Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety News Roundup

News Roundup

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review of police reform consent agreements made between the Department of Justice local law enforcement agencies. The memorandum was made public April 3 and directed staff to look at whether law enforcement programs adhere to principles outlined by the administration's principles on supporting state and local law enforcement.
  • NCSL joined a coalition of state and local associations to send a sign-on letter to Congress requesting that the anticipated appropriations bills preserve FEMA funding to states. The letter acknowledges FEMA's grant programs strengthen the capabilities of state and local governments to address the threats and hazards state and local jurisdictions face perennially, and cuts to these programs would diminish response capabilities. Coalition members include International Fire Chiefs Association, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently closed the notice and comment period for the supplemental advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to implement a disaster deductible program for states that apply for certain national disaster assistance grants. NCSL responded to the supplemental notice stating that NCSL remains concerned about the details and implementation of this proposal and again urged FEMA not to alter the current statutory framework. NCSL Letter to FEMA regarding FEMA-2016-0003 Federal Emergency Management Agency's Supplemental Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (April 12, 2017).
  • Supreme Court Ignores Agency Deference Issue in Preemption Case. In Coventry Health Care of Missouri v. Nevils the Supreme Court held unanimously that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) preemption clause overrides state laws prohibiting subrogation and reimbursement and that the preemption clause is consistent with the Supremacy Clause. FEHBA allows the federal government to contract with private insurance carriers for federal employees' health insurance. FEHBA preempts state law related to the "nature, provision, and extent of coverage of benefits." The Court concluded FEHBA preempts state reimbursement and subrogation laws, therefore an insurance carrier has a right to either reimbursement or subrogation from the benefits received from their members under federal employee health insurance plans.
  • The latest issue of NCSL Pretrial Quarterly has been released. In the last five years every state legislature has addressed pretrial policy, resulting in more than 500 new enactments. This newsletter provides quarterly updates on state pretrial action, legislation and new NCSL RESOURCES. It also links to latest research and highlights pretrial policy in the news. NCSL tracks the latest from state legislatures in our pretrial enactments database and you can get the latest pretrial news by signing up for NCSL's Pretrial Quarterly newsletter.
  • A federal district court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the Trump administration from enforcing the sanctuary jurisdictions portion of the Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States executive order. After determining it had jurisdiction to hear this case, the court concluded Santa Clara and San Francisco are likely to succeed on the merits of a number of constitutional challenges. For more information on the constitutional challenges, see NCSL's Blog on the court decision. Included is also NCSL's summary of the president's Executive Orders on Immigration.
  • Early Bird Registration for the Legislative Summit ends June 1! The 2017 NCSL Legislative Summit will be held Aug. 6-9 in Boston. The Summit page includes preliminary information on the schedule and agenda of issue forum and deep dive programs being planned. The agenda for the Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is now available!


Please contact your Committee staff, Alison Lawrence in Denver and Susan Parnas-Frederick in D.C., with any questions or needs.