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House of Representatives Approves Budget Cuts To Eliminate AmeriCorps & Other National Service Programs in MichiganContact: Elyse V. Walter
More than 47,000 Michigan residents of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through national service programs (AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve, and Senior Corps) in the state. Their efforts have assisted countless individuals and organizations and helped to place Michigan on its road to recovery.
Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, a bill that would immediately cut $61 billion from the federal budget and eliminate funding for programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service; including AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve. It passed 235-189. The bill is part of a Continuing Resolution that will fund the last seven months of Fiscal Year 2011.
The bill has been sent to the Senate for their consideration, and the Senate and the President will have opportunities to shape and influence the final spending package.
More than 11,000 seniors in Michigan are serving with 55 Senior Corps projects and are acting as one-on-one tutors and mentors to disadvantaged youth; helping homebound seniors and adults maintain their independence; and conducting safety patrols for local police departments, protecting the environment, responding to natural disasters, and providing other services. Volunteers receive a small stipend ($2.65 an hour) which allows many low-income seniors to afford prescriptions, heating bills, and other necessities.
The Michigan Community Service Commission builds a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism. In 2010-2011, the MCSC is granting nearly $9 million in federal funds to local communities for volunteer programs and activities. The MCSC is funding 26 AmeriCorps programs, 25 Learn and Serve programs, and seven Volunteer Michigan grantees. The Governor's Service Awards and Mentor Michigan are also premier programs of the MCSC. The MCSC is housed in the Michigan Department of Human Services, whose mission is to assist children, families, and vulnerable adults to be safe, stable, and self-supporting. The Corporation for National and Community Service grants the federal funding the MCSC administers.
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