Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act

 

Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act • Fairness in Taxation Act • Budget For All • Patriot Corporations • Bowles-Simpson • Trade  

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View Short Bill Summary   |  View Full Detailed Summary 

Short Bill Summary

 

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  • Creates over 2 million jobs within two years to address the real crisis facing America: the jobs crisis.
  • Emergency jobs will meet critical needs to make American communities stronger.
  • Costs $227 billion ($113.5 billion for each of fiscal years 2012 and 2013).
  • Fully paid for through separate legislation that creates higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, eliminates subsidies for Big Oil, and loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas.

The Corps: 2.2 Million Jobs

1. School Improvement Corps - Creates 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs to fix American schools.

2. Park Improvement Corps - 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25, to improve our nation's parks.

3. Student Job Corps - 250,000 part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students.

4. Neighborhood Heroes Corps - 300,000 teachers, 40,000 police officers, 12,000 firefighters.

5. Health Corps - 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and health care workers.

6. Community Corps - 750,000 jobs to do needed work in our communities, including energy audits and conservation upgrades, urban land re-clamation and addressing blight, public property maintenance and beautification, housing rehabilitation, and new construction.

7. Child Care Corps - 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education.

 

Detailed Bill Summary

The Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act

 Detailed Summaries of the Corps

School Improvement Corps – Creates 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.  ($100 billion)

Note: New program.

    Funding Total:                $100 billion in new funding

Jobs Created:                650,000 new jobs

Administration:              The construction program is administered through the Department of Education.

Who gets Funding:          Local Education Agencies

Eligibility:                      Public elementary and secondary schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools.  Under this bill, unemployed individuals who meet the job requirements will be prioritized for hiring by LEAs for maintenance jobs.

Projects description:       LEAs receiving a grant shall use the grant for modernization, renovation, or repair of public elementary and secondary school facilities to create healthier, safer, and more energy-efficient teaching and learning environments. 

Money Allocation:           The Department of Education will distribute funding to states and the states will make grants to the Local Education Agencies (LEAs).  Distribution formulas are based on how much the state and LEA received in previous year Title I-A grants. 

Timeline:                       The Education Secretary must distribute the money to the states within 90 days and states must distribute the money within 60 days of receiving it from the Secretary. 

Additional Info:              Includes Davis-Bacon wage protections and a provision to ensure American-made goods are used whenever possible.  Hiring of maintenance and custodial staff by schools must meet federal, state, and local laws in regards to background checks, labor, and civil rights. 

Justification:                 “Every school day an estimated 14 million American children attend deteriorating public schools.  Of the existing 80,000 schools at least one-third are in need of extensive repair or replacement.  At least two-thirds have troublesome environmental conditions: the presence of asbestos, lead in water and paint, leaking underground storage tanks and radon, or they lack noise control or physical security.  The average public school building in America is forty-two years old and was not designed to meet the demands of current and future technology.”  (From Rebuilding America’s Schools)

Park Improvement Corps – Creates 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service’s Public Lands Corps Act. Conservation projects on public lands authorized under this Act include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources. ($500 million)

Note: Program is described as it currently exists.  The bill would make no changes to the current administration or authorities of the program, except where noted (underlined).

     Funding Total:               $500 million in new funding

Jobs Created:                100,000 new jobs

Administration:              The program is administered through the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture.

Who gets Funding:         The funding is distributed to partner organizations (Student Conservation Association, Conservation Corps, non-profits) who conduct direct hiring for each project.

Eligibility:                      This program can employ anyone from 16 to 25 years of age.

Projects description:       The projects are targeted toward maintenance and upkeep of national parks.  Projects range from seasonal to full-year projects, but generally last between two weeks and eight months.

Money Allocation:           Money is allocated to DOI and USDA, then distributed to partner organizations demonstrating a project need and capacity to hire the employees and complete the project.  No federal funds go to partner organizations; all funds are used for hiring and implementation of programs.  Youth employed under these programs are paid at or near minimum wage.

Timeline:                       Funding for the first projects must be allocated within 90 days of enactment.

Additional Info:              There is typically a 25% match required for partner organizations.  With the quick ramp-up of the program, the 25% partner organization match will be waived under this bill for new jobs created to minimize delay and ensure maximum job creation. 

Justification:                  The Public Lands Service Coalition estimates that the youth service corps could handle a maximum increase of 250,000 annual employees, but the full ramp-up might take five years.  Realistically, 100,000 workers could be added over two years.

Student Jobs Corps – Creates 250,000 new part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program. ($850 million) 

Note: Program is described as it currently exists.  The bill would make no changes to the current administration or authorities of the program, except where noted (underlined).

 Funding Total:            $850 million in new funding

Jobs Created:             250,000 new jobs

Administration:           The program is administered through the Department of Education.

   Who gets Funding:      Funding for Federal Work Study is distributed by the Department of Education.  Accredited colleges and universities apply for federal funding for students who qualify for FWS.

   Eligibility:                   FWS is available to any student who qualifies for financial aid.  The students apply for FWS through their college or university, which then apply to the DOE with an funding request for all eligible students at the institution.

  Projects description:    FWS employment may consist of work for the higher education institution a student attends, for a private non-profit organization, for a federal, state, or local public agency, or for a private for-profit organization.  FWS positions must be relevant to the student’s academic pursuits.

   Money Allocation:       Money is allocated to the DOE, then distributed to colleges and universities to distribute directly to students employed through the program.

   Timeline:                    FWS funding is distributed annually and unused FWS dollars must be returned to the Department of Education if not used within the academic school year.

   Additional Info:          Colleges and universities must currently pledge a 25% match of federal dollars for employment programs.  Under this bill, the match would be waived for new funding in order to expedite job creation.

    Justification:              The amount of FWS funding requests largely outnumbered the amount of funding allotted last year.   FWS federal funding amounted to $1 billion, while request for FWS funds totaled $7 billion.

Neighborhood Heroes Corps: Teachers – Direct funding to states to hire, rehire, and prevent lay-offs of 300,000 teachers.  ($40 billion)

Note: New funding but similar program to the Education Jobs Fund, authorized under P.L. 111-226.

      Funding Total:              $40 billion in new funding

     Jobs Created:                300,000 new jobs

Administration:              The program is administered through the Department of Education.

Who gets Funding:         Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

Eligibility:                      Public and charter K-12 schools.

Projects description:       Funding will be used to hire, rehire, and prevent teacher lay-offs.  Funds received by LEAs can only be used for compensation and benefits and other expenses, such as support services, necessary to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees, and to hire new employees in order to provide early childhood, elementary, and secondary educational and related services.    

Money Allocation:           The Department of Education will distribute funding to states according to formula, and then the states will make grants to LEAs, also based on a formula.  The formula for funding to states is based on the state’s total population and population of individuals ages 5 to 24.  The formula for grants to LEAs will be based on either the state’s primary funding formula or how much LEAs received in Title I-A grants in the previous year.

Timeline:                       A Governor must submit an application for funding within 30 days of enactment.  The Department of Education will distribute funds to states that submit applications within 45 days of enactment. 

Justification:                  Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, since September 2008, 231,700 education jobs have been lost.  To hire them back would cost about $15.4 billion.  In addition, the American Association of School Administrators projected in May of this year that nationally, 227,000 education jobs will be lost for the 2011-12 school year.  To preserve those jobs would cost about another $15.1 billion.  The bill focuses on funding 300,000 education jobs for two years, which would make substantial progress in re-hiring those who have lost their jobs since the start of the recession and those who would lose their jobs in the coming months.

Neighborhood Heroes Corps: Cops – Creates 40,000 new jobs for police officers. ($10 billion) 

Note: Program is described as it currently exists.  The bill would make no changes to the current administration or authorities of the program, except where noted (underlined).

               Funding Total:              $10 billion in new funding

     Jobs Created:               40,000 new jobs (20,000 3-year grants issued in fiscal years 2012 and 2013)

Administration:              The COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Program is administered by the Department of Justice, and provides funds for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law enforcement officers.

Who gets Funding:          Grants are provided directly to law enforcement agencies (state, local, or tribal).  Half the funding must go to agencies serving jurisdictions of 150,000 or fewer people, and the other half to jurisdictions serving over 150,000 people.  All qualifying states must receive at least 0.5% of the total amount appropriated for hiring grants (unless all qualifying applications have been funded). 

Eligibility:                      Hiring eligibility is determined by the local jurisdiction.

Projects description:       Program provides funding for approved entry-level salaries and fringe benefits for 3 years (36 months).  Funding can be used to hire new officers, or to rehire laid-off officers or prevent lay-offs due to budget cuts. 

Money Allocation:           Applications are reviewed and grants are awarded based on answers to questions about fiscal health, crime statistics, community policing plans, and other relevant factors determined by the COPS Office. 

Timeline:                       Under this bill, DOJ would immediately review the existing pool of applications for the FY2011 hiring grants and allocate first funding within 90 days.  If amount allocated for year 1 isn’t distributed, then announce open solicitation process for new applications.  Funding for second year can be released under normal application and grant procedures for that year. 

Justification:                  Demand for COPS hiring grants currently exceeds available resources.  In the latest round of COPS hiring grants, the COPS office received $2 billion in requests for just over 9,000 officer positions.  However, if applying agencies could have requested as many positions as they needed (the COPS office implemented a 50 officer maximum request) the demand would have been $5.3 billion in requests for 22,194 officer positions.  The demand is also increasing: the percentage of agencies seeking grants who have reported experiencing layoffs in the past year has more than doubled (from 5.65% to 11.6%), while the percentage of agencies reporting hiring freezes in the past year jumped from 26% to 43%.

Neighborhood Heroes Corps: Firefighters – Creates 12,000 new jobs for firefighters. ($2.4 billion) 

 Note: Program is described as it currently exists.  The bill would make no changes to the current administration or authorities of the program, except where noted (underlined).

      Funding Total:               $2.4 billion in new funding

               Jobs Created:                12,000 new jobs (6,000 4-year grants issued in fiscal years 2012 and 2013)

Administration:              Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Who gets Funding:         Career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments are eligible for funding.   

Eligibility:                      Hiring eligibility is determined by the local jurisdiction.

Projects description:       Funding can be used for hiring new firefighters, re-hiring laid-off firefighters, and preventing lay-offs (the latter two were authorized in the FY2011 CR – our bill would extend this authority). 

Money Allocation:           Applications are judged on project description, impact on daily operations, financial need, and performance, and are measured against the program’s stated priorities.  There are no minimums for states or rural/urban or small/large jurisdiction allocation formulas.

Timeline:                       Under this bill, FEMA would immediately review the existing pool of applications for the FY2011 SAFER grants and allocate first funding within 90 days.  If amount allocated for year 1 isn’t distributed, then announce rolling applications.  Funding for second year would be released under normal application and grant procedures for that year.

Additional Info:              Hiring grants cover a four-year term and are cost shared with the local jurisdiction.  Grantee must commit to retaining firefighters hired with SAFER grants for at least one additional year after the term of federal funding.  Our bill would waive the cost-sharing and the one-year retention requirements.

Justification:                  SAFER grants play a critical role in helping local jurisdictions address serious and persistent staffing shortfalls.  An International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) survey of 3,012 local departments found that approximately 5,650 fire fighter jobs have been lost due to layoffs or attrition, and approximately 5,200 additional layoffs have been proposed.  IAFF estimates that, even accounting for jobs created or saved because of FY 2009 and FY 2010 SAFER grants, over 7,100 firefighter positions remain lost or threatened.  As the recession continues to slash the budgets of local jurisdictions, fire departments have been forced to reduce staffing and cut back on training.  SAFER grants play a critical role in ensuring departments have sufficient staff to operate safely and effectively.

Health Care Corps – Grants to hire at least 40,000 health care and long-term care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and community health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.  ($8 billion)

Note: New program.

     Funding Total:               $8 billion in new funding

Jobs Created:                40,000 new jobs

Administration:              The program is administered through the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Who gets Funding:         Health care and long-term care providers upon successful completion of the grant application.  Eligible providers include, but are not limited to, a health care or long-term care provider serving a health professional shortage area (HPSA); rural health clinics; public hospitals; facilities that accept Medicaid, Medicare, or SCHIP; long-term care facilities; and school-based health centers.

Eligibility:                      Eligible health care and long-term care professionals who can be hired with this funding include, but are not limited to, physicians, dentists, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, direct care workers, community health workers, nurse practitioners, and physicians assistants.  Under this bill, unemployed individuals who meet the licensure and certification requirements will be prioritized for hiring.

Projects description:      Grants awarded under this program will provide financial assistance to health care or long-term care providers to pay all or part of the costs of hiring and retaining health care or long-term care professionals who, but for this assistance, would not be hired or retained.

Money Allocation:           Funding is allocated to HHS.  HHS awards grants to facilities and providers who have successfully completed the grant application.

Timeline:                       Secretary must release application guidelines within 60 days of passage.  Providers have 30 days to submit an application and Secretary has 30 days to determine awards.

Additional Info:              Applicants for funding must provide evidence that they are in compliance with all state and federal laws, including those requiring background checks of workers, and those that require health care professionals hired under this section to meet certification and licensing requirements and only practice within the scope of their licensure.

Justification:                  There are widespread shortages of health care providers across the country.  For example, there are 6,419 Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas with 66.5 million people living in them.  It would take 17,727 practitioners to meet their need for primary care providers, at a population to practitioner ratio of 2,000:1.  In just two other health care areas, there is need for 10,152 dental practitioners and 6,221 mental health practitioners. 

Community Corps – A new Community Corps will create 750,000 jobs to do needed work in our communities. ($60 billion)

Note: New program.

     Funding Total:               $60 billion in new funding

Jobs Created:                750,000 new jobs

Administration:              The program is administered by the Department of Labor, in consultation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Project-level administration will be done by states and local governments.

Who gets Funding:         The funding is distributed by DOL to states and local governments through a formula. 

Projects description:      The projects implemented with these funds can include, but are not limited to, the following: energy audits and conservation upgrades, recycling and reclamation of reusable materials, urban land reclamation and addressing blight, including foreclosure and disaster-affected areas, rural conservation work, public property maintenance and beautification, housing rehabilitation, and new housing construction modeled after Habitat for Humanity.

Eligibility:                      Only unemployed individuals can be hired to fill Community Corps positions, unless no qualified unemployed individuals have applied.

Money Allocation:           Distribution is based on population, poverty level, and number of unemployed individuals.  Overall, seventy percent of the funding will go to “entitlement communities” (metropolitan cities and urban counties), and thirty percent will go to states to administer their own program and to distribute to local governments that are not “entitlement communities.” 

Timeline:                       Application must be released by Secretary within 30 days of enactment, states and entitlement communities must submit application within 60 days of enactment, and first funding must be awarded within 90 days of enactment.

Worker Protections:       Workers employed under the Community Corps would be receive the same benefits and labor rights as other public sector employees in the state or locality administering their program.  Existing workers cannot be displaced by workers under the Community Corps program.

Justification:                  “The Civilian Conservation Corps was the first and most popular of all the New Deal’s job creation programs. It provided work for 300,000 young men at a time, on average, over a ten year period from the spring of 1933 through the fall of 1942.  The CCC … performed conservation work on both public and private land.  Drawing on the CCC idea, State or locally-administered [Community Corps] could provide work for large numbers of unemployed workers until the private sector is again able to employ them.  Conservation work includes a much broader range of activities today than it did in the 1930s, and CCHCs could undertake other types of projects as well.”  (Phil Harvey, DEMOS)

 Child Development Corps – Creates 100,000 jobs in early childhood development through additional funding for Early Head Start. ($6 billion)

Note: Program is described as it currently exists.  The bill would make no changes to the current administration or authorities of the program, except where noted.

     Funding Total:               $6 billion in new funding

Jobs Created:                100,000 new jobs

Administration:              The office of Head Start within the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services provides grants directly to grantees. 

Who gets Funding:         Individual grantees upon successful completion of grant application.

Eligibility:                     Grantees may be public or private agencies, nonprofit or for-profit, faith-based or secular organizations.  Under this bill, unemployed individuals who meet the job requirements will be prioritized for hiring.

Projects description:      Grantees serve infants and toddlers who are generally too young to participate in the regular Head Start program.  Early Head Start grantees must design programs that respond to the strengths and needs of individual families with services including education; home visits, especially for families with newborns and infants; parent education, including parent-child activities; comprehensive health services, including services to women during and after pregnancy; and ongoing parental support through case management and peer groups.  All programs must conduct an assessment of community resources and needs and must ensure the recruitment and development of high-quality staff.

Money Allocation:           Funding is allocated to the office of Head Start, who then awards grants to individual grantees. Programs are targeted to low-income children under age three and their families. 

Timeline:                       Under this bill, ACF would immediately review the existing pool of applications for the FY2011 Early Head Start grants and allocate first funding within 90 days.  If amount allocated for year 1 isn’t distributed, then announce rolling applications.  Funding for second year can be released under normal application and grant procedures for that year.

Additional Info:              Early Head Start grantees must conduct a criminal background check before employing an individual.

Justification:                  Currently, Early Head Start provides early childhood development for an estimated 3% of eligible children from birth to age three.  Increasing funding for Early Head Start by $6 billion over two years would create 100,000 jobs and provide critical early childhood development services.

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