Following the midterm elections on November 6, Congress returned to Washington, D.C., with a list of items to tackle, including passing bills to fund the government and avoid a government shutdown — with little over one month to complete the job. In addition to the scheduled week where members were back in their districts for the Thanksgiving holiday, Congress spent four unplanned days out of session to honor former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away November 30.
66th Annual PORAC Conference of Members Member participation and change were the themes of the 66th Annual Conference of Members at Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa in Reno, Nevada. Nearly 700 people registered for the November 15 to 18 Conference, which was hosted by Region IV Co-Chairs Tony Bolanos of Ontario Police Officers Association and […]
The dust is still settling on the midterm election and the results are mixed. Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, as expected, but did not pick up enough seats in the Senate, where Republicans expanded their majority. At the time of this writing, some closely watched races still remain too close to call.
On November 6, 383 Congress members and 35 senators fought to win their respective reelection bids. To secure a majority in the House, a party must win 218 of 435 seats. In the Senate, because the vice president can break a tie vote, the party of the president has to win only 50 of 100 seats, while the other party must win 51 seats to obtain a majority. In the House, Democrats successfully upended Republican control, reaching 225 seats, with nine key races still undecided at the time this issue went to print. In the Senate, Republicans maintained their majority, increasing the number of seats they hold by “flipping” two former Democratic senators’ seats (Senators Claire McCaskill (Missouri) and Joe Donnelly (Indiana).
As longtime opponents to AB 109, Proposition 47 and 57, it would be inconsistent to now support a federal version of these bills. PORAC relayed our concerns to those involved in the crafting of this legislation and the advocates have taken some steps to improve the bill. Yet, a number of serious felonies, including violent crimes, are still eligible for early release.
Nearly 20 years after Congress authorized the National Law Enforcement Museum, the first museum dedicated to all aspects of American law enforcement opened in Washington, D.C. PORAC, a major sponsor of the museum, was among the hundreds of people who attended the grand opening October 11. They included past and present law enforcement members from all over the country, community members, the public, dignitaries and celebrities.
As previously reported, the 2017–18 legislative session officially adjourned August 31. Governor Jerry Brown had until September 30 to sign or veto each of the bills that came across his desk. He signed 1,016 and vetoed 201. His 16.5% veto rate is a new high for his 16-year tenure. He set a historic low in 1982, when he vetoed 30 bills, just 1.8%.
Despite the House of Representatives being in recess since September 30, October was an interesting month on Capitol Hill. First, the Senate wrapped up a 3-monthslong fight to appoint Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 6, the Senate narrowly confirmed Kavanaugh by a vote of 51 to 49. West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin offered the sole “Yes” vote from his party, while Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski was the lone senator from hers to oppose Kavanaugh.
In June, Representative Devin Nunes (R-22nd-San Joaquin Valley) reintroduced the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act (PEPTA), H.R. 6290. As the legislation could negatively impact the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), PORAC President Brian Marvel sent a letter to Nunes in August to make him aware of the organization’s concerns.