Federal Public Safety Legislative Update
May 4, 2023
On March 30, the bipartisan Reentry Act (S.1165/H.R. 2400) was introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) in the U.S Senate and Representatives Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.), Mike Turner (R-Ohio), John Rutherford (R-Fla.), and David Trone (D-Md.) in the U.S. House. The Reentry Act, which has been introduced several times over the past few years and has been long-supported by counties, would restart benefits for Medicaid-eligible incarcerated individuals 30 days pre-release. NACo, along with the National Sheriffs Association and over 60 other organizations endorsed the bill ahead of its release.
Due Process Continuity of Care Act
On March 23, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Due Process Continuity of Care Act (S.971). The bipartisan bill amends the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP) to ensure that pre-trial detainees – individuals awaiting adjudication that have not been convicted of a crime – can retain their Medicaid benefits. Under current federal statute, federal health benefits are denied to individuals upon admission to jail – with no distinction between individuals being held pending adjudication and presumed innocent, and those serving time post-conviction.
NACo – in conjunction with local law enforcement groups – sent a letter of support to Congress on April 26, calling for swift consideration and passage of both the Reentry Act and Due Process Continuity of Care Act.
Cooper-Davis Act (S.1080)
On March 30, Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reintroduced the bipartisan Cooper Davis Act (S.1080). The bill would require social media companies and other communication service providers to report information relating to illicit online fentanyl activity to federal agencies to combat the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit and controlled substances occurring on their platforms. NACo endorsed the legislation in a letter of support, which you can find here.
Disaster Survivors Fairness Act (H.R. 1796)
On March 27, Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Garret Graves (R-La.) introduced the bipartisan Disaster Survivors Fairness Act (H.R. 1796) to simplify the process for counties and residents to receive assistance following a disaster. Counties have long-supported reforms to simplify the disaster assistance application process, and NACo sent a letter of endorsement ahead of the release of the bill. You can read NACo’s blog on the bill here.