Fiscal Year 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations BillJuly 16, 2013
On July 16, 2013, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) approved fiscal year 2014 funding legislation that totals $52.272 billion in discretionary budget authority, an increase of $2.162 billion above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level of $50.11 billion, not including $363.25 million in emergency appropriations.
The CJS spending bill provides total resources of $28.5 billion for the Department of Justice to fight crime and terrorism, and protect communities and families, split between State, local, and tribal law enforcement grants and Federal law enforcement responsibilities. Highlights of the bill include:
- State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement. The CJS bill is the major Federal funding source for our State, local, and tribal partners who fight violent crime, combat violence against women and children, and support victims of crime. According to preliminary FBI figures, police departments across the nation reported an increase of 1.2 percent in violent crimes in 2012, after more than five years of declining crime. State and local law enforcement need the assistance provided by Federal resources to keep communities safe, vibrant, and strong. The bill provides $2.4 billion to help State and local law enforcement with the tools they need to fight violent crime and gangs, and terrorism. That includes key operational funding, such as $385 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $394 million for COPS grants, $417 million for Violence Against Women Act programs, $279 million for juvenile justice and mentoring grants, and $129 million for research and evaluation initiatives on the best prevention and intervention strategies.
- This funding will put roughly 1,400 cops on the beat; provide women with support to leave violent abusers; put away rapists, child abusers, and sex predators; break up child pornography and prostitution rings; build the capacity of crime laboratories to process DNA evidence and thousands of untested rape kits for use as evidence in trials; break the school to prison pipeline; and help root out and prosecute the most violent gang members.
- Federal Law Enforcement. The bill provides more than $26 billion to fund the critical core national security, law enforcement, investigation, and prosecution missions of the Justice Department to protect the safety and security of our communities, and to help ensure that criminal perpetrators are brought to justice.
- Gun Violence. America was shocked when a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 children and teachers. This bill fights gun violence with $1.4 billion in resources to help keep our homes, schools, and neighborhoods safe. The bill enhances the FBI’s capacity to run background checks so legal buyers can exercise their Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of known criminals. It will give ATF criminal enforcement, investigations, and inspections tools to enforce gun laws, trace firearms found at crime scenes, and keep illegal guns away from traffickers and criminals. The bill provides $50 million for all states to improve the quality of criminal and mental health records so interstate background checks are more effective. The bill also provides $150 million through the COPS Office to allow communities to hire school safety personnel, conduct school safety assessments, and fill gaps in school safety plans. The bill provides $15 million to train local police how to respond to active shooter situations so police and bystanders can get out safely when the unthinkable happens. Finally, the bill includes $2 million to encourage developments in innovative gun safety technology.
The Senate bill provides $2.45 billion, $567 million more than the House bill’s level of $1.8 billion, for State and local law enforcement grants. The level provided by the House bill means that the thin blue line will grow thinner. It eliminates new COPS Hiring grants, which means 1,400 fewer police on the beat; zeroes out proven gang and homicide reduction grants to communities overwhelmed by violence; slashes core State juvenile justice and delinquency prevention funding; and reduces funding for offender reentry programs that provide employment and housing assistance, substance abuse treatment, mentoring, victims support, and other services to reduce recidivism and violations of probation and parole.
The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to review the CJS bill on July 17, 2013. NAPO will continue to engage fellow stakeholders and Congressional staffers to urge that the House provide funding for the COPS Program, and other vital law enforcement grant programs, including Byrne-JAG.
If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Senate. Committee on Appropriations. Summary: Fiscal Year 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related
Agencies Appropriations Bill. Http://www.appropriations.senate.gov. N.p., 16 July 2013. Web. 16 July 2013.