Labor Committee Chair Egan and Members of the Committee: please expedite the passage of Assembly Bill A4221, which allows Sandy recovery volunteer groups to include youth, ages 14-17, on housing-repair teams. And urge your senate colleagues to do the same!
The Governor has issued an executive order to accomplish this through the end of 2013, but we need the change to be permanent, and soon--many volunteer groups around the country are making plans for 2014 now.
This spring and summer, NJ has lost hundreds of skilled volunteers to other states because their youth members can't legally volunteer here.
Assembly Bill 4221 does a simple thing: it allows properly supervised youth volunteers to work not just on "affordable" housing, but on all types of housing damaged by Hurricane Sandy. This simple correction allows New Jersey to do what other states across the nation have done: welcome youth members of volunteer work teams to help Restore the Shore and use their spending money to help our local economies. Let's not make them look for service opportunities in another state in 2014!
Petition by the Sandy Recovery Team of Monmouth Presbytery, PCUSA
For more information on this issue, please see: http://www.app.com/article/20130709/NJNEWS/307090102/Gov-Christie-OKs-letting-teens-rebuild-after-Sandy