Washington, DC - Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, declared victory for FOP members and law enforcement officers nationwide. The organization released a summary of the provisions contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2023, which the FOP supported, that impact law enforcement officers, and other, unrelated but significant changes to Federal law.
Funding for the World Trade Center Health Program
“This is a lengthy new law, and it will take time to fully digest,” said Yoes. “But the FOP is providing a summary of the provisions that we supported or helped to develop, as well as amendments we fought for—on and off the floor—like the passage of Senate Amendment 6607 which provides $1 billion for the World Trade Center Health Program to partially close a projected shortfall in the program.”
Repeal of the HELPS Retirees Direct Pay Requirement
The new law also amends the Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety (HELPS) Retirees Act. Now eligible retired public safety officers may use up to $3,000 per year from their qualified government retirement plan, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for health insurance or long-term care insurance premiums directly. The law repeals a previous provision requiring their pension fund make a direct payment to the officer’s health or long-term care insurance company.
“This requirement proved to be unworkable for far too many eligible public safety officers who belong to pension systems that were unable to make these direct payments,” Yoes explained. “The repeal of the direct payment requirement will greatly expand the number of officers who can benefit from this tax break.”
Extension of DEA’s Scheduling Authority for Fentanyl Analogues
The new law also extends the authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act for two years—until 31 December 2024. This emergency scheduling order allows the DEA to consider fentanyl analogues, based on their chemical structure, as dangerous Schedule I drugs.
“Drug overdose deaths have continued to surge across the United States, in large part, due to synthetic opioids,” Yoes said. “Congress needs to make this authority permanent—temporary extensions do not properly address the extraordinary deadly impact these substances have on our communities.”
The FOP summary of certain provisions in the omnibus can be found here.