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SEARCH Annual Meeting Federal Legislative Briefing

SEARCH Annual Meeting Federal Legislative Briefing

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SEARCH Annual Meeting Federal Legislative Briefing

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  1. SEARCH Annual MeetingFederal Legislative Briefing Robert R. Belair SEARCH General Counsel July 23, 2004 Chicago, Illinois

  2. Criminal Justice Funding • The House approved the FY 2005 CJS Appropriations bill on July 8th. The Senate has yet to consider the bill. • The House bill includes the following: • Byrne Discretionary Grants: $110 million • SEARCH: Soft earmark • Byrne Formula Grants: $634 million • COPS: $686.2 million • DNA Backlog: $175.8 million • Weed and Seed: $51.1 million Robert R. Belair

  3. Criminal Justice Funding • BJS: $34 million • NIJ: $55 million • RISS: $40 million • LLEBG: zeroed out, merged into Byrne • Missing Children: $41 million • NCHIP: $50 million • White Collar Crime: $9 million Robert R. Belair

  4. Criminal Justice Funding • With crime rates decreasing and budget pressures increasing, little or no growth is expected in Justice Assistance funding • In a flat funding environment, earmarking is expected to increase • In a flat funding environment, discretionary grant funding is expected to decrease Robert R. Belair

  5. Homeland Security Funding • The House approved the FY 2005 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill on June 18th. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version on June 17th. • The bills include the following: • ODP basic formula grants: House - $1.25 billion; Senate - $970 million • Terrorism grants: House - $500 million; Senate - $400 million Robert R. Belair

  6. Homeland Security Funding • High-Threat area grants: House - $1.0 billion; Senate - $1.2 billion • Firefighter Grants: House - $600 million; Senate - $700 million • Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Grants: House - $854.6 million; Senate $875.6 million Robert R. Belair

  7. Homeland Security Funding • Both DHS bills include $2 billion for passenger screening • Both DHS bills include $340 million for US-VISIT • Both DHS bills include over $200 million for DHS information technology enhancements Robert R. Belair

  8. DOJ Reauthorization • March 31, 2004: House passed H.R. 3036 • Eliminates most OJP discretionary grant programs; merged these programs into new state and local block grant programs • Partially reorganizes OJP including an Office of Applied Law Enforcement Technology to “provide leadership and focus to those grants of the Department …for…using or improving law enforcement computer systems.” Robert R. Belair

  9. DOJ Reauthorization • Creates a Community Capacity Development Office 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 Robert R. Belair

  10. DOJ Reauthorization • Reauthorizes COPS but effectively merges OJP and COPS • Strengthens BJS’ responsibility for criminal history improvement; NICS improvement; and state participation in national CHRI programs • Eliminates BJA • Reauthorizes Crime Identification Technology Act (CITA) Robert R. Belair

  11. DOJ Reauthorization • Creates a permanent Office of Weed and Seed Strategies • Requires states to upload to CODIS the DNA of all persons convicted of a violent felony • Creates anti-terrorism training grants for state and local law enforcement • Strips DOJ of authority to reorganize OJP without first obtaining congressional authorization Robert R. Belair

  12. Background Check Legislation • Currently tracking almost 40 background check bills. Few, if any, will be enacted. • Bills are inconsistent or silent on many key issues • State or federal check or both? • Prints or name-only? • Fees? Robert R. Belair

  13. Background Check Legislation • Bills are piecemeal and require checks for a myriad of positions and licenses • Generally, bills prescribe backgrounding for individuals: • Providing services to vulnerable populations • With access to protected areas • With access to sensitive information or materials • With national security or other important responsibilities Robert R. Belair

  14. Pending Background Check Legislation • Two bills with background check provisions have passed one house: • H.R. 6: Requires background checks re: nuclear materials. Passed in the House on April 11, 2003. Failed in Senate in December, 2003. • S. 165: Requires background checks for all cargo aircraft employees. No mention of fees or fingerprints. Passed in Senate on May 8, 2003 No action in House. Robert R. Belair

  15. Pending Background Check Legislation • Bills that have been introduced require checks for: • H.R. 18: Providers of Medicare services • H.R. 208: Long-term care workers • H.R. 364: Providers of medical transportation services to the elderly • H.R. 439: Businesses that send employees into people’s houses • H.R. 833: Mortgage brokers • H.R. 891: Those with access to “sealed sources” of radioactive material Robert R. Belair

  16. Pending Background Check Legislation • H.R. 1401/H.R. 2880: Mentors for foster care children • H.R. 1407: Locksmiths who provide services at federal executive and judicial facilities • H.R. 1644: Employees transporting nuclear materials • H.R. 1855: Employees in home health agencies • H.R. 2144: Airport screening personnel • H.R. 2145: Camp employees • H.R. 2463: Department of Defense contractors • H.R. 2761: Employees at nuclear facilities Robert R. Belair

  17. Pending Background Check Legislation • H.R. 3534: Electronic fingerprints from US passport applicants • H.R. 3798: Miscellaneous airport employees • H.R. 3972: Online checks by state social services officers of individuals who are the subject of, or reside with, minors when child abuse or negligence investigation occurs • H.R. 4022: Security guards • H.R. 4060: Peace Corp volunteer checks • H.R. 4312: TSA checks of certain airport workers • H.R. 4504: Foster and adoptive parents Robert R. Belair

  18. Pending Background Check Legislation • S. 6/S. 131: Employees at sensitive nuclear facilities • S. 157: Individuals with access to dangerous chemicals • S. 165: Employees of air cargo companies • S. 208: Air cargo handlers • S. 236: Alien flight school applicants Robert R. Belair

  19. Pending Background Check Legislation • S. 333/S. 958: Nursing home employees • S. 342: Foster and adoptive parents • S. 769/S. 1743: Private security officers • S. 1043: All employees of nuclear facilities • S. 1601: Individuals working with native Americans • S. 1807: Purchasers of firearms at gun shows • S. 2279: Coordination and funding for background checks for transportation workers Robert R. Belair

  20. Pending NICS/Brady Act Legislation • S. 1706/H.R. 3237, NICS Improvement Act of 2003: Introduced Oct. 2, 2003 • Findings are adverse • NICS rejected 632,000 individuals between 11/98 and 8/03 • 23 million state criminal records are not accessible to NICS • 15 million more state criminal records are incomplete Robert R. Belair

  21. Pending NICS/Brady Act Legislation • States are the primary cause of NICS delays and problems • Failure to automate • Failure to update • Failure to format for NICS • Only 45% of CHRI in the III includes dispositions • 40 states do not automate or make available mental health records to NICS Robert R. Belair

  22. Pending NICS/Brady Act Legislation • Of the 10 states submitting mental health data to NICS • 8 states have submitted less than 40 records per state • One state has submitted 1,600 records • Only one state has submitted all mental health records (50,000) • 8 states do not make domestic violence restraining orders available to NICS • 14 states do not make domestic violence misdemeanor conviction records available to NICS Robert R. Belair

  23. NICS Act Provisions • 3 years after enactment, states are eligible for a waiver of the 10% match under NCHIP if the state electronically provides 90% of information 30 years old or less relevant to eligibility to purchase a firearm • States shall also make available to the Attorney General all information regarding misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence • States shall also make available to the Attorney General all information regarding persons adjudicated as mentally defective Robert R. Belair

  24. NICS Act Provisions • $250 million a year is authorized for FY ’05 -FY ’07 for grants to the states consistent with NCHIP for: • Electronic reporting systems to NICS • NICS background checks • Capturing final dispositions • Supplying accurate and timely mental health information • Supplying accurate and timely domestic violence information Robert R. Belair

  25. NICS Act Provisions • Penalties • After 3 years, Attorney General may withhold up to 3% of Justice Assistance funding, and after 5 years, 5%, if state fails to provide less than 60% of the relevant NICS information • Attorney General may waive penalty if state is making a “reasonable effort” to comply Robert R. Belair

  26. NICS Act Provisions • Studies and reports • BJS shall evaluate NICS’ operations and provide annual report to Congress • BJS shall evaluate and report on state participation annually Robert R. Belair

  27. NICS Act Provisions • Grants to the courts • Attorney General shall make grants to each state for the court system to improve transmittal to NICS of disposition information, domestic violence orders and mental health adjudications Robert R. Belair

  28. Pending NICS/Brady Act Legislation • Other NICS/Brady Act legislation includes: • H.R. 221: Licensed gun dealers to notify NICS of any background check conducted on a prospective gun buyer in previous 30 days • H.R. 260: Registration of gun show promoters • H.R. 899: All gun owners and purchasers in the U.S. to be licensed • H.R. 936/S. 448/S. 22: Background checks for gun show purchases • H.R. 2038: Background checks for transfers of semi-automatic and automatic weapons Robert R. Belair

  29. Pending NICS/Brady Act Legislation • H.R. 3832: Background checks for gun show purchasers • S. 2102: Disqualifies from buying firearms offenders convicted outside of US of a crime punishable by more than one year in jail • S. 2129: Requires locking devices for handguns • S. 2333: Disqualifies from buying firearms individuals convicted of two or more gang-related offenses Robert R. Belair

  30. Pending Biometrics Legislation • No legislation requiring or affecting the use of biometrics has been enacted during the 108th Congress • H.R. 115: Requires all airport security screeners to be issued biometric security badges • H.R. 1171: Authorizes AG to provide grants to law enforcement agencies to use iris scan technology • H.R. 2376: Requires a biometric card to be issued to seaport employees • S. 565: Authorizes grants to state and local governments to safeguard against counterfeiting of government documents; safeguards may include biometric identifiers Robert R. Belair

  31. Pending Biometrics Legislation • H.R. 4417: Extends by one year the deadline for machine readable, tamper resistant, biometric passports • S. 2234: Accomplishes the same goal as H.R. 4417 • S. 2393: Grants for biometrics for aviation security Robert R. Belair

  32. Pending Cyber-Security Legislation • S. 187: Requires the Chief Information Officer of each federal agency to: • Identify the vulnerability of the agency’s information technology • Establish performance goals for the agency to identify, train personnel and develop tools for protecting technology • Report annually to OMB on its progress • Undergo a review by the National Institute of Science and Technology Robert R. Belair

  33. Pending Cyber-Security Legislation • H.R. 4520: Directs federal agencies to pursue improvements in information security • S. 2021: DHS grants for information security • S. 2145: Spyware notice and consent Robert R. Belair

  34. Areas of Future Privacy Legislation Impacting Criminal Justice • Camera surveillance • RFID tags • GPS and tracking • Profiling and matrix • Biometrics Robert R. Belair

  35. Areas of Future Privacy Legislation Impacting Criminal Justice • Private sector CHRI databases • Access to court records • Display of CHRI on the Internet • Corrections databases • Real-time access to CHRI • Reintegration of offenders Robert R. Belair