Legislation now set to go to the President’s desk for signature
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today applauded the final passage of the Senator Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (formerly the GIVE Act). The final vote was 275 to 149. Shea-Porter is a member of the Education and Labor Committee, which had jurisdiction over the bill. During consideration in the 110th Congress, Congresswoman Shea-Porter was successful in passing an amendment to increase the small state minimum from $500,000 to $600,000, language that was included in the bill this Congress.
“This legislation provides exactly what America needs right now – more volunteers to help our communities forward,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “We are a good and caring nation, and this gives many more citizens an opportunity to volunteer.”
The Serve America Act will more than triple the number of volunteers, from 75,000 to 250,000, and increase the education reward they receive to $5,350 for next year. The legislation will also provide new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities.
In addition, the legislation will:
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 Corps to meet the unique needs of veterans and military families;
Expand the focus of the National Civilian Community Corps to include infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conservation, 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.