker and a halt in all legislative work, Republicans elected Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be the next Speaker Oct. 24. Speaker Johnson has been a long-time member of the House Judiciary Committee, voted in favor of many of NAPO’s legislative priority bills, and is cosponsoring several NAPO-endorsed legislation this Congress including the Social Security Fairness Act, the Thin Blue Line Act, and the LEOSA Reform Act. The House immediately got to work on an aggressive schedule of passing the remaining Fiscal 2024 appropriations bills by Nov. 17, when the current continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government runs out. The House passed the Energy-Water on a party-line vote on Oct. 26 and, on Nov. 1, passed the Legislative Branch appropriations measure with a nearly all Republican vote. Next up is the Interior appropriations measure.

NAPO pledged its support for the Combatting Fentanyl Poisonings Act (H.R. 6144), which would establish two grant programs under the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) to combat fentanyl by providing critical resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to go after dealers that target kids and to non-profit organizations to educate youth about the dangers of fentanyl and counterfeit drugs.

If you answered the call on 9/11 or in the days, weeks, or months after and you became disabled because of your exposure at Ground Zero or you are a family member of a 9/11 responder who died of their injuries from 9/11, you may be entitled to federal disability or death benefits through the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program. The two-year window for 9/11 responders, who became catastrophically disabled or died of their injuries prior to 2021, to submit a claim ends Nov. 17, 2023. To meet the deadline, an officer or their family only need to start a claim application on the PSOB website (PSOB.gov) - the application does not need to be completed by Nov. 17.

For more details about these and other legislative issues impacting law enforcement, please click here for the Nov. 3, 2023 Washington Report.

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