Representatives Bob Latta (OH-5) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) introduced a bipartisan bill, the State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2013, which amends and clarifies current law as outlined in the Hatch Act. Specific provisions in the introduced legislation will allow sheriffs, who are on duty 24 hours a day and seven days a week, to participate in political activities and establish a statute of limitations of six months to file a claim with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) against a state or local law enforcement officer for an alleged violation.
“Under current law, allowable political activities as it applies to the office of sheriff are ambiguous at best. While the first priority of the office of Sheriff is to serve the people, it is both a public and elected position. Updating the Hatch Act will bring much-needed clarity to the law and codify current OSC practices,” said Latta.
"This legislation will clarify how the Hatch Act impacts Sheriffs and provide fairness to our local law enforcement. I look forward to working with Representative Latta and our colleagues in a bipartisan manner to advance this proposal," said Rep. Pascrell.
The Hatch Act, first enacted in 1939, is the federal law that governs the political activity of public employees, and was created to ensure that federal resources were not directed for partisan political objectives.