Since Congress is in recess, here’s an update on two pieces of legislation relevant to the AmeriCorps world. H.R. 6407 is a bill in the House of Representatives that would eliminate federal taxation on the education award. You can track the progress of the bill through this website. There’s no way of knowing when there will be further action on the bill, or whether or not it will cover former VISTAs and AmeriCorps participants who graduated from the program already but who have not yet redeemed their awards. The bill still has a long way to go before passage, but it’s also the most movement I have seen on the ed award taxation issue I’ve seen since 2002.
On the Senate side, Evan Bayh of Indiana co-sponsored the AmeriCorps Act of 2008 in May. Passage of this bill would adjust the AmeriCorps/VISTA education award to $6,185 (from the current $4,725) and also get rid of the taxation on the award.