Text: H.R.4268 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (12/10/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 4268


To direct the Secretary of Labor to make grants to States, units of general local government, and Indian tribes for the purpose of creating employment opportunities for unemployed and underemployed residents in distressed communities.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 10, 2009

Mr. Ellison (for himself, Ms. Chu, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Moore of Wisconsin, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Hare, Ms. Kilpatrick of Michigan, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. Scott of Georgia, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Towns, Mr. Costa, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Clarke, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Payne, Mr. Watt, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Gutierrez, Ms. Waters, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Kucinich, Ms. Edwards of Maryland, Mr. Baca, Mr. Sires, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Honda, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Loebsack, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, and Mr. Clay) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


A BILL

To direct the Secretary of Labor to make grants to States, units of general local government, and Indian tribes for the purpose of creating employment opportunities for unemployed and underemployed residents in distressed communities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Put America to Work Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Grants to States, units of general local government, and Indian tribes.

(a) Establishment.—Subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary of Labor shall make grants to States, units of general local government, and Indian tribes to carry out activities in accordance with this Act.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this program is to create employment opportunities for unemployed and underemployed residents of distressed communities in activities designed to address community needs and reduce disparities in health, housing, education, job readiness, and public infrastructure that have impeded these communities from realizing their full economic potential.

(c) Eligibility.—For purposes of the grant program under this Act, an eligible entity is—

(1) a unit of general local government, including a metropolitan city or an urban county;

(2) a State; or

(3) an Indian tribe.

(d) Use of funds.—A recipient of a grant under this section shall use the grant for the following purposes:

(1) For the 9-month period after the date of the enactment of this Act, the grant shall be used only to fund the following types of fast-track job placements:

(A) The painting and repair of schools, community centers, and libraries.

(B) The restoration and revitalization of abandoned and vacant properties to alleviate blight in distressed and foreclosure-affected areas of a unit of general local government.

(C) The expansion of emergency food programs to reduce hunger and promote family stability.

(D) The augmentation of staffing in Head Start, child care, and other early childhood education programs to promote school readiness and early literacy.

(E) The renovation and enhancement of maintenance of parks, playgrounds, and other public spaces.

(2) During the 9-month period after the date of the enactment of this Act, the grant recipients shall consult with community leaders, including labor organizations, non-profit organizations, local government officials, and local residents to—

(A) assess the needs of the community served by the grant recipient;

(B) determine sectors of the local economy that are in need of employees;

(C) make recommendations for new employment opportunities in the areas described in paragraph (3); and

(D) assess the effectiveness of job placements made under paragraph (1).

(3) Not later than 9 months after the recipient of a grant begins to use the grant to fund fast-track job placements under paragraph (1), the recipient shall use the remaining amount of the grant to make grants to public entities, nonprofit organizations, public-private partnerships, or small businesses to create opportunities for employment in the following areas:

(A) Construction, re-construction, rehabilitation, and site improvements of residences or public facilities, including improvements in the energy efficiency or environmental quality of such public facilities or residences.

(B) Provision of human services, including child care services, health care services, education, or recreational programs.

(C) The remediation and demolition of vacant and abandoned properties to eliminate blight.

(D) Programs that provide disadvantaged youth with opportunities for employment, education, leadership development, entrepreneurial skills development, and training.

(e) Conditions.—As a condition of receiving a grant under this section, a grant recipient shall—

(1) agree to comply with the nondiscrimination policy set forth under section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5309);

(2) allocate not less than 80 percent of the funding allocated to each project funded under the grant to wages, benefits, and support services, including child care services, for individuals employed on such project;

(3) ensure that employment on any project funded under the grant is carried out in accordance with subsection (f);

(4) institute an outreach program with community organizations and service providers in low-income communities to provide information about placements funded under the grant to individuals suited to perform community infrastructure work; and

(5) ensure that not less than 35 percent of individuals employed under the grant are individuals descibed in paragraph (5)(B) of subsection (f).

(f) Employment described.—Employment funded under this section shall meet the following specifications:

(1) Any employer that employs an individual whose employment is funded under the grant shall—

(A) employ such individual for not less than 12 months;

(B) employ such individual for not less than 30 hours per week;

(C) comply with responsible contractor standards, as determined by the relevant official in the unit of local general government;

(D) provide compensation to such individual equal to that which is paid to employees who have been employed to perform similar work prior to the date such individual was hired; and

(E) if such employment is in construction, provide compensation to any laborer or mechanic employed under the grant at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code.

(2) No individual whose employment is funded under the grant may work for an employer at which a collective bargaining agreement is in effect covering the same or similar work, unless—

(A) the consent of the union at such employer is obtained; and

(B) negotiations have taken place between such union and the employer as to the terms and conditions of such employment.

(3) An individual whose employment is funded under this Act may not displace other employees whose employment is not funded under this Act. A grant recipient under this Act may not hire an employee or employees with funds under this Act for any employment which the grant recipient would otherwise hire an employee who has been furloughed.

(4) An individual whose employment is funded under this Act shall be—

(A) unemployed for not less than 26 weeks prior to the reciept of the grant, as verified by the State or local department of labor, department of welfare, or similar office charged with maintaining records of unemployment; or

(B) unemployed for not less than 30 days prior to the reciept of the grant and be a low-income individual who is a member of a targeted group (as defined by section 51(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) as verified by the State or local department of labor, department of welfare, or similar office charged with maintaining records of unemployment.

For purposes of subparagraph (B), the hiring date (as defined in section 51(d)(11) of such Code) shall be the hiring date by an employer who receives a grant pursuant to this section.

(g) Award of grants.—

(1) SELECTION CRITERIA.—In selecting a project to receive funding for employing the individuals described in subsection (f)(5), a grant recipient shall consider—

(A) the input of all participants in a proposed project, including labor organizations, community organizations, and employers;

(B) the needs of the community intended to benefit from such project;

(C) the long-term goals and short term objectives to address such needs; and

(D) any recommendations for programs and activities developed to meet such needs.

(2) PRIORITY GIVEN TO CERTAIN PROJECTS.—A grant recipient under this section shall give priority to projects that—

(A) serve areas with the greatest level of economic need, determined for each such area by—

(i) the unemployment rate;

(ii) the rate of poverty;

(iii) the number of census tracts with concentrated poverty;

(iv) the lowest median income;

(v) the percentage of vacant and abandoned properties;

(vi) the percentage of home foreclosures; and

(vii) the indicators of poor resident health, including high rates of chronic disease, infant mortality, and life expectancy;

(B) integrate education and job skills training, including basic skills instruction and secondary education services;

(C) coordinate to the maximum extent feasible with pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs; and

(D) provide jobs in sectors where job growth is most likely, as determined by the Secretary, and in which career advancement opportunites exist to maximize long-term, sustainable employment for individuals after employment funded under this Act ends.

(h) Allocation of grants.—

(1) GRANTS FOR INDIAN TRIBES AND DEPOSITS INTO DISCRETIONARY FUND.—Not more than 5percent of the funds appropriated to carry out this Act for any fiscal year shall be reserved for grants to Indian tribes and for deposit into a discretionary fund established by the Secretary for national demonstration projects and multi-jurisdictional projects.

(2) GRANTS TO STATES.—Not more than 30 percent of funds appropriated to carry out this Act for any fiscal year shall be allocated to States to distribute to units of general local government that do not qualify for funds under paragraph (3).

(3) GRANTS TO UNITS OF GENERAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT.—Grant funds that are not reserved under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be allocated to metropolitan cities and urban counties using the formula under section 106(b) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5306(b)).

(i) Reports.—

(1) REPORTS BY GRANT RECIPIENTS.—Not later than 90 days after the last day of each fiscal year in which assistance under this section is furnished, a recipient of a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary a report containing the following:

(A) A description of the progress made in accomplishing the objectives of this chapter.

(B) A summary of the use of the grant during the preceding fiscal year.

(C) For units of general local government, a listing of each entity receiving funds and the amount of such grants, as well as a brief summary of the projects funded for each such unit, the extent of financial participation by other public or private entities, and the impact on employment and economic activity of such projects during the previous fiscal year.

(D) For States, a listing of each unit of general local government receiving funds and the amount of such grants, as well as a brief summary of the projects funded for each such unit, the extent of financial participation by other public or private entities, and the impact on employment and economic activity of such projects during the previous fiscal year.

(E) The amount of money received and expended during the fiscal year.

(F) The number of individuals assisted under the grant whose household income is low-income, very low-income, or extremely low-income (as such terms are used for purposes of the Housing Act of 1937 and the regulations thereunder (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.)).

(G) The amount expended on administrative costs during the fiscal year.

(2) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—At least once every 6 months, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the use of grants awarded under this section and any progress in job creation.

(j) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) The term “State” has the meaning given such term in section 5302(2) of title 42, United States Code.

(2) The term “unit of general local government” has the meaning given such term in section 5302(1) of title 42, United States Code.

(3) The term “Indian tribe” has the meaning given such term in section 5302(17) of title 42, United States Code.

(4) The term “small business” has the meaning given the term “small business concern” under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).

(5) The term “metropolitan city” has the meaning given such term in section 5302(4) of title 42, United States Code.

(6) The term “urban county” has the meaning given such term in section 5302(6) of title 42, United States Code.

SEC. 3. Authorization of Appropriations.

There is authorized to be appropriated $40,000,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to carry out this Act. Amounts appropriated pursuant to this section shall remain available until expended.