Summary: S.360 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/10/2013)

Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2013 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to rename: (1) the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 as the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 1993, and (2) the Public Lands Corps as the Public Lands Service Corps (the Corps).

(Sec. 4) Establishes the Corps in the Department of Commerce (as well as in the Department of Agriculture [USDA] and the Department of the Interior, as under current law).

Requires: (1) the establishment of a department-level office within the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the coordination of Corps activities; and (2) designation of a Corps coordinator for each agency within the Departments of the Interior, of Agriculture, and of Commerce that administers such activities.

Lowers from 16 to 15 the minimum age for a Corps participant. Maintains the current maximum age at 25, but raises it to 35 for a military veteran.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with, or make competitive grants to, Indian tribes and qualified youth or conservation corps for the establishment of Indian Youth Service Corps programs so that Indian youth can carry out appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation projects on Indian lands.

Defines "appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation project" as any project for the conservation, restoration, construction, or rehabilitation of natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, or scenic resources.

Specifies that public lands on which Corps activities may take place include areas of coastal and ocean waters, the Great Lakes and their connecting waters, and submerged lands over which the United States exercises jurisdiction.

Requires a qualified youth and conservation corps program to make available for audit specified information for each fiscal year, including matching funds and participant demographics.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish an Indian Youth Service Corps liaison to: (1) provide outreach to tribes about opportunities to establish Corps and Indian Youth Service Corps programs, and (2) coordinate with the tribal liaison of the Corporation for National and Community Service to identify and establish Corps and Indian Youth Service Corps opportunities for Indian youth.

Permits Corps participants to work in the National Marine Sanctuary System, coral reefs, and other coastal, estuarine, and marine habitats, and other lands and facilities administered by NOAA.

Expands those authorized to be in the Corps to permit the enrollment of consulting interns. Permits enrollment for a term of up to two years.

Requires a recruitment program for the Corps.

Instructs the Secretary, for purposes of training, to take into account training already received by Corps participants enrolled from qualified youth or conservation corps.

Allows the Secretary to use the Corps to carry out appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation projects on eligible service lands (currently, on public lands).

Describes the types of natural and cultural resources conservation projects that may be carried out by the Corps.

Authorizes the Corps to provide certain visitor and interpretation services.

Authorizes the Secretary to allow volunteers from other programs administered or designated by the Secretary to participate as Corps volunteers.

Applies criminal history check requirements under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to individuals age 18 or older who are seeking to: (1) become Corps participants, (2) receive funds authorized under this Act, or (3) supervise or otherwise have contact with Corps participants in activities authorized under the Act. Prohibits participation in the Corps by an individual subject to any eligibility prohibitions, unless an exemption is provided for good cause by the Secretary.

Authorizes temporary housing as needed and available for the Corps, and transportation to and from project sites in project areas where Corps participants reside at their own homes.

Permits recruiting mentors for Corps participants.

Allows the Secretary to provide any services, facilities, equipment, supplies, technical assistance, oversight, monitoring, or evaluations that are determined to be necessary for a residential conservation center.

Authorizes individual placements of consulting interns with agencies under the Secretary's jurisdiction that carry out appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation projects to carry out management analysis. Requires consulting interns to have completed at least one full year at an accredited graduate or professional school.

Authorizes the Secretary concerned to implement recruitment and placement services through nonprofit organizations.

Requires the Secretary to issue management guidelines for Corps programs.

Revises requirements regarding terms of service and future federal hiring preference for Corps participants. Permits reimbursement of Corps participants for their travel costs at the beginning and end of their term of service.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide alumni services, such as job and education counseling, referrals, and other appropriate services to former Corps participants.

Modifies funding requirements and permits the Secretary to pay up to 90% of a project's costs in specified instances when necessary to enable participation in the Corps from a greater range of organizations or individuals.

Repeals the mandatory allocation of $8 million of annual appropriations for priority projects and $4 million for other appropriate conservation projects. Eliminates the required availability of the latter funds for disaster prevention or relief projects.