03.27.09

Senator Burr Statement on the Serve America Act

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) today issued the following statement regarding last night's vote on the Serve America Act:

"Yesterday, the Senate voted to reauthorize the major federally funded community service and volunteer programs under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (DVSA).

"The bill contains several financial management improvements for the Corporation for National Service. Additionally, it contains restrictions on the types of activities for which national service positions can be used, preventing participants from engaging in activities such as voter registration drives (by groups such as ACORN), political or legislative advocacy, or providing abortion services as part of their volunteer activities under the program. Further, it prohibits organizations found to be in violation of a federal criminal statute from receiving assistance under the national service law.

"I was pleased to have three amendments included in the bill. Two of these amendments relate to ensuring accurate graduation rate reporting and ensuring that high schools with low graduation rates are targeted for improvement programs. The third amendment strengthens the requirements for criminal background checks for individuals working with vulnerable populations (children, the elderly, the disabled) on a regular basis by requiring a check through the Adam Walsh sexual predator database, a state criminal check, and FBI fingerprinting."