Text: H.R.412 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/28/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 412 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 412

 To enhance the operation of the AMBER Alert communications network in 
 order to facilitate the recovery of abducted children, to provide for 
  enhanced notification on highways of alerts and information on such 
                   children, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 28, 2003

Mr. Frost (for himself, Ms. Dunn, Mr. Lampson, Mr. Pombo, Mr. Conyers, 
Ms. Granger, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Holt, Mr. Bell, Mr. Meehan, Mr. Matheson, 
  Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Menendez, Mr. 
Wexler, Mr. Edwards, Mrs. Bono, Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Bishop 
  of New York, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Moore, Ms. McCarthy of Missouri, Mrs. 
Tauscher, Mr. Holden, Ms. Kaptur, Mrs. Maloney, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. 
 Lucas of Kentucky, Mr. Royce, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Honda, Ms. Norton, Ms. 
 Baldwin, Mr. Hill, Mrs. Johnson of Connecticut, Mr. Reyes, Mr. Ross, 
 Mr. Rodriguez, Ms. Lofgren, Ms. Hooley of Oregon, Mr. Brady of Texas, 
 Mr. Udall of New Mexico, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. 
Cannon, Mr. Strickland, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Farr, Mr. 
  Langevin, Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Kleczka, Mr. Baker, Mr. Wilson of 
     South Carolina, Mr. Wu, Mr. Renzi, Mr. Cardoza, Mr. Larsen of 
  Washington, Mr. Nethercutt, Mr. Lewis of California, Mr. Terry, Mr. 
Acevedo-Vila, Mr. Ramstad, Mr. Davis of Alabama, Mr. Engel, Mr. Spratt, 
 Mr. Barton of Texas, Mr. Stenholm, Mr. Markey, Mr. Tanner, Mr. Wynn, 
  Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. Calvert, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of 
 Texas, Mr. Bachus, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Ms. Berkley, Mr. Inslee, 
 Mr. Emanuel, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. McCollum, Ms. Schakowsky, Mrs. Jones of 
 Ohio, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Baca, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, 
Mr. Stupak, Mr. Burgess, Mrs. Biggert, Mr. Hensarling, Mr. Michaud, Mr. 
 Hefley, Mr. Tierney, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Kind, Mr. Wolf, and Mr. McHugh) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
 the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and 
   Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To enhance the operation of the AMBER Alert communications network in 
 order to facilitate the recovery of abducted children, to provide for 
  enhanced notification on highways of alerts and information on such 
                   children, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National AMBER Alert Network Act of 
2003''.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL COORDINATION OF AMBER ALERT COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK.

    (a) Coordination Within Department of Justice.--The Attorney 
General shall assign an officer of the Department of Justice to act as 
the national coordinator of the AMBER Alert communications network 
regarding abducted children. The officer so designated shall be known 
as the AMBER Alert Coordinator of the Department of Justice.
    (b) Duties.--In acting as the national coordinator of the AMBER 
Alert communications network, the Coordinator shall--
            (1) seek to eliminate gaps in the network, including gaps 
        in areas of interstate travel;
            (2) work with States to encourage the development of 
        additional elements (known as local AMBER plans) in the 
        network;
            (3) work with States to ensure appropriate regional 
        coordination of various elements of the network; and
            (4) act as the nationwide point of contact for--
                    (A) the development of the network; and
                    (B) regional coordination of alerts on abducted 
                children through the network.
    (c) Consultation With Federal Bureau of Investigation.--In carrying 
out duties under subsection (b), the Coordinator shall notify and 
consult with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
concerning each child abduction for which an alert is issued through 
the AMBER Alert communications network.
    (d) Cooperation.--The Coordinator shall cooperate with the 
Secretary of Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission 
in carrying out activities under this section.

SEC. 3. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR ISSUANCE AND DISSEMINATION OF ALERTS 
              THROUGH AMBER ALERT COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK.

    (a) Establishment of Minimum Standards.--Subject to subsection (b), 
the AMBER Alert Coordinator of the Department of Justice shall 
establish minimum standards for--
            (1) the issuance of alerts through the AMBER Alert 
        communications network; and
            (2) the extent of the dissemination of alerts issued 
        through the network.
    (b) Limitations.--(1) The minimum standards established under 
subsection (a) shall be adoptable on a voluntary basis only.
    (2) The minimum standards shall, to the maximum extent practicable 
(as determined by the Coordinator in consultation with State and local 
law enforcement agencies), provide that the dissemination of an alert 
through the AMBER Alert communications network be limited to the 
geographic areas most likely to facilitate the recovery of the abducted 
child concerned.
    (3) In carrying out activities under subsection (a), the 
Coordinator may not interfere with the current system of voluntary 
coordination between local broadcasters and State and local law 
enforcement agencies for purposes of the AMBER Alert communications 
network.
    (c) Cooperation.--(1) The Coordinator shall cooperate with the 
Secretary of Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission 
in carrying out activities under this section.
    (2) The Coordinator shall also cooperate with local broadcasters 
and State and local law enforcement agencies in establishing minimum 
standards under this section.

SEC. 4. GRANT PROGRAM FOR NOTIFICATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS ALONG 
              HIGHWAYS FOR RECOVERY OF ABDUCTED CHILDREN.

    (a) Program Required.--The Secretary of Transportation shall carry 
out a program to provide grants to States for the development or 
enhancement of notification or communications systems along highways 
for alerts and other information for the recovery of abducted children.
    (b) Activities.--Activities funded by grants under the program 
under subsection (a) may include--
            (1) the development or enhancement of electronic message 
        boards along highways and the placement of additional signage 
        along highways; and
            (2) the development or enhancement of other means of 
        disseminating along highways alerts and other information for 
        the recovery of abducted children.
    (c) Federal Share.--The Federal share of the cost of any activities 
funded by a grant under the program under subsection (a) may not exceed 
50 percent.
    (d) Distribution of Grant Amounts on Geographic Basis.--The 
Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure the 
distribution of grants under the program under subsection (a) on an 
equitable basis throughout the various regions of the United States.
    (e) Administration.--The Secretary shall prescribe requirements, 
including application requirements, for grants under the program under 
subsection (a).
    (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There is authorized to be 
appropriated for the Department of Transportation $20,000,000 for 
fiscal year 2004 to carry out this section.
    (2) Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of 
appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.

SEC. 5. GRANT PROGRAM FOR SUPPORT OF AMBER ALERT COMMUNICATIONS PLANS.

    (a) Program Required.--The Attorney General shall carry out a 
program to provide grants to States for the development or enhancement 
of programs and activities for the support of AMBER Alert 
communications plans.
    (b) Activities.--Activities funded by grants under the program 
under subsection (a) may include--
            (1) the development and implementation of education and 
        training programs, and associated materials, relating to AMBER 
        Alert communications plans;
            (2) the development and implementation of law enforcement 
        programs, and associated equipment, relating to AMBER Alert 
        communications plans; and
            (3) such other activities as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate for supporting the AMBER Alert communications 
        program.
    (c) Federal Share.--The Federal share of the cost of any activities 
funded by a grant under the program under subsection (a) may not exceed 
50 percent.
    (d) Distribution of Grant Amounts on Geographic Basis.--The 
Attorney General shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure the 
distribution of grants under the program under subsection (a) on an 
equitable basis throughout the various regions of the United States.
    (e) Administration.--The Attorney General shall prescribe 
requirements, including application requirements, for grants under the 
program under subsection (a).
    (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There is authorized to be 
appropriated for the Department of Justice $5,000,000 for fiscal year 
2004 to carry out this section.
    (2) Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of 
appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.
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