Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4090 (rh) To provide for a national medal for public safety officers who act with extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. ...

H.R. 4090 (rh) To provide for a national medal for public safety officers who act with extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. ...


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105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4090


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 10, 1998

  Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To provide for a national medal for public safety officers who act with 
         extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty.

    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 ``Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor 
Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION OF MEDAL.

    The President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a 
Medal of Valor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, 
to a public safety officer who is cited by the Attorney General, on the 
advice of the Medal of Valor Review Board, for extraordinary valor 
above and beyond the call of duty.

SEC. 3. BOARD.

    (a) Board.--There is established a permanent Medal of Valor Review 
Board (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ``Board''). The Board 
shall--
            (1) be composed of 11 members appointed in accordance with 
        subsection (b); and
            (2) conduct its business in accordance with this Act.
    (b) Membership.--
            (1) In general.--The members of the Board shall be 
        appointed as follows:
                    (A) Two shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives.
                    (B) Two shall be appointed by the minority leader 
                of the House of Representatives.
                    (C) Two shall be appointed by the Majority Leader 
                of the Senate.
                    (D) Two shall be appointed by the Minority Leader 
                of the Senate.
                    (E) Three shall be appointed by the President, one 
                of whom shall have substantial experience in 
                firefighting, one of whom shall have substantial 
                experience in law enforcement, and one of whom shall 
                have substantial experience in emergency services.
            (2) Persons eligible.--The members of the Board shall be 
        individuals who have knowledge or expertise, whether by 
        experience or training, in the field of public safety.
            (3) Term.--The term of a Board member is 4 years.
            (4) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the membership of the Board 
        shall not affect the powers of the Board and shall be filled in 
        the same manner as the original appointment.
            (5) Operation of the board.--
                    (A) Meetings.--The Board shall meet at the call of 
                the Chairman and not less than twice each year. The 
                initial meeting of the Board shall be conducted not 
                later than 30 days after the appointment of the last 
                member of the Board.
                    (B) Quorum; voting; rules.--A majority of the 
                members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to 
                conduct business, but the Board may establish a lesser 
                quorum for conducting hearings scheduled by the Board. 
                The Board may establish by majority vote any other 
                rules for the conduct of the Board's business, if such 
                rules are not inconsistent with this Act or other 
                applicable law.
    (c) Duties.--The Board shall select candidates as recipients of the 
Medal of Valor from among those applications received by the National 
Medal Office. Not more often than once each year, the Board shall 
present to the Attorney General the name or names of those it 
recommends as Medal of Valor recipients. In a given year, the Board is 
not required to choose any names, but is limited to a maximum number of 
6 recipients. The Board shall set an annual timetable for fulfilling 
its duties under this Act.
    (d) Hearings.--
            (1) In general.--The Board may hold such hearings, sit and 
        act at such times and places, administer such oaths, take such 
        testimony, and receive such evidence as the Board considers 
        advisable to carry out its duties.
            (2) Witness expenses.--Witnesses requested to appear before 
        the Board may be paid the same fees as are paid to witnesses 
        under section 1821 of title 28, United States Code. The per 
        diem and mileage allowances for witnesses shall be paid from 
        funds appropriated to the Board.
    (e) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Board may secure 
directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the 
Board considers necessary to carry out its duties. Upon the request of 
the Board, the head of such department or agency may furnish such 
information to the Board.
    (f) Information To Be Kept Confidential.--The Board shall not 
disclose any information which may compromise an ongoing law 
enforcement investigation or is otherwise required by law to be kept 
confidential.

SEC. 4. BOARD PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Compensation of Members.--(1) Except as provided in paragraph 
(2), each member of the Board shall be compensated at a rate equal to 
the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for 
level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, 
United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which 
such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Board.
    (2) All members of the Board who serve as officers or employees of 
the United States, a State, or a local government, shall serve without 
compensation in addition to that received for those services.
    (b) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Board shall be allowed 
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates 
authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 
of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular 
places of business in the performance of service for the Board.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    For the purposes of this Act:
            (1) Public safety officer.--The term ``Public Safety 
        Officer'' has the same meaning given that term in section 1204 
        of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.
            (2) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General 
such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 7. OFFICE.

    There is established within the Department of Justice a national 
medal office. The office shall staff the Medal of Valor Review Board 
and establish criteria and procedures for the submission of 
recommendations of nominees for the Medal of Valor.

SEC. 8. CONFORMING REPEAL.

    Section 15 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 
is repealed.

SEC. 9. CONSULTATION REQUIREMENT.

    The Attorney General shall consult with the Institute of Heraldry 
within the Department of Defense regarding the design and artistry of 
the Medal of Valor. The Attorney General shall also consider 
suggestions received by the Department of Justice regarding the design 
of the medal, including those made by persons not employed by the 
Department.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 9, 1998.

            Attest:

                                                ROBIN H. CARLE,

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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