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2008 News Archives

IAFF Legislative Achievements Mark Session’s End
Boost for SAFER Funding Included in Year-End Mad Dash
October 6, 2008 – The final days of any two-year congressional session are always chaotic, but the need to rescue of the nation’s financial markets and the hotly contested November elections combined to make the conclusion of the 110th Congress particularly challenging.  Read More...

Amid Partisan Gridlock, IAFF Scores 11th Hour Legislative Victory
September 25, 2008 – Despite continuing partisan wrangling ahead of the November elections, legislation strengthening the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is on the verge of becoming law. Both chambers of Congress have voted to pass S. 2606, the United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008.  Read More...

IAFF Monitoring IRS Review of Retirement Eligibility Standards
September 25, 2008 – IAFF Governmental Relations staff has been working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to ensure that an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) review that began in 2007 of requirements concerning the appropriate age at which public employees may qualify for a service retirement doesn't negatively affect public safety workers.  Read More...

Apply for the 2009 Political Training Academy
September 8, 2008 – The IAFF is now accepting applications online for the 2009 Political Training Academy, scheduled for March 1-6, 2009, in Baltimore, Maryland. Applications for the 2009 Political Training Academy are available online. Read More...

IAFF Expands Student Loan Forgiveness for Fire Fighters
August 28, 2008 – The IAFF has won a major benefit for its members through the enactment of legislation expanding student loan forgiveness benefits for professional fire fighters. H.R. 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act, creates a new program allowing fire fighters to receive up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness and expands Perkins loan cancellation benefits to fire fighters.  Read More...

IAFF Member Promotes Defined Benefit Plans Before Congressional Committee
July 11, 2008 – Will Pryor, a member of Los Angeles County, CA Local 1014 and Chair of Investment at the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, testified July 10 on the importance of defined benefit (DB) pension plans to the retirement security of fire fighters and all Americans in a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress chaired by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). 
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IAFF Casts Doubt on FCC Plan to Build a Nationwide Communications Network
July 11, 2008 – The IAFF has filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) questioning their plan to build a nationwide public safety communications network.  The comments cast doubt on the ability of such a network to address the current shortcomings in emergency communications and question whether the network envisioned by the FCC will benefit commercial entities at the expense of public safety. 
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Senate Committee Approves Presumptive Disability Benefits for Federal Fire Fighters
June 26, 2008 – A U.S. Senate Committee voted to approve legislation granting presumptive disability benefits to federal fire fighters who contract heart disease, lung disease, certain cancers and certain infectious diseases. 
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House Committee Restores First Responder Funds
June 11, 2008 – The Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security in the U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously approved legislation to provide additional funding for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Services (SAFER) and FIRE Act grant programs. As approved, the 2009 Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2009 includes $230 million for SAFER and $570 million for FIRE Act. 
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SAFER Grant Application Period Open
June 3, 2008 – The IAFF encourages its affiliates and their fire departments to apply for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Services (SAFER) grants. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began accepting applications May 27, 2008. The deadline for receipt of applications is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 27, 2008. 
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Senator Edward Kennedy will Overcome Latest Health Challenge
Washington, DC – International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger issued this statement today following the announcement that U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. 
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Collective Bargaining Bill Delayed
May 16, 2008 – After an historic 69-29 cloture vote to bring the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 980/S.2123) on the floor of the U.S. Senate for debate, presidential politics, partisanship and the Senate's arcane procedural rules combined to temporarily stall progress on the bill that would give every fire fighter the right to collectively bargain. 
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Supermajority of Senators Vote to Consider Cooperation Act
May 13, 2008 – In a remarkable show of bipartisan support for the IAFF and its members, 69 senators voted May 13 to consider H.R. 980, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. The 69-29 vote on the motion to proceed permits the Senate to debate and amend the bill. 
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Senate to Vote on Collective Bargaining Bill
May 12, 2008 – The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, the IAFF's national collective bargaining bill (S 2123) is expected to be brought to the floor of the United States Senate for a vote Tuesday morning May 13, 2008. 
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Senate Bill Strips House Provision Requiring FAA to Update Airport Standards
April 30, 2008 – The lax safety culture of the Federal Aviation Administration extends beyond aircraft maintenance to the outdated 20-year-old FAA standards for fire and rescue operations that jeopardize lives in the event of an aircraft incident at an airport, the International Association of Fire Fighters charged today. 
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IAFF Urges House Scrutiny of Public Safety Communications Network
April 15, 2008 – IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger has issued a statement on the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Federal Communications Commission’s auction to create a communications network for first responders. 
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House Approves IAFF Recommendations to Strengthen U.S. Fire Administration
April 11, 2008 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 412-0 last week to adopt legislation strengthening the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008, included key IAFF recommendations to expand and improve USFA’s training activities, improve fire fighter safety and better serve the needs of the modern fire service. 
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Bill to Promote Fire Fighter Safety Standards Introduced in House
April 9, 2008 – IAFF priority legislation to enhance fire fighter safety and health has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. On April 2, Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) joined with 17 original cosponsors from both parties to introduce H.R. 5686, the Firefighter Fatality Reduction Act of 2008. 
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Sign Up for the New FIREPAC Recurring Online Contribution Option!

July 3, 2007 -- The IAFF has introduced an online contribution option for members to contribute monthly – and automatically – to one of FIREPAC’s donor clubs. The new auto-draft program, available now, is similar to a dues check-off program.  Read More...

 

IAFF Wins Second Pollie Award

June 25, 2007 -- The American Association of Political Consultants has recognized the IAFF once again with the prestigious Pollie Award in the “Independent Expenditure/527 Communications” category for direct mail for “Wildfires.” Read More...

President Bush's Proposed Budget Threatens Safety
January 30, 2008 -- IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger issued this statement February 4 on President Bush’s proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget:  “As the end of the president’s term in office mercifully draws closer, his proposed budget is another example of his words not matching his deeds. 
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A Month Late, Bush Signs Defense Bill
January 30, 2008 -- After his veto delayed the implementation of important fire fighter provisions in the fiscal year 2008 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1585), including reforms to the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), President Bush has finally signed into law a new FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 4986) with all of the IAFF’s federal fire fighter provisions intact.  Read More...

Bush Vetoes Defense Bill
January 2, 2008 -- In a surprise development, President Bush last week “pocket vetoed” the FY 2008 Defense Authorization Bill (HR 1585). The president’s refusal to sign the Defense bill will delay implementation of several provisions important to the nation’s federal fire fighters, including the amendments to the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). 
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