WHEREAS, the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (the Act) has been enacted to help States meet the human, educational, environmental and public safety needs of communities; and
WHEREAS, the Corporation on National and Community Service (Corporation) was established pursuant to the Act to engage Americans of diverse backgrounds, age groups and educational levels in service to the community and provide educational awards and/or living stipends to individuals who make a substantial sacrifice to community service; and
WHEREAS, there are thousands of New Jerseyans who donate thousands of hours as volunteers and perform community service, which promotes good citizenship and responsibility to the community; and
WHEREAS, these New Jersey volunteers may, through the structures and funding provided under the Act, better serve the needs of their community; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has received approval from the Corporation to establish a State commission as the entity which will be responsible for selecting AmeriCorps National Service Programs and to apply to receive funds for community-based Learn and Serve America programs; and
WHEREAS, the State Commission, together with the Corporation, will assist programs in recruiting participants, disseminating information about service opportunities, and providing technical assistance to communities organizing service programs; and
WHEREAS, the government of the State of New Jersey is in a position to promote volunteerism and community service by bringing together the State's leading volunteers and community service activists to provide leadership, guidance, and oversight of the State Commission; and
WHEREAS, it is the role of the State under the Act, to provide funding through the resources appropriated thereunder for the most innovative, constructive, and effective service programs in the State in order to build on existing infrastructures and carry out the statutory mandates necessary to receive funding from the Corporation; and
WHEREAS, selection, coordination, and oversight of Statewide efforts to enhance volunteerism and service to the community, as called for by the Act, can best be achieved by the creation of a New Jersey State commission;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
1. There is hereby established the New Jersey Commission on National Service (Commission) to be located within the Department of Education. The Commission shall:
a. Develop a three-year comprehensive State Plan which can be updated annually, and is developed through an open and inclusive process that ensures outreach to diverse community-based agencies.
b. Develop a strategy for private sector development to aid the State in implementing national service throughout the State.
c. Assist and coordinate with the State Department of Education in completing Learn and Serve America and AmeriCorps applications for grant funding.
d. Provide funding, through the resources appropriated under the Act for programs that are within the guidelines established by the New Jersey State Plan.
e. Monitor grant programs through on-site visits, and review of quarterly and annual programmatic reports so that the goals of the program and the Trust Act are fulfilled.
f. Directly oversee grant programs that are funded by the Corporation and help them develop projects, training methods, and curriculum materials.
g. Establish a process for recruitment and placement for National Service participants and disseminate information about service programs.
h. Advise the Corporation, based upon State priorities, on which programs should receive funding under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.
i. Make recommendations to the Corporation regarding funding for VISTA and Older American Volunteer programs within the State.
j. Coordinate and assist volunteer programs by working with other State governmental agencies.
k. Coordinate with State agencies such as the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, the Governor's Advisory Council on Community Service, the Academy for Community Service and Service Learning, and other agencies that have not been previously represented.
l. Provide technical assistance to enable applicants to plan and implement service programs.
m. Assist in the provision of health care and child care benefits as required in the AmeriCorps program.
n. Perform any other duties as required by federal law.
2. The New Jersey Commission on National Service shall be comprised of not fewer than fifteen nor more than twenty-five voting members, appointed by the Governor, and shall reflect the diversity of the State of New Jersey.
a. The members shall include:
1. An individual with expertise in educational, training and developmental needs of youth, particularly disadvantaged youth;
2. An individual with expertise in promoting the involvement of older adults in service and volunteerism as defined by the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973;
3. A representative of community-based agencies or organizations within the State;
4. The Commissioner of Education or his designee;
5. A representative of local governments in the State;
6. A representative of local labor organizations in the State;
7. A representative of business;
8. Youth Service Program participants, including in-school, college-based, and out-of-school participants; and
9. A National Service participant.
b. The balance of the twenty-five voting members shall be representative of the following:
1. Local education agencies;
2. Out of school and "at risk" youth;
3. Local higher education community;
4. Native American tribes;
5. Programs receiving assistance under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act;
6. A local expert in the delivery of human service programs;
7. A local expert in the delivery of public safety services;
8. A local expert in the delivery of environmental services and/or programs;
9. The chairperson of the Governor's Advisory Council on Community Service and Volunteerism;
10. A member of the Governor's Youth Advisory Council; and
11. Two members of the Legislature, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party.
c. The voting members shall include youth representing the wide array of service programs throughout New Jersey and other private citizens and organizational representatives.
d. In addition to the twenty-five voting members, representatives engaged in or planning to implement service or service learning programs from the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Corrections, Department of Environmental Protection and Energy, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of Law and Public Safety, Department of Transportation, Education Service Office of the New Jersey Army National Guard shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Commission.
e. Representatives shall be sought from the State Employment and Training Commission and the State Human Services Advisory Committee, and the Center for Non-Profits, in order to serve as ex-officio members.
f. A representative of the Corporation will sit on the State Commission as an ex-officio member and act as liaison between the Commission and the Corporation.
3.The selection process shall adhere to the following guidelines:
a. The process through which applicants to the State Commission are reviewed shall ensure diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability characteristics, and political affiliation to the maximum extent practicable.
b. The Governor's Appointments Office will assist in ensuring bipartisan representation, as no more than fifty percent of the voting members, plus one additional member, shall be from the same political party.
4. Members of the Commission shall:
a. Serve three-year terms, except for the terms of the members first appointed, who shall serve as follows: one-third shall serve for a term of one year, one-third shall serve for a term of two years and one-third for a term of three years.
b. Elect their own chair.
c. Not participate in grant decisions if they are, or were at any time in the previous year, an officer, director, trustee, full-time employee, or volunteer with a National service program.
d. Serve without compensation, except that members may receive per diem and travel expenses.
5. This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 13th day of June in the Year of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Four, and of the Independence of the United States, the Two Hundred and Eighteenth./s/ Christine Todd Whitman