Senate HELP Committee Authorizes the Serve America Act

Update, April 21, 2009: President Obama signs the Serve America Act into law. To take effect October 1, 2009.

The Senate’s companion bill to the GIVE Act (which passed on the floor of the House yesterday) successfully moved out of committee yesterday and will likely be voted on by the entire Senate membership next week.

In the Senate yesterday, the Serve America Act (S.277) was unanimously approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Similar to the GIVE Act, the Serve America Act seeks to expand national service and volunteer programs, to engage citizens in solving problems facing communities throughout the country.

In his State-of-the-Union-esque address to Congress last month, President Obama specifically asked congressional leaders to pass the Serve America Act introduced by Senators Kennedy (D-MA) and Hatch (R-UT). (Read also his TIME Article from today, calling for a “New Era of Service.”)

Read the joint press release (PDF) issued yesterday by Senators Kennedy (D-MA), Enzi (R-WY), Hatch (R-UT) and Mikulski (D-MD).

Read the amended Serve America Act (PDF) approved by the Senate HELP Committee.

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