Summary: H.R.717 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.717. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/31/1989)

American Conservation and Youth Service Corps Act of 1989 - Title I: American Conservation Corps - Establishes the American Conservation Corps (ACC), to be administered by Federal agencies and through a State grant component.

Directs the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture to establish the Federal component of the ACC within their agencies to administer programs on Federal lands. Encourages Federal agencies to enter into program agreements with program agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program of grants to States to administer the State component of the ACC involving work on non-Federal public lands and waters. Directs each Governor to designate a State program agency. Authorizes any local government to establish a program agency to carry out the State component within its political subdivision if the State program agency has not been designated at the commencement of a fiscal year. Requires States carrying out such programs to provide mechanisms for participation by local governments and nonprofit organizations.

Authorizes the ACC to carry out conservation, rehabilitation, and improvement projects relating to: (1) wildlife habitat, rangelands, parks, recreational areas; (2) urban revitalization and historical and cultural sites; (3) fish and fisheries; (4) roads and trails; (5) erosion, floods, droughts, and storm damage assistance and control; (6) streams, lakes, waterfront harbors, and ports; (7) wetlands protection and pollution control; (8) insect, disease, rodent, and fire prevention and control; (9) improvement of abandoned railroad beds and rights-of-way; (10) energy conservation, renewable resources, and biomass recovery; (11) reclamation and improvement of strip-mined land; and (12) forestry, nursery, and cultural operations.

Limits such projects to those on public lands or Indian lands, except where the administering Secretary determines that a project involving other lands will provide a public benefit.

Encourages any land or water conservation or related program administered in any State under authority of any Federal program to use ACC services.

Title II: Youth Service Corps - Requires the Director of the ACTION Agency to appoint an Assistant Director to make grants for youth service projects to eligible public and private nonprofit agencies, and to otherwise administer Youth Service Corps (YSC) programs under this title.

Provides for designation of specific activities as eligible service categories if: (1) they are of substantial social benefit in meeting unmet human, social (especially poverty-related), or environmental needs in a community; (2) they will not interfere unreasonably with employment availability and terms of employees of sponsoring organizations; and (3) participants are qualified for such activities. Allows such service categories to include service in: (1) State, local, and regional governmental agencies; (2) nursing homes, hospices, senior centers, hospitals, local libraries, parks, recreational facilities, day care centers, and schools; (3) law enforcement, penal, and probation agencies; (4) private nonprofit social services organizations; (5) rehabilitation or improvement of public facilities or neighborhoods, literacy programs, weatherization and repair of low-income housing, energy conservation (including solar energy), removal of public facility architectural barriers to the handicapped, and conservation, maintenance, or restoration of natural resources on publicly held lands; and (6) any other nonpartisan civic activities and services determined appropriate by the Assistant Director.

Prohibits such service categories from including any position in any: (1) business organized for profit; (2) labor union; (3) partisan political organization; (4) religious organization, unless the position does not involve any religious functions; or (5) domestic or personal service organization.

Title III: Youth Skills Enhancement - Requires the administering Secretary or the Assistant Director (as the case may be) to provide guidance and assistance to States in securing certification of training skills or academic credit for competencies developed under this Act.

Directs each program agency to: (1) maintain or enhance, through programs and projects under this Act, the educational skills of program enrollees; (2) assess an entering enrollee's educational level; (3) use at least ten percent of program funds to provide in-service training and educational materials and services for enrollees and persons serving in such projects; and (4) use at least ten percent of program funds for post-service education and training assistance.

Directs appropriate State and local officials to certify standards and procedures for awarding academic credit and certifying educational attainment in such programs. Requires such standards and procedures to specify that any person serving in a program or project under this Act: (1) who is not a high school graduate shall participate in an educational component progressing toward a high school diploma or its equivalent; and (2) may arrange to receive academic credit in recognition of learning and skills obtained from service satisfactorily completed.

Title IV: Administrative Provisions - Sets forth: (1) requirements for award of grants to eligible entities, including matching requirements and limitations on use of funds; and (2) provisions for approval of applications and supervision of programs.

Limits enrollment in the ACC and YSC to individuals who, at the time of enrollment, are: (1) 16 through 25 years old; and (2) U.S. citizens or nationals or lawful permanent resident aliens. Requires that special efforts be made to recruit individuals who are economically, socially, physically, and educationally disadvantaged. Prohibits acceptance for service of any person without a high school diploma or equivalent, unless that person has not been enrolled as a high school student during the three months before the acceptance date. Limits individual enrollment to a total of 24 months. Prohibits individuals (except special members) from remaining enrolled after attaining age 26. Prohibits any enrollee from performing services on any project for more than a six-month period.

Requires the State job training coordinating council to appoint an advisory board for oversight and review of projects under this Act.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1990 and succeeding fiscal years to carry out this Act.

Title V: Commission on National Service Opportunities - Establishes the Commission on National Service Opportunities to study: (1) opportunities for young people to perform voluntary national service; and (2) the effect on Federal and other employees of improving the quality and expanding the number of such opportunities.

Requires the Commission's final report and recommendations to be transmitted to the President and the Congress within 15 months after its first meeting. Requires each executive department and agency affected by such report to submit to the President recommendations for implementing it. Directs the President, within 90 days after the Commission's final report is transmitted to the Congress, to transmit an interim report to the Congress on: (1) the desirability, feasibility, and cost of implementing the Commission's recommendations, and the actions taken or planned with respect to that implementation; and (2) recommendations on legislation needed for implementation. Directs the President to transmit a final report, within 90 days after such interim report, detailing any implementing actions taken and any further recommendations.

Terminates the Commission 180 days after its final report.