FEB 9, 2022
House and Senate Reintroduce the ACTION for National Service Act
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative John Larson (D-CT) have reintroduced the America’s Call to Improve Opportunities Now (ACTION) for National Service Act. With six original cosponsors in the Senate and 66 original cosponsors in the House, the ACTION for National Service Act would improve access to national service opportunities, lower student debt, create a more engaged citizenry, and address national priorities in education, infrastructure, health care, disaster relief, and poverty. If the bill were to pass it would accomplish the following:
- Elevate the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to a Cabinet-level department and rename the agency, the AmeriCorps Administration.
- Set a goal of 250,000 service positions in 2022, increasing to 1 million annual national service positions in ten years.
- Change the value of the AmeriCorps Education Award ensuring that a member who serves two full terms is rewarded with an educational benefit equal to four years of average in-state tuition at a public institution of higher education.
- Increase access to national service opportunities by raising the AmeriCorps living allowance.
- Exempt the AmeriCorps living stipends and education awards from federal taxes.
- Establish an interagency partnership between AmeriCorps, Interior, Agriculture, Labor and other relevant agencies to create a Civilian Climate Corps at AmeriCorps.
- Create a 21st Century American Service Outreach Program to notify eligible individuals between the ages of 17-30 about opportunities to serve.
- Establish an Interagency Working Group to recommend a process for awarding AmeriCorps education awards to individuals who have participated in national service programs not administered by AmeriCorps and to examine providing AmeriCorps alumni with federal hiring preference.
- Require the AmeriCorps agency to submit a report to Congress about how matching funds and share requirements need to be changed to achieve the bill’s ten year goals.
You can click here to read the Reed-Larson press release about the ACTION for National Service Act