As reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on June 9, 2016
S. 2944 would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prepare semiannual reports for the Congress on DOJ programs that provide death and disability benefits to public safety officers and their families. The bill also would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO), within five years of enactment, to report to the Congress on DOJ’s compliance with certain requirements of those programs. Based on information from DOJ and the costs of similar activities by GAO, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost less than $500,000 annually; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
S. 2944 also would direct DOJ to consider certain evidence when evaluating petitions for death and disability benefits for public safety officers. The current one-time payment for death or permanent disability is about $340,000 (death-benefit payments are classified in the budget as direct spending, while disability payments are subject to the availability of appropriated funds). Based on information from DOJ about how this would affect the evaluation process, CBO estimates that any effects on spending would not be significant in any year.
Because enacting the bill could affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply; however, we estimate that any such effects would not be significant in any year. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues. CBO estimates that enacting S. 2944 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
S. 2944 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.