The House passed the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, H.R. 1388 today by a vote of 321 to 105. Third Congressional District Republican Erik Paulsen joined all five DFLers in Congress in voting for the measure, which Republicans John Kline and Michele Bachmann voted against.
A press release from Congressman Walz's office:
Representative Walz Votes to Renew America's Commitment to Service
(Washington, DC) Today, Congressman Tim Walz joined a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives in voting for a bill that will launch a new era of American service and volunteerism. The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, H.R. 1388, answers President Obama's call for Americans of all generations to help get the country through the economic crisis by serving and volunteering in their communities
The House passed the legislation, the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, H.R. 1388, by a vote of 321 to 105. The Senate is considering similar legislation.
"In his inaugural address, President Obama called for all Americans to dedicate themselves to serve in their communities," said Walz. "This bill will give southern Minnesotans the tools they need to rebuild their communities."
The GIVE Act would more than triple the number of volunteers currently engaged in Senior Corp, AmeriCorps, and Learn & Serve America, from the current 75,000 to 250,000, and increase the education reward they receive to $5,350 for next year, the same as the maximum Pell Grant scholarship award. The education award would also be linked to match future boosts in the Pell Grant scholarship in order to keep up with rising college costs.
It would create a new national Call to Service campaign to encourage all Americans to get involved in service and would encourage Americans to observe September 11th a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The legislation provides new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities. It would create a Summer of Service program to engage students in service and allows them to earn a $500 education award to be used for college costs.
In addition, the legislation would:
Strengthen existing service programs and create new innovative programs to help improve student achievement and graduation in low-income schools, expand health care access, provide seniors with help living independently, enhance services for veterans, and help build a green, energy-efficient economy;
Establish a Veterans Corp to meet the unique needs of veterans and military families;
Expand the focus of the National Civilian Community Corps to infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conversation, and urban and rural development, in addition to disaster relief;
Create new opportunities for Baby Boomers and seniors to serve and volunteer;
Recruit scientists and engineers into service to keep America competitive; and
Build a nationwide community-based infrastructure to leverage investments in service.
For a more detailed fact sheet visit: http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/GIVEActSummary20090311.pdf.
An article by David Hawley in today's MinnPost included a look back at the Civilian Conservation Corps, upon which the National Civilian Community Corps (a part of Americorps) is based, as in the Minnesota Conservation Corps mentioned in the article.
One of our uncles was a member of the CCC in Minnesota in the 1930s, working in the North Woods. MinnPost linked to a MSHS YouTube about the CCC in Minnesota, which btrought a number of his stories about work in the camps back.
Image: A poster for the Illinois CCC from the National Archives.