Mikulski Announces Bill Puts Funds in Federal Checkbook to Sustain National Service in America Senator is Chairwoman of the Senate National Service Caucus and the HELP Subcommittee that oversees national service policy and law
PoliticalNews.me - Jun 17,2012 - Mikulski Announces Bill Puts Funds in Federal Checkbook to Sustain National Service in America
Senator is Chairwoman of the Senate National Service Caucus and the HELP Subcommittee that oversees national service policy and law
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the FY 2013 Labor, Health & Human Services Appropriations Bill passed the Appropriations Committee includes her funding request to sustain the Corporation for National and Community Service, our nation's only federal agency that exclusively supports service and volunteerism.
"AmeriCorps volunteers are unflagging, unflinching, and determined to make a difference," Senator Mikulski said. "These volunteers tutor teens, start neighborhood crime watches, turn vacant lots into neighborhoods, and help communities clean up and rebuild after natural disasters. Their efforts are needed now more than ever."
The bill includes $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). This will support 82,000 AmeriCorps volunteers making a difference in communities across the country. In exchange for modest stipends, these volunteers serve in part or full-time positions helping nonprofits, schools, community-based and faith-based organizations working to improve their communities.
At the end of service, AmeriCorps volunteers also receive an Educational Award to help pay for college, or pay back federal student loans. The Educational Award for AmeriCorps volunteers this year will be $5,550.
Some institutions of higher education, in recognition and appreciation of AmeriCorps volunteers' service, have agreed to match the educational award either financially or through some other inducement. This is an outstanding practice that deserves encouragement given the rising cost of college and limited federal financial aid. To that end, this year's spending bill directs the Corporation for National & Community Service to provide each AmeriCorps volunteer, upon completion of their service, a list of the institutions and programs in the country that match the educational award.
"I fought to create AmeriCorps, I fought to strengthen AmeriCorps, and I will fight for a continued, robust federal investment in AmeriCorps and other vital service programs. They deserve as much help from the federal government as they're giving to their communities," Senator Mikulski said.
Senator Mikulski is Chairwoman of the HELP Subcommittee on Children & Families, which has jurisdiction over national service law and policy. In 2009, Senator Mikulski led the Senate consideration and passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, a law that will enable more than 250,000 individuals to volunteer in the AmeriCorps program, a domestic version of the Peace Corps. Senator Mikulski is also a co-chair of the Senate National Service caucus, which has served as an integral institutional resource and advocacy tool for members interested in national service programs.
In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.