Pre-filed December 1, 1999, and 1000 copies ordered printed.

ANNE C. WALKER, Chief Clerk



To amend chapter 640, RSMo, relating to the department of natural resources, by adding thereto eight new sections relating to the creation of the senior environmental corps.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Chapter 640, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto eight new sections, to be known as sections 640.840, 640.842, 640.844, 640.846, 640.848, 640.850, 640.852, and 640.854, to read as follows:

640.840. Sections 640.840 to 640.854 may be cited as the "Senior Environmental Corps Act".

640.842. The legislature finds that:

(1) Enhancement and protection of the state's environment demands more resources than government can provide;

(2) A critical underutilized asset to society is the knowledge, skills, abilities and wisdom of our expanding, able senior population;

(3) Central to the well-being and continued connection to the society of Missouri's senior citizens is the opportunity for them to voluntarily continue to provide meaningful contributions and to share their professional training, lifelong skills, talents and wisdom with Missouri's citizens;

(4) It will benefit all the citizens of the state to create a partnership between our senior citizens and the state's natural resource agencies to augment our capability to protect, enhance and appreciate the environment.

640.844. As used in sections 640.840 to 640.854, the following terms mean:

(1) "Agency", one of the agencies or organizations participating in the activities of the senior environmental corps;

(2) "Coordinator", the person designated by the director of the department of natural resources with the advice of the council to administer the activities of the senior environmental corps;

(3) "Corps", the senior environmental corps;

(4) "Council", the senior environmental corps coordinating council;

(5) "Department", the department of natural resources;

(6) "Director", the director of the department of natural resources;

(7) "Representative", the person who represents an agency or the council and is responsible for the activities of the senior environmental corps in his or her agency;

(8) "Senior", any person who is fifty-five years of age or over;

(9) "Volunteer", a person who is willing to work without expectation of salary or financial reward, and who chooses where he or she provides services and the type of services he or she provides.

640.846. The senior environmental corps is created within the department of natural resources. The departments of conservation and economic development shall participate in the administration and implementation of the corps and shall appoint representatives to the council.

640.848. The goals of the corps shall be to:

(1) Provide resources and a support structure to facilitate corps activities and accomplish goals;

(2) Carry out professional and paraprofessional projects that focus on conservation, protection, rehabilitation and enhancement of the state natural, environmental and recreational resources and that otherwise would not be implemented because of limited financial resources;

(3) Provide meaningful opportunities for senior volunteers to continue to utilize their professional training, lifelong skills, abilities, experience and wisdom through participation in corps projects;

(4) Enhance community understanding of environmental issues through educational outreach; and

(5) Enhance the state's ability to provide needed public services in both urban and rural settings.

640.850. 1. The department shall convene a senior environmental corps coordinating council to meet as needed to establish and assess policies; define standards for projects; evaluate and select projects; develop recruitment, training and placement procedures; receive and review project status and completion reports; and provide for recognition of volunteer activity. The council shall include representatives appointed by the departments of natural resources, conservation and economic development. The council shall develop bylaws, policies and procedures to govern its activities.

2. The council shall advise the director on distribution of available funding for corps activities.

640.852. 1. Contingent upon available funding, the department shall:

(1) Provide a coordinator and staff support to the council as needed;

(2) Provide support to the agencies for recruitment of volunteers;

(3) Develop a budget and allocate available funds with the advice of the council;

(4) Develop a written volunteer agreement;

(5) Collect and maintain project and volunteer records;

(6) Provide reports to the state legislature and the council as requested;

(7) Provide agency project managers and volunteers with orientation to the corps program and training in the use of volunteers;

(8) Act as a liaison with and provide information to other states and jurisdictions on the corps program and program activities;

(9) Appoint a representative to the coordinating council;

(10) Develop project proposals;

(11) Administer project activities within the agency;

(12) Develop appropriate procedures for the use of volunteers;

(13) Provide project orientation, technical training, safety training, equipment and supplies to carry out project activities;

(14) Maintain project records and provide project reports;

(15) Apply for and accept grants or contributions for corps approved projects; and

(16) With the approval of the council, enter into memoranda of understanding and cooperative agreements with federal, state and local agencies to carry out corps approved projects.

2. The department shall not use corps volunteers to displace currently employed workers, or to carry out any enforcement activities which fall under the jurisdiction of any department which may be represented on or by the council. No state funds shall be expended by any department which may be represented on or by the council to train, equip, compensate or reward any volunteer or other person, other than state employees, for the purpose of carrying out any enforcement activities or to act in any regulatory manner on behalf of any department which may be represented on the council.

640.854. All volunteer activity shall be performed under the terms of a written master agreement approved by the council and the state attorney general. As a minimum, the volunteer agreement shall include a description of the work that the volunteer is to perform, including the standards of performance required, any expenses or other benefits to which the volunteer is to be entitled, such as mileage, lodging, state workers' compensation coverage, uniforms or other clothing or supplies, training or other support to be provided to the volunteer by the agency, the duration of the agreement, and the terms under which the agreement may be canceled.

Missouri House of Representatives