WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined colleagues in the introduction of legislation to expand national service programs as the country works to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act would fund 750,000 national service positions over a three-year response and recovery period, in part to meet the projected need for as many as 300,000 public health workers.

Under the bill, the number of AmeriCorps and national service positions could expand from 75,000 to 150,000 the first year and double to 300,000 in years two and three. The bill would also expand partnerships between AmeriCorps and federal health agencies and increase the AmeriCorps living allowance to ensure all Americans can step up to serve regardless of their financial circumstances. The Senators are actively working to include this bill in the next COVID-19 relief package set to be considered by the Senate.

“National service volunteers have always stepped in to fulfill the needs of our communities in times of crisis.  And while it may be years before the country fully recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, expanding national service will engage more people who are willing and ready to serve now, while strengthening our national service infrastructure for times of need,” said Senator Brown.

“AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs across the country are stepping up to address the critical needs facing communities dealing with the crippling impact of COVID-19. From supporting public health needs such as testing and contract tracing to ensuring that homebound and medically vulnerable populations have food and life-saving medicine, to supporting students trying to keep up academically, America's national service infrastructure is playing an essential role in the response and recovery efforts across the country,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “The more than 100 organizations who have signed on in support of The Pandemic Response and Opportunity through National Service Act are tremendously grateful to Senator Coons and his colleagues for working in a bipartisan way to get them the support they need to ramp up their service to meet increasing demand for support from states and cities nationwide.”

In addition to Voices for National Service, the bill has gained the support of more than 100 organizations, including America’s Service Commissions, City Year, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, FoodCorps, Habitat for Humanity International, Hunger Free America, Jumpstart, National Health Corps, National Senior Corps Association, National Youth Leadership Council, Service Year Alliance, Teach for America, and YouthBuild. For a full list of supportive organizations, please click here.

The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act would fund 750,000 national service positions over a three-year response and recovery period, in part to meet the projected need for as many as 300,000 public health workers. Under the bill, the number of AmeriCorps and national service positions could expand from 75,000 to 150,000 the first year and double to 300,000 in years two and three. The bill would also expand partnerships between AmeriCorps and federal health agencies and increase the AmeriCorps living allowance to ensure all Americans can step up to serve regardless of their financial circumstances.

For a one-pager on the bill, please click here. For the bill text, please click here.

 

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