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House Chamber, Olympia, Tuesday, March 30, 1999

             The House was called to order at 9:55 a.m. by Speaker Ballard.

             Reading of the Journal of the previous day was dispensed with and it was ordered to stand approved.


March 29, 1999

Mr. Speaker:

             The President has signed:


and the same is herewith transmitted.

Tony M. Cook, Secretary


March 26, 1999

SB 5255            Prime Sponsor, Jacobsen: Changing Washington conservation corps provisions. Reported by Committee on Natural Resources


MAJORITY recommendation: Do pass as amended.

             Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert the following:

             "Sec. 1. RCW 43.220.020 and 1994 c 264 s 32 are each amended to read as follows:

             The Washington conservation corps is hereby created, to be implemented by the following state departments: The employment security department, the department of ecology, the department of fish and wildlife, the department of natural resources, ((the department of agriculture,)) and the state parks and recreation commission.

             Sec. 2. RCW 43.220.030 and 1987 c 367 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

             Program goals of the Washington conservation corps include:

             (1) Conservation, rehabilitation, and enhancement of the state's natural, historic, environmental, and recreational resources with emphasis given to projects which address the following state-wide priorities:

             (a) Timber, fish and wildlife management plan;

             (b) Watershed management plan; 

             (c) ((1989 centennial celebration and)) Eco-tourism and heritage tourism;

             (d) ((Puget Sound)) State-wide water quality;

             (e) United States-Canada fisheries treaty;

             (f) Public access to and environmental education about stewardship of natural resources ((through recreational facilities)) on state lands;

             (g) Recreational trails;

             (h) Salmon recovery and volunteer initiatives;

             (2) Development of the state's youth resources through meaningful work experiences;

             (3) Making outdoor and historic resources of the state available for public enjoyment;

             (4) Teaching of the workings of natural, environmental, and biological systems, as well as basic employment skills;

             (5) Assisting agencies in carrying out statutory assignments with limited funding resources; and

             (6) Providing needed public services in both urban and rural settings with emphasis in a distressed area or areas.

             Sec. 3. RCW 43.220.040 and 1987 c 367 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

             Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

             (1) "Public lands" means any lands or waters, or interests therein, owned or administered by any agency or instrumentality of the state, federal, or local government.

             (2) "Corps" means the Washington conservation corps.

             (3) "Corps member" means an individual enrolled in the Washington conservation corps.

             (4) "Corps member leaders" or "specialists" means members of the corps who serve in leadership or training capacities or who provide specialized services other than or in addition to the types of work and services that are performed by the corps members in general.

             (5) "Council" means the Washington conservation corps coordinating council.

             (6) "Crew supervisor" means temporary, project, or permanent state employees who supervise corps members and coordinate work project design and completion.

             (7) "Distressed area" has the meaning as defined in RCW 43.168.020.

             Sec. 4. RCW 43.220.060 and 1987 c 505 s 44 are each amended to read as follows:

             (1) Each state department identified in RCW 43.220.020 shall have the following powers and duties to carry out its functions relative to the Washington conservation corps:

             (a) Recruiting and employing staff ((and)), corps members, corps member leaders, and specialists;

             (b) ((Adopting criteria for the selection of applicants to the program from among the enrollees of the youth employment exchange program;

             (c))) Executing agreements for furnishing the services of the ((employment conservation program)) corps to carry out conservation corps programs to any federal, state, or local public agency, any local organization as specified in this chapter in concern with the overall objectives of the conservation corps;

             (((d))) (c) Applying for and accepting grants or contributions of funds from any private source;

             (((e))) (d) Determining a preference for those projects which will provide long-term benefits to the public, will provide productive training and work experiences to the members involved, will be labor-intensive, may result in payments to the state for services performed, and can be promptly completed; and

             (((f))) (e) Entering into agreements with community colleges within the state's community and technical college system and other educational institutions or independent nonprofit agencies to provide special education in basic skills, including reading, writing, and mathematics for those conservation corps members who may benefit by participation in such classes. Classes shall be scheduled after corps working hours. Participation by members is not mandatory but shall be strongly encouraged. The participation shall be a primary factor in determining whether the opportunity for corps membership beyond one year shall be offered. Instruction related to the specific role of the department in resource conservation shall also be offered, either in a classroom setting or as is otherwise appropriate.

             (2) The assignment of corps members shall not result in the displacement of currently employed workers, including partial displacement such as reduction in hours of nonovertime work, wages, or other employment benefits. Supervising agencies that participate in the program may not terminate, lay-off, or reduce the working hours of any employee for the purpose of using a corps member with available funds. In circumstances where substantial efficiencies or a public purpose may result, supervising agencies may use corps members to carry out essential agency work or contractual functions without displacing current employees.

             (3) Facilities, supplies, instruments, and tools of the supervising agency shall be made available for use by the conservation corps to the extent that such use does not conflict with the normal duties of the agency. The agency may purchase, rent, or otherwise acquire other necessary tools, facilities, supplies, and instruments.

             Sec. 5. RCW 43.220.070 and 1995 c 399 s 112 are each amended to read as follows:

             (1) Conservation corps members shall be unemployed residents of the state between eighteen and twenty-five years of age at the time of enrollment who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States. The age requirements may be waived for corps leaders and specialists with special leadership or occupational skills; such members shall be given special responsibility for providing leadership, character development, and sense of community responsibility to the corps members, groups, and work crews to which they are assigned. The upper age requirement may be waived for residents who have a sensory or mental handicap. Special effort shall be made to recruit minority and disadvantaged youth who meet selection criteria of the conservation corps. Preference shall be given to youths residing in areas, both urban and rural, in which there exists substantial unemployment exceeding the state average unemployment rate.

             (2) The legislature finds that people with developmental disabilities would benefit from experiencing a meaningful work experience, and learning the value of labor and of membership in a productive society.

             The legislature urges state agencies that are participating in the Washington conservation corps program to consider for enrollment in the program people who have developmental disabilities, as defined in RCW 71A.10.020.

             If an agency chooses to enroll people with developmental disabilities in its Washington conservation corps program, the agency may apply to the United States department of labor, employment standards administration for a special subminimum wage certificate in order to be allowed to pay enrollees with developmental disabilities according to their individual levels of productivity.

             (3) Corps members shall not be considered state employees. Other provisions of law relating to civil service, hours of work, rate of compensation, sick leave, unemployment compensation, state retirement plans, and vacation leave do not apply to the Washington conservation corps except for the crew ((leaders)) supervisors, who shall be project employees, and the administrative and supervisory personnel.

             (4) Enrollment shall be for a period of six months which may be extended for ((an)) additional ((six months)) six-month periods by mutual agreement of the corps and the corps member, not to exceed two years. Corps members shall be reimbursed at the minimum wage rate established by state or federal law, whichever is higher, which may be increased by up to five percent for each additional six-month period worked: PROVIDED, That if agencies elect to run a residential program, the appropriate costs for room and board shall be deducted from the corps member's paycheck as provided in chapter 43.220 RCW.

             (5) Corps members are to be available at all times for emergency response services coordinated through the department of community, trade, and economic development or other public agency. Duties may include sandbagging and flood cleanup, search and rescue, and other functions in response to emergencies.

             Sec. 6. RCW 43.220.120 and 1994 c 264 s 34 are each amended to read as follows:

             (1) There is established a conservation corps within the department of fish and wildlife.

             (2) Specific work project areas of the ((game)) fish and wildlife conservation corps may include the following:

             (a) Habitat development;

             (b) Land clearing;

             (c) Construction projects;

             (d) Noxious weed control;

             (e) Brush cutting;

             (f) Reader board construction;

             (g) Painting;

             (h) Cleaning and repair of rearing ponds;

             (i) Fishtrap construction;

             (j) Brush clearance;

             (k) Spawning channel restoration;

             (l) Log removal;

             (m) Nest box maintenance and cleaning;

             (n) Fence building;

             (o) Winter game feeding and herding;

             (p) Stream rehabilitation;

             (q) Fish hatchery operation and maintenance;

             (r) Fish tagging; and

             (s) Such other projects as the director of fish and wildlife may determine. If appropriate facilities are available, the director of fish and wildlife may authorize carrying out projects which involve overnight stays.

             NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. A new section is added to chapter 43.220 RCW to read as follows:

             (1) An amount not to exceed five percent of the funds available for the Washington conservation corps may be expended on agency administrative costs. Agency administrative costs are indirect expenses such as personnel, payroll, contract administration, fiscal services, and other overhead costs.

             (2) An amount not to exceed twenty percent of the funds available for the Washington conservation corps may be expended for costs included in subsection (1) of this section and program support costs. Program support costs include, but are not limited to, program planning, development of reports, job and career training, uniforms and equipment, and standard office space and utilities. Program support costs do not include direct scheduling and supervision of corps members.

             (3) A minimum of eighty percent of the funds available for the Washington conservation corps shall be expended for corps member salaries and benefits and for direct supervision of corps members.

             NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed:

             (1) RCW 43.220.050 (Coordination by youth employment exchange--Powers and duties) and 1983 1st ex.s. c 40 s 5;

             (2) RCW 43.220.220 (Use of funds for enrollees and members from distressed areas--Youth employment exchange--Evaluation of projects--Training plan) and 1985 c 230 s 2;

             (3) RCW 43.220.240 (Staff support--Administration) and 1985 c 230 s 4;

             (4) RCW 43.131.383 (Conservation corps--Termination) and 1993 c 516 s 13;

             (5) RCW 43.131.384 (Conservation corps--Repeal) and 1993 c 516 s 14;

             (6) RCW 43.220.150 (Conservation corps established in department of agriculture--Work project areas) and 1983 1st ex.s. c 40 s 15; and

             (7) RCW 43.220.230 (Limitation on use of funds) and 1990 c 71 s 3 & 1985 c 230 s 3.

             NEW SECTION. Sec. 9. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately."

             Correct the title.


Signed by Representatives Buck, Republican Co-Chair; Regala, Democratic Co-Chair; Anderson, Democratic Vice Chair; Sump, Republican Vice Chair; G. Chandler; Doumit; Eickmeyer; Ericksen; Rockefeller and Stensen.

             Voting yea: Representatives Buck, Regala, Anderson, Sump, G. Chandler, Doumit, Eickmeyer, Ericksen, Rockefeller, and Stensen.

             Excused: Representative(s) Clements and Pennington.

             Referred to Committee on Appropriations.

             There being no objection, the bill listed on the day's committee reports under the fifth order of business was referred to the committees so designated.


             Speakers announced they were signing:


             There being no objection, the House advanced to the eleventh order of business.

             There being no objection, the House adjourned until 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 1999, the 80th Legislative Day.


TIMOTHY A. MARTIN, Chief Clerk                                                                      CLYDE BALLARD, Speaker

DEAN R. FOSTER, Chief Clerk                                                                              FRANK CHOPP, Speaker


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