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CSSA Positions on Federal Legislation - 2005

9/29/05 Support Amendment to HR 3057 (Deal) the FY 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which would prohibit funding assistance to countries that refuse to extradite cop killers back to the United States.

9/26/05 Support of HCR 85 (Filner) which would express the sense of Congress that a postage stamp be issued to honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and that the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee recommend to the Postmaster General that such a stamp be issued.

9/16/05 Support of HR 1751 (Gohmert) “Secure Access to Justice and Court Protection Act of 2005,” as amended to delete Section 20 of the bill.  The bill strengthens protections for the American judicial system by increasing penalties for threats against judges and courtroom personnel.  CSSA notes the deletion of Section 20 of the bill, which would have altered the selection and appointment process of United States Marshals by moving it to the Attorney General and limiting appointment to only those working in the Federal Civil Service System.  CSSA believes it important that the current law stay in place, which provides that United States Marshals are appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

9/7/05 Urge Restoration of Funding for Key State And Local Law Enforcement Assistance Programs as contained in the FY 2006 Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill (HR 2862).  These programs include the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). Under HR 2862, funding for all three of these programs, as well as a number of other important crime fighting initiatives, is significantly decreased from 2005 levels, or in some cases, is eliminated altogether.  CSSA urges restoring and continuing funding for these critical resources.

7/25/05 Oppose Merging or Transfer of Department of Justice functions, specifically the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP), to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). (HR 1817).  This subject has been considered for several years.  CSSA strongly believes that the role and authority of law enforcement be maintained as currently structured. ODP must be maintained as a separate and distinct entity focused on its mission of being the lead federal agency responsible for the preparedness of the United States.

7/25/05 Support HR 1602 “Grants for DNA Backlog Prosecutions Act.” The legislation will direct the Attorney General to make grants to train and employ personnel to help prosecute cases cleared through the use of funds provided for DNA backlog elimination.  It will authorize an appropriation of $100 million for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010 to carry out its provisions.

7/11/05 Support – Identity Theft Legislation.

  • S 29 – the “Social Security Number Misuse Prevention Act.” The bill would regulate the use of Social Security numbers by government agencies and private companies by prohibiting the sale or display of the numbers to the general public, and by requiring Social Security numbers to be taken off of public records published on the Internet.
  • S 116 – the “Privacy Act of 2005,” The bill  would set national standard for protecting personal information such as Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, and medical and financial data including information collected both online and offline. We note that the bill is modeled on California’s financial privacy law and would require companies to let consumers “opt in” before their most sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and health and financial records is shared. The legislation would also give consumers the choice to “opt out” when less sensitive information such as names and addresses is exchanged.
  • S 751 – the “Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act.” The bill would require Federal agencies and persons engaged in interstate commerce in possession of data containing personal information to disclose any unauthorized acquisition of such information.

4/8/05 Support – S 2464, the “Ryan Haight Internet Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act.” S 2464 address the growing problem of sales of prescription drugs over the Internet without valid prescriptions.  The bill sets needed requirements for Internet pharmacies by (1) setting new disclosure standards for the sites; (2) barring Internet sites from selling or dispensing prescription drugs to consumers who are provided a prescription solely on the basis of an online questionnaire; and (3) allowing State Attorneys General to go to federal court to shut down rogue sites.  S 2464 provides states with new enforcement authority modeled after the Federal Telemarketing Sales Act that will allow a state attorney general to shut down a rogue site across the country, rather than only bar sales to consumers of his or her state.

4/8/05 Support – S 155, the “Gang Prevention and Effective Deterrence Act of 2005.” S 155 is a comprehensive criminal bill to increase gang prosecution and prevention efforts.  S 155 authorizes $400 million over the next five years to support Federal, State and local law enforcement efforts against violent gangs, including witness protection programs and an additional $350 million over the next five years for intervention and prevention programs for at-risk youth.  The bill provides for increased funding for federal prosecutors and FBI agents to increase coordinated enforcement efforts against violent gangs and creates a new, RICO-like anti-gang section to penalize those who commit or conspire to commit crimes in furtherance of a criminal gang. S 155 creates a new High Intensity Interstate Gang Activity Area program to facilitate cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement in identifying, targeting, and eliminating violent gangs in areas where gang activity is particularly prevalent and enacts a limited reform of the juvenile justice system with judicial oversight to facilitate federal prosecution of 16 and 17 year old gang members who commit serious acts of violence.

4/8/05 Support – S 103, the “Combat Meth Act.” S 103 addresses the tremendous problem of production of methamphetamine by moving pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredient to make meth, behind the pharmacy counter.

S 103 includes some important features that will help law enforcement:

  • Provides an additional $15,000,000 under the COPS program to train state and local law enforcement to investigate and lock-up methamphetamine offenders and expands the methamphetamine "hot spots" program to include personnel and equipment for enforcement, prosecution and environmental clean-up.
  • Provides $5,000,000 to hire additional federal prosecutors and train local prosecutors in state and federal meth laws and cross-designates them as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, allowing them to bring legal action against cooks and traffickers in federal courts under tougher guidelines.
  • Provides $5,000,000 in grant funding for Drug Endangered Children rapid response teams to promote collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies to assist and educate children that have been affected by the production of methamphetamine.
  • Authorizes the creation of a Methamphetamine Research, Training and Technical Assistance Center, which will research effective treatments for meth abuse and disseminate information and technical assistance to states and private entities on how to improve current treatment methods.

4/7/05 Support - State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Funding.  CSSA supports preserving the funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) and to reinstate reimbursements to state and local governments for illegal aliens accused of qualifying crimes.

4/7/05 Oppose - Cuts to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program funding and proposed elimination of all Byrne discretionary grants that help support other drug task forces in the state. CSSA is opposed and deeply concerned with the President’s FY 2006 National Drug Control budget proposal.  This proposal includes a $128 million reduction in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program funding from $228 million in FY 2005 to $100 million in FY 2006.  Only select, big city HIDTA programs will receive funds following this severe funding reduction.   Another area of concern for California Sheriffs is the proposed elimination of all Byrne discretionary grants that help support other drug task forces in the state.  This funding is used to offset the high costs of this critical public safety function.  These proposals will severely weaken the federal, state and local partnerships that have developed over the years in combating California’s drug problems and the successes achieved.