July 9, 2013
As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 18, 2013
S. 360 would amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993, which governs programs that employ young adults to work on lands managed by the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Forest Service, and other federal agencies. Under current law, those programs are permanently authorized to receive appropriations totaling $12 million a year. Although S. 360 authorizes a number of new activities under the Public Lands Corps Act, the bill would not increase the amounts authorized to be appropriated under that act. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no impact on the federal budget over the 2014-2018 period. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
Existing Public Lands Corps (PLC) programs vary by agency and funding source. Currently, only some agencies receive specific appropriations for this program. For example, in 2013, the Forest Service received an appropriation of $2.5 million to fund certain PLC projects. The National Park Service also receives funding for PLC projects, but usually that funding is derived from recreation fees that the agency is able to use without further appropriation action. In 2013, the agency spent $3 million for youth activities at parks.
In addition to changing the name of the Public Lands Corps to the Public Lands Service Corps (PLSC), S. 360 would:
- Expand the program to include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
- Assist Indian tribes and related youth groups with operation of an Indian Youth Service Corps;
- Mandate that agencies involved in the program develop a recruiting program for the corps;
- Require DOI to establish a department-level office to coordinate PLSC programs among its various bureaus; and
- Authorize agencies to use appropriated funds to provide transportation subsidies to program participants.
S. 360 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.