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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     113-54

======================================================================



 
                    NATIONAL BLUE ALERT ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

  May 14, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 180]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 180) to encourage, enhance, and integrate Blue Alert 
plans throughout the United States in order to disseminate 
information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured 
or killed in the line of duty, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Committee Votes..................................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     4

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 180 directs the formation of a national Blue Alert 
communications network within the Department of Justice (DOJ) 
to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is 
seriously injured or killed in the line of duty and a suspect 
has not been apprehended. An existing DOJ officer shall act as 
the national coordinator of the Blue Alert communications 
network who shall 1) encourage states and local governments to 
develop additional Blue Alert plans, 2) establish voluntary 
guidelines for states and local governments to use in 
developing such plans, 3) develop protocols for efforts to 
apprehend suspects, and 4) establish an advisory group to 
assist states, local governments, law enforcement agencies, and 
other entities in initiating, facilitating, and promoting Blue 
Alert plans.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    This bill would encourage and enhance an integrated Blue 
Alert communications network throughout the United States in 
order to disseminate information and speed apprehension of 
violent criminals when a law enforcement officer is seriously 
injured or killed in the line of duty. Blue Alerts would use 
the same infrastructure as Amber Alerts (missing children) and 
Silver Alerts (missing seniors).
    Each year, hundreds of law enforcement officers are killed 
or seriously injured in the line of duty. Despite this, law 
enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day, 
working long and irregular hours in stressful and dangerous 
conditions. Since 1791, over 19,000 law enforcement officers 
have been killed in the line of duty in the United States.
    The Blue Alert system is a cooperative effort among local, 
state and Federal authorities, law enforcement agencies and the 
general public. A Blue Alert provides a description of an 
offender who is still at large and may include a description of 
the offender's vehicle and license plate information.
    The bill directs the Department of Justice to designate a 
Blue Alert national coordinator who will encourage states that 
have not already done so to develop Blue Alert plans and 
establish voluntary guidelines.
    Like Amber Alerts, Blue Alerts help hinder the offender's 
ability to flee and will facilitate a speedy capture. Blue 
Alerts also help to eliminate the grave threat which each 
offender poses to the general public and to law enforcement 
personnel.
    Eighteen states currently have Blue Alert networks in 
place. At least six more states are considering Blue Alert 
networks and/or have legislation pending.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
180.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 7, 2013, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill H.R. 180 favorably reported without amendment, 
by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 180.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 180, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                       Washington, DC, May 9, 2013.
Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 180, the 
``National Blue Alert Act of 2013.''
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                  Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member




               H.R. 180--National Blue Alert Act of 2013.

      As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary 
                            on May 7, 2013.




    H.R. 180 would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to 
establish and promote a national communications network to 
issue alerts (that would be known as ``blue alerts'') when a 
law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured. Under 
the bill's provisions, the department would develop guidelines 
and protocols for State and local governments that participate 
in the program and provide assistance as necessary to those 
participants.
    Based on the costs of similar activities, CBO estimates 
that it would cost about $1 million annually from appropriated 
funds for DOJ to establish and administer the new program. 
Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 180 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 180 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 180 specifically directs 
to be completed no specific rule makings within the meaning of 
5 U.S.C. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
180 will encourage and enhance an integrated Blue Alert 
communications network throughout the United States in order to 
disseminate information and speed apprehension of violent 
criminals when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured 
or killed in the line of duty.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 180 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
Sec. 1: Short Title
    Section 1 provides that the short title of H.R. 180 is the 
``National Blue Alert Act of 2013.''
Sec. 2: Definitions
    Section 2 defines certain terms as used in the bill.
Sec. 3: Blue Alert Communications Network
    Section 3 directs the Attorney General to establish a 
national Blue Alert communications network within the 
Department of Justice by initiating, facilitating and promoting 
Blue Alert plans with state and local governments and law 
enforcement agencies.
Sec. 4: Blue Alert Coordinator; Guidelines
    Section 4 requires the Attorney General to assign an 
existing officer of the Department of Justice to act as the 
national coordinator of the Blue Alert communications network. 
The Section also sets forth the coordinator's duties and 
limitations. It also restricts the coordinator's ability to 
travel and hold conferences solely for Blue Alert network 
purposes.