Service Year Alliance released the following statement today in response to Congress’ FY23 Omnibus Spending Bill:
“Service Year Alliance is grateful for Congress’ increased investment in national service and AmeriCorps to meet urgent community needs, strengthen social cohesion, and provide career and higher education on-ramps for young people. While we appreciate these funding increases provided in the FY23 omnibus spending bill, we remain concerned about the agency’s long-term ability to expand access to national service while avoiding an impending funding cliff as American Rescue Plan investments expire.
This fiscal year’s modest increases in appropriations to AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild will allow young Americans to continue to help communities recover from the pandemic, support students of all ages in and outside of school, improve environmental resilience and mitigation efforts, respond to natural disasters, construct affordable housing, and more.
As Congress looks to FY24 and beyond, substantial increases in annual appropriations to AmeriCorps will be critical in order to continue increasing the living allowance in line with the cost of living while also avoiding a reduction in the number of corps members serving annually and sustaining the impact these civic leaders have on local communities across the country.
Additionally, as environmental resilience and clean energy employers look to fill the millions of new jobs created by the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress and the Administration should commit to investing in environmental resilience and mitigation national service opportunities to fill workforce gaps and put youth on pathways to good-paying jobs.
We are grateful to President Biden for his leadership and commitment to making national service an opportunity for all, and we commend Congress — especially the leaders of the House and Senate National Service Caucuses — for recognizing the value that service years offer to young people and their communities.
We look forward to working with the Administration and congressional leaders in the coming year to build upon meaningful increases to the AmeriCorps living allowance and pave the way for an expansion of all streams of national service to unlock opportunities for youth across the country.”