Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (08/05/1993)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Programs and Related Provisons

Subtitle A: Programs

Subtitle B: Related Provisions

Title II: Organization

Title III: Reauthorization

Subtitle A: National and Community Service Act of 1990

Subtitle B: Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973

Chapter 1: VISTA and Other Anti-Poverty Programs

Chapter 2: National Senior Volunteer Corps

Chapter 3: Administration

Chapter 4: Authorization of Appropriations and Other

Amendments

Chapter 5: General Provisions

Title IV: Technical and Conforming Amendments

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 - Amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 to reauthorize, revise, and reorganize national and community service and domestic volunteer programs, establish a Corporation for National Service and a National Service Trust program of Federal investment in support of national service, and provide expanded opportunities for national service and educational awards for participants.

Title I: Programs and Related Provisions - Subtitle A: Programs - (Sec. 101) Amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (the Act) to establish the National Service Trust program, replacing the current American Conservation and Youth Service Corps.

Authorizes the Corporation for National Service (CNS) to make matching grants to State and local governments, Indian tribes, public and private nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions for: (1) full- or part-time national service programs, including summer programs; and (2) subgrants for national service programs of other entities. Prohibits requiring a State or local government to conduct a national service activity unless paid for by the Federal government, however voluntary participation of States or program sponsors may include cost-sharing formulas, health care, child care, and other allowances, and other requirements proscribed by this Act.

Authorizes CNS to enter into agreements with other Federal agencies to support their national service programs.

Directs CNS to approve national service educational awards for participants serving in CNS-assisted national service programs.

Describes types of eligible national service programs addressing unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs, including community corps, youth corps, service-learning, special skills or specialized training, individualized placement, campus-based, preprofessional training, professional corps, disadvantaged youth community service, national service entrepreneur, intergenerational, or other programs. Directs CNS to establish qualification criteria.

Authorizes CNS to provide the following types of program assistance: planning, operational, replication, subgrantee, training, technical, and other special assistance (including support for State commissions and challenge grants for national service programs). Encourages risk management procedures and training.

Requires CNS to ensure that participants in VISTA or the Civilian Community Corps receive national service educational awards, except in specified circumstances.

Sets forth application and program requirements. Provides for supplemental and outreach grants to assist participation by individuals with disabilities.

Requires an assurance that the program assisted will not perform service that provides a direct benefit to any: (1) for-profit business; (2) labor union; (3) partisan political organization; or (4) organization engaged in religious activities (unless such service does not involve use of assistance or participants to give religious instruction, conduct worship services, or engage in any form of proselytization).

Sets a minimum age for national service participants of 17, except for certain youth programs where the beginning of service may be age 16 through 25.

Sets rules for selection of participants, including selection and training of a national leadership pool.

Sets a term of service at a minimum of 1,700 hours during: (1) a full-time period of nine months to one year; or (2) a part-time period of one to two years.

Establishes requirements for participant living allowances. Limits the Federal share to not more than 85 percent of the VISTA volunteer allowance.

Makes those who serve in approved national service positions eligible for national service educational awards.

(Sec. 102) Establishes the National Service Trust in the Treasury to provide for the payment of national service educational awards.

Sets forth eligibility standards for national service educational awards. Bases such awards on only the first and second terms of service. Requires that the award be used within five years after completion of the term of service.

Sets the award's value at $4,725 (based on a portion of GI benefits) for each term of service (up to two terms).

Allows the use of such awards to: (1) repay outstanding student loans; (2) pay current educational expenses; (3) enable participation in approved school-to-work programs; and (4) pay interest during forbearance on loan repayment. Provides that awards shall not be considered: (1) in a means-test for Federal or federally-assisted benefits; or (2) as taxable income under the Internal Revenue Code.

Makes conforming amendments to student loan provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Makes Stafford loan forgiveness available.

(Sec. 103) Establishes School-Based and Community-Based Service-Learning programs to replace current Programs for Students and Out-of-School Youth.

Revises the Serve-America program (currently named Service-America) to include: (1) school-based programs for students; (2) community-based service programs for school-age youth; and (3) a service-learning clearinghouse.

Authorizes CNS to make planning grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) with respect to service-learning coordinators participating in an assisted national service program or receive a national service educational award.

Authorizes grants for school-based service-learning programs and community-based service programs.

Directs CNS to provide financial assistance to eligible public and private nonprofit organizations to establish a service-learning clearinghouse.

Adds priority criteria for the making of grants for Higher Education Innovative Programs for Community Service.

(Sec. 104) Establishes an Investment for Quality and Innovation program to carry out specified innovation and quality improvement activities.

Directs CNS to provide assistance to appropriate entities to establish one or more clearinghouses, including the service-learning clearinghouse.

Authorizes the President, acting through CNS, to make Presidential awards for service to individuals providing significant service and to outstanding service programs.

Provides that Civilian Community Corps members may receive educational awards (or suitable alternative benefits if ineligible for such awards).

Amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 to extend the authority to conduct the Civilian Community Corps Demonstration Program.

(Sec. 105) Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 - Amends the Youth Conservation Corps Act of 1970 to establish a Public Lands Corps. Provides for living allowances, terms of service, and national service educational awards. Authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture to apply for and receive assistance under provisions of the National and Community Service Act in order to carry out the Public Lands Corps. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 106) Establishes an Urban Youth Corps in the appropriate Federal executive departments. Provides for living allowances, terms of service, and national service educational awards. Authorizes the Secretaries of the appropriate departments to apply for and receive assistance under provisions of the National and Community Service Act in order to carry out the Urban Youth Corps or to support qualified urban youth corps. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: Related Provisions - (Secs. 111-122) Makes conforming amendments and repealers to specified Federal law.

(Sec. 114) Directs the Secretary of Defense to annually study and report to the Congress on the effect of programs under this title on recruitment for the armed forces.

(Sec. 121) Provides for audits.

Title II: Organization - (Sec. 201) Amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to require the establishment of State commissions on national service as a condition for receiving certain grants or allotments or a distribution of approved national service positions. Sets commission membership standards, and duties, including planning.

(Sec. 202) Establishes the Corporation for National Service (CNS) as a Government corporation to administer programs under the Act.

Amends the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 to require the Director of the ACTION Agency to report directly to the CNS Chairperson (under interim authorities). Directs the Chairperson to establish (or request the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to provide) job search and related assistance to employees of the ACTION Agency who are not transferred to CNS.

(Secs. 202 & 203) Transfers to CNS functions of: (1) the Commission on National and Community Service (under interim authorities); and (2) the ACTION Agency (under final authorities).

(Sec. 204) Requires CNS to submit a business plan to the Congress prior to providing specified assistance.

Title III: Reauthorization - Subtitle A: National and Community Service Act of 1990 - Extends the authorization of appropriations for the National and Community Service Act of 1990. Requires specification of budget function.

Subtitle B: Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 - Domestic Volunteer Service Act Amendments of 1993 - Amends the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1978 (DVSA) to reauthorize, reorganize, and revise its programs.

Chapter 1: VISTA and Other Anti-Poverty Programs - (Sec. 321) Adds to VISTA program objectives generating private sector resources commitment, encouraging local level volunteer service, and strengthening local agencies and organizations to carry out the program.

(Sec. 322) Revises procedures and other requirements for selection and assignment of VISTA volunteers. Allows a sponsoring organization to recruit VISTA volunteers, subject to final approval of the Director of the ACTION Agency (the Director).

(Sec. 323) Revises provisions for terms and periods of service. Authorizes a VISTA summer associates program.

(Sec. 324) Revises postservice stipends.

(Sec. 325) Requires encouragement of participation of both younger (18 through 27) and older (55 and older) VISTA volunteers.

(Sec. 328) Repeals authority for student community service programs grants and contracts.

(Sec. 329) Renames the University Year for ACTION the University Year for VISTA program. Shortens the minimum period of participation to an academic semester or equivalent. Allows volunteers to receive a living allowance or such other support the Director deems appropriate.

(Sec. 330) Revises authority to establish and operate special volunteer and demonstration programs. Requires a competitive process for any grant or contract exceeding $100,000.

(Sec. 331) Permits the Director to provide technical and financial assistance to employers and other private organizations that use or desire to use volunteers.

(Sec. 332) Repeals a separate authority for drug abuse education and prevention programs under special volunteer programs.

Chapter 2: National Senior Volunteer Corps - (Sec. 342) Renames the retired senior volunteer program the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).

(Sec. 343) Expands RSVP eligibility to include older working persons and those over 55 (currently 60).

(Sec. 345) Requires certain adjustments and minimums for stipends for low-income volunteers.

(Sec. 346) Repeals certain conditions for grants and contracts under those two programs, including a requirement that volunteers no longer be in the regular work force.

(Sec. 347) Eliminates one type of evaluation of the Senior Companion Program.

(Sec. 348) Encourages agreements with other Federal agencies involving retired, senior, intergenerational, and conservation volunteer programs.

(Sec. 349) Revises provisions for programs of national significance to include programs that: (1) address environmental concerns; (2) reach out to involve labor unions and profit-making organizations; (3) provide outreach to increase participation of members of ethnic groups with limited English proficiency; (4) support juvenile and criminal justice activities; (5) involve older volunteers working with young people in apprenticeship programs; and (6) support community integration of individuals with disabilities.

(Sec. 350) Revises adjustments of Federal financial assistance to occur biennially rather than annually.

(Sec. 351) Authorizes grants and contracts for demonstration programs of innovative activities involving older volunteers. Prohibits reducing other older volunteer programs to support such demonstrations.

Chapter 3: Administration - (Sec. 361) Adds to ACTION Agency objectives the promotion of coordination of volunteer efforts at all levels.

(Secs. 362 & 362A & 363 & 366 & 368 & 369) Revises various provisions relating to the Director's authority, prohibition of political activities, volunteer's compensation, nondiscrimination, and the Inspector General's role.

(Secs. 364 & 367) Repeals certain report requirements and separate requirements for setting regulations.

(Sec. 365) Bases disability or death benefits for VISTA volunteers on a grade GS-5 (rather than GS-7) Federal employee entrance salary.

(Sec. 369) Adds provisions for copyright protection for the programs of the ACTION Agency.

(Sec. 370) Amends Federal law relating to Federal employees to make retirement credit for time served as a VISTA volunteer available to all who become Federal employees subsequent to such volunteer service, upon their paying a deposit based on their post-service stipend.

Chapter 4: Authorization of Appropriations and Other Amendments - (Secs. 381-383) Extends through FY 1998 the authorization of appropriations for various programs under DVSA (the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973). Requires specification of budget functions.

(Sec. 385) Repeals Youthbuild Projects authority.

Chapter 5: General Provisions - (Sec. 391) Sets forth technical and conforming amendments.

Title IV: Technical and Conforming Amendments - (Secs. 401-405) Sets forth various changes of definitions and references.

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions - (Sec. 501) Requires compliance with the Buy American Act.

(Sec. 502) Sets forth the sense of the Congress that only American-made equipment and products should be purchased with assistance under this Act.

(Sec. 503) Prohibits contracts with persons falsely labeling products as made in America.