Background on the America’s Call to Improve Opportunities Now (ACTION) for National Service Act
The ACTION for National Service Act, sponsored by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative John Larson (D-CT) 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 ten-year goal of expanding AmeriCorps and funding no fewer than 1 million service member positions per year.
- 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.
Click here to download an ACTION for National Service Act fact sheet from the bill sponsors.
What is Happening:
Senator Reed and Representative Larson are planning to reintroduce the ACTION for National Service Act in the House and Senate. The sponsors are not making any substantive changes to the legislative text; the ACTION Act will look like S. 3622 and H.R. 6683 — that were introduced in the 117th legislative session.
How You Can Help:
Last session, 25 organizations expressed support for the ACTION for National Service Act. Voices for National Service is inviting more organizations to endorse this service bill. If your organization is willing to be listed as supporting this legislation — please fill out the web form below.
To review the updated list of supporting organizations, click here. If you wish to remove your organization from this list, please email Shanelle Oliver at email@example.com.
If you have further questions regarding the ACTION for National Service Act, or would like more information, please email Shanelle Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.