Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate without amendment (01/21/2003)

National AMBER Alert Network Act of 2003 - (Sec. 2) Requires the Attorney General to assign an AMBER Alert Coordinator of the Department of Justice to act as the national coordinator of the AMBER Alert communications network regarding abducted children. Requires the coordinator to: (1) seek to eliminate gaps in the network; (2) work with States to encourage the development of additional network elements and to ensure regional coordination; and (3) act as the nationwide point of contact for network development and for regional coordination of alerts on abducted children through the network. Directs the Coordinator to notify and consult with the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning each child abduction for which an AMBER Alert is issued.

(Sec. 3) Directs the Coordinator to establish minimum standards for the issuance of alerts and for the extent of their dissemination (limited to the geographic areas most likely to facilitate the recovery of the abducted child). Provides that the standards shall be adoptable on a voluntary basis only.

Requires the Coordinator to cooperate with the Secretary of Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission in carrying out such activities.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary of Transportation 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. Includes among permissible activities the development or enhancement of electronic message boards, and the placement of additional signage, along highways. Limits the Federal cost share to 50 percent. Directs the Secretary to ensure grant distribution on an equitable basis throughout the various regions of the United States. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Attorney General to provide grants to States for the development or enhancement of programs and activities for the support of AMBER Alert communications plans, which may include the development and implementation of: (1) education and training programs and associated materials; and (2) law enforcement programs and associated equipment. Limits the Federal cost share to 50 percent. Directs the Secretary to ensure grant distribution on an equitable basis throughout the various regions of the United States. Authorizes appropriations.