Sending Office: Honorable Raja Krishnamoorthi
Deadline: May 8, 2020
Organizations in Support: Serve Illinois, America’s Service Commissions
Cosponsors: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
I invite you to join me as an original cosponsor of the State Commission Emergency Response Act of 2020.
State service commissions across the nation have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, responding to the needs of communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Specifically, these agencies help communities in need by responding to disasters, building
affordable housing, help at risk children with academic performance, and assist veterans and elderly Americans apply for benefits. However, under current law, the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 prohibits these agencies from providing immediate
and essential personnel to aid in their state’s response in a timely manner. Food banks, the Red Cross, and other community service organizations are in desperate need of volunteers at a time when they have been overwhelmed by a growing pandemic and a deadly
public health crisis.
Organizations in need must go through the burdensome and time-consuming process of applying for a grant with their state service commission. From there, the application is sent to the [federal] Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) for approval.
If approved by CNCS, that organization will be tasked with using that grant money to recruit personnel. This cumbersome process drastically delays response times for communities in need. The State Commission Emergency Response Act would shorten this process
by providing state service commissions with direct authority to place personnel and resources where they are needed without CNCS approval.
State Commission Emergency Response Act of 2020
- Amends the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 by:
- Adding language to Subtitle C for CNCS by repealing Sec.178(h) [the requirement that the federal CNCS approve of the deployment of resources by state commissions]
- Removing the restriction of section 178 (H) Subtitle C, state service commissions would be allowed to directly place and administer AmeriCorps members in local organizations immediately. These resources would be deployed by the commission to community-based
organizations, state and local government entities addressing COVID-19 pandemic
This bill will give state commissions the authority to quickly send scarce recourses and personnel as a part of a state’s emergency response plan. State commissions across the nation already have AmeriCorps personnel waiting to assist during this crisis
but cannot do so, please join me in providing direct and immediate relief to communities in need.
For more information on the legislation or if you would like to be included as an original cosponsor, please contact Zach Shaben (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (202) 225-3711.
Thank you for your consideration.
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