Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 2463, legislation by Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San José) to preserve conservation corps and promote volunteerism across California.
The Local Conservation Corps are 14 state-certified regional organizations, located throughout the state, whose missions are to develop and deploy a trained workforce equipped to preserve and protect our state, our environment, and our communities. Throughout the state, corps members work in environmental conservation, habitat enhancement, fire protection, land maintenance, emergency response to natural disasters, and more.
“The local corps are at the forefront of California’s environmental and conservation efforts to protect California’s natural resources,” said Assemblymember Lee. “With the signing of our bill, we can now ensure that the local corps are able to continue their important work in the global fight against climate change.”
For more than 15 years, volunteers and conservation corps members have been exempt from paying prevailing wage on public works projects for volunteers, volunteer coordinators, and members of the California Conservation. This exemption has been vital in allowing the state to preserve the conservation corps and promoting volunteerism throughout California.
AB 2463 extends the sunset date of the California public works prevailing wage exemption, for volunteers and conservation corps members, from January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2031. This extension ensures that state and local conservation corps can continue providing these important services to young people and the environment, which is more critical than ever in combating the impacts of climate change.
This bill is co-sponsored by the California Association of Local Conservation Corps and the California Council of Land Trusts.
“The Local Conservation Corps' educational and workforce programs help young people build pathways to their careers of choice, while empowering them to be at the forefront of California’s environmental and conservation efforts,” said Wendy Butts, President of the California Association of Local Conservation Corps. “AB 2463 will enable us to continue providing young adults with pivotal job training for the green workforce, and we are thankful for Assemblymember Lee’s leadership in passing this critical legislation."
"Volunteerism is a critical component to maintaining vital, healthy, and sustainable communities throughout California,” said Bridget Fithian, Board Chair of the California Council of Land Trusts. “Volunteers are vital to the natural resource conservation and restoration work implemented by land trusts across our state. As a proud cosponsor of AB 2463, CCLT thanks Assemblymember Lee for carrying this important measure and the hard work of his staff to see AB 2463 through the Legislature.”