Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Passes Crime Bill; Combines Prevention, Enforcement

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Passes Crime Bill; Combines Prevention, Enforcement

Article excerpt

The House overwhelmingly passed and sent to conference with the Senate a $27.5 billion anti-crime bill, HR 4092: the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The bill, approved 285-141, is a comprehensive package that would provide a critical balance between prevention and enforcement programs widely supported by municipal elected officials from across the country.

NLC President Sharpe James congratulated Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) and Crime Subcommittee Chairman, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for their diligence and fairness and reminded municipal leaders that "the true test for cities and towns will take place during conference, which we expect to start immediately.

"Among the issues we municipal elected officials will need to rally are: the details of the |Cops on the Beat' grant program, the prevention package, assault weapons, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) provisions, and provisions that would require municipalities, as a condition for receiving funds under this bill, to provide the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with any requested information regarding the "identification, location, arrest, prosecution, detention, and deportation of an alien or aliens who are not lawfully present in the United States' - better known as the Roth amendment, after Sen. William Roth (R-Del.)."

James urged municipal leaders to contact their delegations immediately to approve a workable package. The House conferees are: Democrats - Brooks (Tex.), Edwards (Calif.), Hughes (N.J.), Schumer (N.Y.), Conyers (Mich.), Synar (Okla.) Republicans - Moorhead (Calif.), Hyde (Ill.), Sensenbrenner (Wisc.), Mc Collum (Fla.). At press time, Senate Conferees had not been named.

The bill, which began as a $15 billion package (over five years), was increased to $27.5 billion. The package passed by the Senate weighs in at $22 billion. This occurred as a result of numerous amendments including: additional prevention-related programs, an amendment adding $210 million for a Treasury Department law enforcement program, and a $385 million Rural Enforcement package.

Prevention

The bill contains more than $6.3 billion, for the NLC-supported Crime Prevention and Community Justice Act of 1994. Such a package is not included in the Senate-passed bill. Within this package is $2 billion in direct federal assistance to cities and towns for the Public Safety Partnership grant program. These funds would be available to fund a broad range of prevention-related health and education programs.

The package also includes a $1.3 billion "Ounce of Prevention" program that would provide direct grants to cities and towns to develop summer and after school - including weekend and holiday - education and recreation programs, mentoring and tutoring programs to promote employability and job placement, and substance abuse treatment and prevention for at risk youth. …

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