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SEARCH Mid-Year Meeting Federal Legislative Briefing

SEARCH Mid-Year Meeting Federal Legislative Briefing

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SEARCH Mid-Year Meeting Federal Legislative Briefing

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  1. SEARCH Mid-Year MeetingFederal Legislative Briefing Robert R. Belair Oldaker, Biden & Belair January 25, 2006 Los Angeles, CA

  2. Criminal Justice Funding FY ‘06 • FY ‘06 CJS Appropriation provides mostly level funding but with some decreases • The Conference Report includes the following: • Byrne Discretionary Grants: $191.7 million • Byrne Formula Grants: $416.478 million • COPS: $478.3 million • COPS Technologies: $139.9 million • Weed and Seed: $50 million • CITA: $28.78 million Robert R. Belair

  3. Criminal Justice Funding FY ‘06 • BJS: $35 million • NIJ: $55 million • RISS: $40.2 million • Missing Children: $24 million • NCHIP: $10 million • White Collar Crime: $9 million • Offender Reentry: $5 million • Interoperable Communications: $139.9 million • Global Justice Info Sharing Initiative: $10 million Robert R. Belair

  4. Criminal Justice Funding FY ‘06 • SEARCH received an increase from 1.75 million in ’05 to 2.0 million in ’06. • Number of Byrne earmarks jumped from 238 earmarks in ’05 to 402 earmarks in ’06 • Number of “national earmarks” fell from 54 to 35 • Technology related earmarks increased in Byrne to almost 15% Robert R. Belair

  5. Criminal Justice Funding FY ‘07 • Projections for ’07: • Little or no growth for ’07 Justice Assistance funding • Earmarking is expected to be under intense pressure and criticism Robert R. Belair

  6. Homeland Security Funding FY ‘06 • In October, Congress approved the DHS appropriations bill with some decreases • The bill includes: • ODP discretionary grants: $1.155 billion • ODP formula grants: $550 million Robert R. Belair

  7. Homeland Security Funding FY ’06 • High-threat area grants: $765 million • Firefighter grants: $655 million • Information security and infrastructure protection grants: $542.157 million • US-VISIT: $340 million • Information technology investment and enhancement: $115 million Robert R. Belair

  8. DOJ Reauthorization • December 17, 2005: Congress passes the DOJ Reauthorization Act, HR 3402 • Includes express language authorizing SEARCH’s National Technical Assistance and Training Program • Sec. 1184. SEARCH GRANTS • (a) IN GENERAL.- Pursuant to subpart 1 of part E of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, the Attorney General may make grants to SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, to carry out the operations of the National Technical Assistance and Training Program . • (b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. – There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General to carry out this section $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009. Robert R. Belair

  9. DOJ Reauthorization • Merges Byrne grants with Local Law Enforcement Block grants to create the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program • Eliminates discretionary Byrne grants • Establishes an Office of Applied Law Enforcement Technology to coordinate OJP grants made for the purpose of using/improving law enforcement computer systems Robert R. Belair

  10. DOJ Reauthorization • Creates an Office of Community Capacity Development within OJP • Promotes coordination of public and private efforts and resources • Provides information, training and technical assistance • Provides support for inter- and intra-agency task forces • Assess neighborhood and community-based law enforcement and crime prevention strategies in coordination with NIJ Robert R. Belair

  11. DOJ Reauthorization • Creates an Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management within OJP • Assess and audit the performance of grant programs conducted by the OJP • Evaluations do not impact NIJ program evaluations, except that the directors of OAAM and NIJ must consult with one another Robert R. Belair

  12. DOJ Reauthorization • Reauthorizes COPS but effectively consolidates it into a single grant program • COPS remains legally independent of OJP • Strengthens BJS’ responsibility for criminal history improvement; NICS enhancement; and state participation in national CHRI programs • Enhances BJS authority for NCHIP and integrated CHRI system Robert R. Belair

  13. DOJ Reauthorization • Creates a permanent Office of Weed and Seed Strategies • Amends the DNA Identification Act of 1994 to permit law enforcement agents to take DNA samples from individuals arrested/detained under federal authority • Individuals can have the sample expunged if they are not prosecuted, if they are acquitted, or if their conviction is overturned Robert R. Belair

  14. DOJ Reauthorization • Includes Protect Act expansion and reauthorization • Expands pilots to any nonprofit providing care to children, the elderly or the handicapped • Increases the number of background checks per year under the pilot from 100,000 to 200,000 • Extends the pilot program for an additional 30 months (through the end of 2008) Robert R. Belair

  15. Sex Offender Registry • Children’s Safety Act of 2005 • H.R. 3132 passed the House on September 14th (371-52) • Comprehensively amends the national sex offender registration program • In Senate Judiciary Committee • S. 1086 • Reported out of committee by voice vote in October • Incorporates “Dru’s Law” which has already passed the Senate • Senate not planning on taking up House bill; will move Senate version and go to conference Robert R. Belair

  16. Sex Offender Registry: House Bill • Require each jurisdiction to maintain a jurisdiction wide sex offender database • Require sex offenders to register, including retroactively, and update changes • Require registry to include facts of the sex offense/criminal history • Require registration for a minimum of 20 years • Require registrants to appear in person every 6 months for verification of information • Require officials to verify registrant addresses quarterly for misdemeanor offenders/monthly for felony/multiple offenders Robert R. Belair

  17. Sex Offender Registry: House Bill • Direct Attorney General to use registry data to provide a publicly-available, searchable registry via the Internet. • Require each state to notify its attorney general of impending release of sexually violent predator or high-risk individuals • Require each state to monitor any sex offender who has been unconditionally released by the State and who has not been civilly committed for at least a year • Reduce by 25% state funds through the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act if a state fails to comply Robert R. Belair

  18. Sex Offender Registry: House Bill • Require registration officers to inform certain local parties of the location of each sex offender • Fund a demonstration project for sex offender monitoring devices • Provide access to the database for NCMEC • Provide a criminal penalty of 5-20 years for failure to register • Provide for civil commitment of sex offenders Robert R. Belair

  19. Sex Offender Registry: House Bill • Provide a grant program for sex offender apprehension • Provide a penalty of 10 years to life for use of a controlled substance in a sex offense • Expand the use of “DNA fingerprinting” in sex offender prosecution • Provide an aggravated penalty for sex offense against children • Require prospective foster parents to undergo background checks • Require sex offenders to submit to searches based upon reasonable suspicion Robert R. Belair

  20. Sex Offender Registry: House Bill • Allow access to various FBI databases by child welfare agencies • Require GAO to study potential for using driver’s license registration process as an additional registration requirement for sex offenders • Expansion of training/technology efforts with Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers by Attorney General and OJJDP • Require DOJ/HHS to conduct a study into the creation of a nationwide, interstate tracking system of individuals convicted of, or under investigation for child abuse Robert R. Belair

  21. Sex Offender Registry: House Bill • Authorizes school districts to access federal fingerprint based criminal history records for prospective employees who will come in close contact with students • Creates a national child abuse registry within DOJ Robert R. Belair

  22. REAL ID Act, H.R. 418 • State participation is optional • Drivers license standards: • Physical security features • Common machine-readable technology • Personal information • Verification • Legally allowed in country Robert R. Belair

  23. Immigration Reform • H.R. 4437 passed the House on December 16th • Currently in Senate • Provisions: • Requires employers to electronically verify work eligibility of all their workers within 6 years • Doubles employers’ penalties for hiring undocumented workers • Establishes a task force to create a “comprehensive database” on fraudulent immigration documents that would be available to all law enforcement agencies Robert R. Belair

  24. Immigration Reform • DHS has 3 to 10 days to investigate fraudulent Social Security numbers • No guest worker program • Senate Judiciary Committee calls immigration reform “top priority” Robert R. Belair

  25. HAZMAT • SAFETEA (H.R. 3) was signed into law in August 2005. • Requires TSA to create uniform standards for licensing of hazardous material drivers • Background check requirement required by PATRIOT Act. • TSA has to create standards that would relate to collection, transmission, review of background information by the states, reasonable fees and standards to disqualify applicants. • Bill prohibits Mexican/Canadian hazmat drivers unless they undergo a background check as required by law Robert R. Belair