1999 Montana Legislature

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Montana State Seal

AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING THE LAWS RELATING TO THE MONTANA COMMUNITY SERVICE ACT; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 23-1-301, 90-14-102, 90-14-103, 90-14-104, 90-14-105, 90-14-106, AND 90-14-108, MCA.


     Section 1.  Section 23-1-301, MCA, is amended to read:

     "23-1-301.  Montana conservation corps -- purpose and intent. (1) There is a Montana conservation corps within the parks division of the department of fish, wildlife, and parks. The corps is part of the Montana community service corps provided for under Title 90, chapter 14, part 1, and is subject to the oversight of the office of community service.

     (2)  The purpose of the corps is to accomplish labor-intensive improvements to the state park system and to other public lands and to perform community service activities for which specific responsibilities are accepted through service contracts.

     (3)  It is the intent of the legislature that the corps grow in productive ways and that state agencies involved with the corps provide coordination of the conservation corps program and the programs established under Title 90, chapter 14, part 1. The legislature also intends that the Montana conservation corps program have the authority to contract with the job service or the human resource development council, as defined in 53-10-501."

     Section 2.  Section 90-14-102, MCA, is amended to read:

     "90-14-102.  Definitions. As used in this part, unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:

     (1)  "Advisory council" "Commission" means the advisory council commission on community service appointed by the governor to assist in implementation of this part.

     (2)  "Community service" means any kind of public service that provides a benefit to the state of Montana, any of its political subdivisions, or a tribal government or that benefits disadvantaged or low-income persons, disabled persons, or senior citizens of Montana.

     (3)  "Coordinator" "Director" means the person appointed by the governor as the community service coordinator director to administer and coordinate the provisions of this part.

     (4)  "Corps" means the Montana community service corps, which includes any organization established to provide community services under this part and the Montana conservation corps created under 23-1-301.

     (5)  "Corpsmember" means a participant in the corps.

     (6)  "Crewleader" means a participant in the corps who supervises corpsmembers.

     (7)(4)  "Program" means the Montana community service corps program, which includes all of the corps, educational projects, and volunteer projects established under this part and under the Montana conservation corps in 23-1-301.

     (8)(5)  "Volunteer" means a person performing services under this part for an association, not-for-profit corporation, hospital, school, or state, local, or tribal governmental entity without compensation, except that partial or full reimbursement may be made for actual expenses incurred."

     Section 3.  Section 90-14-103, MCA, is amended to read:

     "90-14-103.  Office of community service. (1) There is an office of community service, which is headed by a coordinator director and established in the office of the governor.

     (2)  The purpose of this office is to:

     (a)  renew the ethic of civic responsibility in the state;

     (b)  encourage the citizens of the state, regardless of age or income, to engage in full-time or part-time service to the state;

     (c)  call young people to serve in projects that will benefit the state and improve their life chances through the acquisition of literacy, job skills, and interpersonal skills;

     (d)  build on the existing organizational framework of state and local governmental entities to expand full-time and part-time service opportunities in a wide variety of programs for all citizens, particularly youth and older Montanans;

     (e)  involve participants in activities that would not otherwise be performed by employed workers; and

     (f)  establish corps programs to accomplish labor-intensive improvements to public or low-income properties or to provide services for the benefit of the state, its communities, and its people through service contracts that specify the work to be performed by the corps.

     (3)  The coordinator director must be appointed by the governor, after consultation with the advisory council commission. The coordinator director serves at the pleasure of the governor.

     (4)  The coordinator director shall, with the advice of the advisory council commission, assist the governor in the planning, coordination, operation, and evaluation of programs within state government or under grants, donations, bequests, or other resources received by and administered through state government for Montana community services.

     (5)  The coordinator director is responsible for the submission of applications for federal grants and for funding from any other sources for the creation or operation of corps and volunteer projects. The coordinator director shall ensure accountability for all resources received.

     (6)  The coordinator director, together with the advisory council commission, shall integrate and develop state plans for all services provided under this part, including but not limited to the office of public instruction's serve America service learning program, the Montana university system innovative projects, the Montana conservation corps established in 23-1-301, the department of military affairs' corps service involvement, and other community and volunteer service programs."

     Section 4.  Section 90-14-104, MCA, is amended to read:

     "90-14-104.  Advisory council Commission on community service. (1) The governor shall appoint an advisory council a commission on community service composed of up to 15 members.

     (2)  Members must include a representative from a tribal government and from at least four state agencies in the following functional areas:

     (a)  natural resources;

     (b)  human services;

     (c)  labor;

     (d)  K-12 education;

     (e)  higher education; and

     (f)  military affairs.

     (3)  Members may include representatives from local government, not-for-profit agencies, federal agencies, business, labor unions, volunteer groups, and private citizens.

     (4)  To the extent possible, membership of the advisory council commission must be balanced according to race, ethnicity, age, gender, and disabilities.

     (5)  The advisory council commission shall assist in the development and coordination of state community service programs, integration of services, dissemination of information, recruitment of corpsmembers and volunteers, recruitment and training of volunteer crewleaders, development of materials, and evaluation of and accountability for the services provided.

     (6) Commission members are entitled to payment and reimbursement as provided in 2-15-122(5)."

     Section 5.  Section 90-14-105, MCA, is amended to read:

     "90-14-105.  Duties and powers of state agencies. (1) In addition to the office of community service in the governor's office, the The following state agencies are responsible for developing and implementing community service opportunities consistent with the mission and functions of each agency:

     (a)  The office of public instruction is the agency for corps and implements volunteer projects in elementary and secondary public, private, and home schools in Montana, including activities sponsored by schools or community-based agencies, to involve school-age youth, including dropouts and out-of-school youth, in service to the community, as well as for programs that involve adult volunteers in the schools. A school district is expected to be the first agency that informs students about the many opportunities to participate in broader community service under this part through the federal serve America service learning grants and any other revenue received for purposes consistent with this part.

     (b)  The Montana university system is the agency to assist assists institutions of higher education in Montana, explore explores new ways to integrate service into the curriculum, support supports model community service programs on campus, develop develops teacher and volunteer training programs, and involve involves students in community service. The community service may complement a student's course of study through the federal higher education innovative projects grants and any other revenue received for purposes consistent with this part.

     (c)  The department of fish, wildlife, and parks is the agency for corps, community, departments of environmental quality, natural resources and conservation, transportation, and fish, wildlife, and parks are the agencies for community and volunteer projects in conservation and natural resource settings that are designed to support and enhance state parks, wildlife, watchable wildlife, productivity of state lands, streams and lakes, county and city parks, tribal parks, scenic beauty and access, trails and signs, visitor information centers and rest areas, fairgrounds, and any other conservation-related projects related to conservation or the environment that involve teenagers, young adults, or special community service members, such as adults or senior citizens who provide special skills for a project. Other projects may include bicycle paths and pedestrian trails, landscaping and scenic enhancements, historical and cultural preservation, roadside and stream restoration and enhancement, erosion control, disability enhancement, and experimental and research projects.

     (d)  The department of military affairs is the agency for corps, may support community, and volunteer projects that are designed to involve the national guard in leadership or support roles for service through the provision of organizational and leadership skills, equipment, volunteer crewleaders, and other support, as well as the command and coordination of corps activities that may be mobilized for emergency projects, such as fire suppression or search and rescue.

     (e)  The governor may designate other agencies, after consultation with the coordinator director and the advisory council commission, for community service projects that focus on improving the quality of life for all Montanans, particularly low-income persons, senior citizens, homebound persons, disabled persons, or institutionalized persons, through preparing and delivering meals, assisting with shopping or other tasks, repairing and painting or otherwise modifying homes of qualifying persons, providing transportation to and from health care and other appointments, providing respite care, cataloging library books, assisting rural health care providers, providing recreational aides, arranging for tutoring and literacy training, restoring historical photographs, and offering other human service support and community services.

     (2)  Each agency listed in this section designated by the governor shall ensure that service opportunities that result in a public value are developed for everyone, regardless of race, creed, national origin, or geographical location, by providing leadership through its own network and by forming partnerships with other public or private, nonprofit entities.

     (3)  Each agency listed in this section involved in community service shall coordinate and integrate its plans with and through the office of community service.

     (4)  Projects developed or approved under this part and funded by an agency must be limited to service projects that provide community service, conservation service, educational service, or other public service and that provide documented public value or benefit.

     (5)  The state agencies listed in this section engaged in community service may:

     (a)  designate an agency volunteer coordinator to implement its responsibilities under this part;

     (b)  develop and approve work experience and volunteer projects that meet the requirements of this part;

     (c)  execute contracts or cooperative agreements that contain the terms and conditions necessary and desirable for the employment of volunteer crewleaders and corpsmembers other volunteers in approved work experience projects with federal, state, or local agencies, persons, firms, partnerships, associations, or corporations;

     (d)  execute contracts or cooperative agreements with federal, state, or local agencies, persons, firms, partnerships, associations, or corporations for the purpose of administering the requirements of this part;

     (e)  under the supervision of the office of community service, apply for and accept grants or contributions of services, funds, or lands from any public or private donors, including appropriations;

     (f)  develop procedures for participants to achieve incentive vouchers, education, credit toward education, skill training, scholarships, housing benefits, or other benefits upon completion of their term of service;

     (g)  purchase, rent, acquire, or obtain personal property, supplies, instruments, tools, or equipment necessary to complete work experience or volunteer projects;

     (h)  authorize use of the corps volunteers for emergency projects, including but not limited to natural disasters, fire prevention and suppression, and rescue of lost or injured persons, and provide adequate training to corpsmembers volunteers prior to participation in an emergency project; and

     (i)  adopt rules and guidelines necessary to implement the provisions of this part and to effectively administer the program."

     Section 6.  Section 90-14-106, MCA, is amended to read:

     "90-14-106.  Prohibited activities. (1) The office of community service and agencies listed in 90-14-105, that are designated by the governor and engaged in developing and approving work experience and volunteer projects, shall ensure that:

     (a)  work available to participants is not available as the result of a labor dispute, strike, or lockout and will not be assigned to cause a layoff or downgrading of a position or to prevent the return to work of an available competent employee; and

     (b)  a work experience project:

     (i)  does not impair existing contracts for service or collective bargaining agreements; and

     (ii) is not inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement without written concurrence of the labor organization and employer concerned.

     (2)  It is unlawful for a person to demand from any public officer, agency, employee, corpsmember volunteer, or volunteer crewleader an assessment or percentage of any money or profit or its equivalent in support, service, or any other thing of value, with the express or implied understanding that it will be used for political purposes. This part may not be construed to prohibit voluntary contributions to any political committee or organization for legitimate political purposes to the extent allowed by law."

     Section 7.  Section 90-14-108, MCA, is amended to read:

     "90-14-108.  Indemnification for Montana community service act. The provisions of 2-9-305 apply to community service crewleaders, corpsmembers, and volunteers for actions arising from the discharge of assigned community service functions or duties."

     Section 8.  Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each tribal government located on the seven Montana reservations and to the Little Shell band of Chippewa.

- END -

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