Bills upcoming for a vote in the legislature.
Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
This bill establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals).
Specifically, it prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.
The prohibition does not apply to certain firearm transfers, such as a gift between spouses in good faith.
Pathways to Improving Homeland Security at the Local Level Act
This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security's Office for State and Local Law Enforcement to produce and disseminate an annual catalog of training opportunities, programs, and services that are available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists' Use of Virtual Currencies Act
This bill directs the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis to assess the threat posed by individuals using virtual currencies to support terrorism. The assessment shall be shared with state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials.
Clean Up the Code Act of 2019
This bill repeals specified sections of the federal criminal code, including provisions that prohibit the following:
National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2017
This bill establishes the National Criminal Justice Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system; make recommendations for criminal justice reform; and disseminate findings and guidance to the federal government and to state, local, and tribal governments.
Interstate Transport Act of 2017
This bill permits an individual to transport a knife for any lawful purpose between two places (e.g., states) where it is legal to possess and carry such knife. The individual must comply with specified requirements.
The bill prohibits the arrest or detention of an individual for a knife violation unless there is probable cause to believe the individual failed to comply with specified requirements. An individual may assert compliance with this bill's requirements as a claim or defense in any civil or criminal action or proceeding.
Tiffany Joslyn Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to revise and reauthorize for FY2020 the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) Program.
It subjects JABG grants to accountability measures. The Office of Inspector General in the Department of Justice (DOJ) must conduct annual audits of selected grant recipients. DOJ must submit an annual certification to Congress and identify and report on duplicative grant awards.
(Sec. 3) The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the use of best practices is encouraged for activities carried out with JABG funds.
(Sec. 4) It amends the Justice Assistance Act of 1984 to eliminate existing authority for DOJ to award grants under the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program through FY2023.
Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act of 2017 or the SALTS Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to set forth factors that may be considered as evidence to determine whether a controlled substance analogue is intended for human consumption. (Under current law, a controlled substance analogue that is intended for human consumption is treated as a schedule I controlled substance. A schedule I controlled substance is a drug, substance, or chemical that: has a high potential for abuse; has no currently accepted medical value; and is subject to regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act.)
Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017 or the SITSA Act
This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to establish a new, sixth schedule of controlled substances—schedule A. A drug or substance in schedule A has a chemical structure that is similar to, and an effect on the body that is similar to or greater than, a controlled substance in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V.
The bill adds 13 synthetic fentanyl-related substances to schedule A. It also authorizes, and establishes procedures for, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to temporarily and permanently place a drug or substance in schedule A.
The bill establishes criminal penalties for an individual who imports, exports, manufactures, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute a schedule A substance. However, it explicitly prohibits criminal and civil penalties solely for possession of a schedule A controlled substance.
The bill makes it unlawful to import, export, manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a schedule A substance that is not clearly labeled.
Finally, it establishes new, separate DEA registration requirements for manufacturers, distributors, and importers and exporters of schedule A substances.
Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow a hospice employee to handle lawfully dispensed controlled substances of a deceased hospice patient to assist with disposal of the controlled substances, so long as such disposal occurs onsite in accordance with applicable law.
Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act
(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and disseminate training programs and materials on: (1) the circumstances under which a pharmacist may refuse to fill a controlled substance prescription suspected to be fraudulent, forged, or indicative of abuse or diversion; and (2) federal requirements related to such refusal.
HHS must seek input from relevant stakeholders.
Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act or the FIRST STEP Act
TITLE I--RECIDIVISM REDUCTION
(Sec. 101) This bill amends the federal criminal code to direct the Department of Justice to establish a risk and needs assessment system to assess and classify the recidivism risk of prisoners; to guide housing, grouping, and program assignments; and to incentivize and reward participation in and completion of recidivism reduction programs and productive activities.
(Sec. 102) The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must implement the risk and needs assessment system.
The bill modifies the computation of good time credit to allow a prisoner to earn a maximum of 54 days per year of the sentence imposed (instead of 54 days per year of the sentence actually served).
(Sec. 103) The Government Accountability Office must audit the use of the risk and needs assessment system at BOP facilities.
(Sec. 104) The bill authorizes funds for FY2019-FY2023 to carry out this title. Of the amount appropriated, 80% is reserved for use by the BOP to implement the risk and needs assessment system.
(Sec. 105) The bill states that it does not authorize prerelease custody for an individual serving a prison term for a state offense.
(Sec. 106) It prohibits discrimination against a program, treatment, regimen, group, company, charity, person, or entity based on the fact that it may be or is faith-based.
TITLE II--BUREAU OF PRISONS SECURE FIREARMS STORAGE
Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati Correctional Officer Self-Protection Act of 2018
(Sec. 202) The bill amends the federal criminal code to require the BOP to allow federal correctional officers to securely store and carry concealed firearms on BOP premises outside the security perimeter of a prison.
TITLE III--RESTRAINTS ON PREGNANT PRISONERS PROHIBITED
(Sec. 301) The bill amends the federal criminal code to prohibit, subject to specified conditions, the use of restraints on federal prisoners who are pregnant or in postpartum recovery.
TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS CRIMINAL JUSTICE
(Sec. 401) The bill amends the federal criminal code:
(Sec. 402) The BOP must place low-risk prisoners on home confinement for the maximum amount of time permitted.
(Sec. 403) The bill amends the Second Chance Act of 2007 to reauthorize through FY2022 and modify eligibility for an elderly offender early release pilot program.
(Sec. 404) The BOP must, as part of prerelease planning procedures, help a prisoner obtain identification, including a Social Security card, driver's license or other official photo identification, and a birth certificate.
(Sec. 405) The bill authorizes Federal Prison Industries to sell products to new markets such as the District of Columbia government and nonprofit organizations.
(Sec. 406) The BOP must incorporate specialized and comprehensive de-escalation procedures into its training programs.
(Sec. 407) The BOP must report on its capacity to treat heroin and opioid abuse through evidence-based programs, including medication-assisted treatment.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts must report on the capacity of treatment-service providers to provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid and heroin abuse to prisoners serving a term of supervised release, including plans to expand access.
(Sec. 408) The BOP must establish pilot programs: (1) on youth mentorship; and (2) on service to abandoned, rescued, or vulnerable animals.
(Sec. 409) Probation and pretrial services officers must perform court-directed supervision of sex offenders conditionally released from civil commitment.
(Sec. 410) The bill expands data collection requirements regarding the National Prisoner Statistics Program.
(Sec. 411) The BOP must make tampons and sanitary napkins available free of charge.
(Sec. 412) This bill amends the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 to require auditors who monitor compliance with national prison rape standards to be certified.
(Sec. 413) The bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to require at least 8% of funds for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program to be used to provide technical assistance.