Update, April 21, 2009: President Obama signs the Serve America Act into law. To take effect October 1, 2009.
In an address to a joint session Congress tonight, Feb. 24th, President Obama urged lawmakers to pass the Kennedy-Hatch Serve America Act which would expand funding for national service.
The Serve America Act, co-authored by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator Hatch (R-UT), was introduced in the Senate January 16 and would:
- Engage more Americans in a term of national service to solve critical challenges in local communities by increasing AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000
- Create additional opportunities for Americans of all ages to engage in community service
- Support innovation in the nonprofit sector
- Improve and expand international service opportunities that help better connect America to the world
According to Service Nation, House leaders are also moving forward on service. On February 25, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing to examine the importance of national and community service in meeting critical economic needs across the country.
Read the executive summary of S.3487, The Serve America Act.
Read the entire bill (PDF) written by Emma Vadehra.
To learn about how the 1993 legislation establishing AmeriCorps was passed, check out The Bill: How Legislation Really Becomes Law: A Case Study of the National Service Bill by Steve Waldman.
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