Spring 2018: Where does the 21CSC Act stand?

By the Partnership for the 21CSC

The 21CSC Act would allow federal land and water management agencies – like the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service –  to create formal, more flexible partnerships with 21CSC member organizations. It would also enable additional federal agencies to more easily partner with 21CSC organizations to accomplish their goals. Among other provisions, it would expand the number of federal agencies that can work with 21CSC programs and establish standards for data collection and measuring the effectiveness of 21CSC programs.

A bipartisan 21CSC Act was initially introduced in the U.S. Senate in August 2015 and in the U.S. House of Representatives in April 2016. In June 2017, a new bipartisan version of the 21CSC Act was introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate, combining the previous version of the bill with the Public Lands Service Corps Act (similar proposed legislation). This updated version of the 21CSC Act represents a bipartisan effort among sponsors and cosponsors of both bills to work together for the advancement of Corps as a public-private strategy to meet the needs of America’s resource management agencies and provide work opportunities for young adults and veterans.

Please check out this one pager on the 21CSC Act and share it with your House and Senate members and ask them to cosponsor the bill!

In January 2018, the new 21CSC Act passed the House Committee on Natural Resources with unanimous bipartisan support. This is no doubt one for the “win” column. In recent months, 21CSC has been featured in numerous hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill, where the initiative has been referenced as a strategy for addressing many issues facing our public lands. Leaders from 21CSC organizations have testified about how Corps offer a way to engage the next generation of park visitors, help returning veterans transition back to civilian life, and help land managers meet their mission. Passage of the bill in the House Committee on Natural Resources was referenced recently in a House oversight hearing exploring innovative ways to address DOI’s maintenance backlog.

The 21CSC Act now boasts 16 cosponsors in the House and nine in the Senate. Next steps for the bill include trying to ensure its passage through the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources so that it might be included in a larger energy package. However, it may be possible to move the bill by itself. Back in the House, the P-21CSC is exploring ways to potentially attach the 21CSC Act to a larger bill, or pass it on suspension of the rules (which is a procedure to pass “non-controversial” bills in the House). Please check out this one pager on the 21CSC Act and share it with your House and Senate members and ask them to cosponsor the bill. The more cosponsors we can add to the bill, the better!