The ACA, Evergreen Legislative team will try to keep track of legislation which might influence camps or be of interest. Here are some current bills you might keep an eye on.
WARNING: This is not a comprehensive list. Please let the Field Office know of legislation you are aware of which needs monitoring. This could be Federal, State, or local governments.
The U.S. Senate passed thier version of the Immigration Reform Bill by a vote of 68-32 yesterday afternoon. While we wished the Immigration Reform Bill did not include cultural exchange programs at all, at least the two amendments written earlier this week were included in the final version. Read more about the details of the Bill and ACA's interpretation of what this means for camp cultural exchange programs: http://www.acacamps.org/publicpolicy/senate-immigration-bill-impact-camps 
The Senate just voted 67-27 to advance the Corker-Hoeven amendment which clears the way for a final vote in the Senate on the overall bill later this week. The amendment is likely the last major change to underlying bill that will be considered ahead of the vote before the full SEnate, which is expected Thursday.
Dear State Camp Associations, ACA Affiliates, and Organizations with Camp Programs:
We are happy to share the encouraging news of what happened today in the U.S. Senate regarding the immigration reform bill. Champions have been found who have stepped up and presented amendments that - if passed - would protect the future of the cultural exchange program!
You will recall from our key messages about the Immigration Reform Bill S. 744  that there were two provisions of concern - the first would classify our J-1 international cultural exchange visitors as workers, and the second would impose a $500 fee on camp support staff (summer work travel participants).
Today, two amendments were introduced to address those concerns:
1. Senator Angus King of Maine sponsored Amendment 1527. This amendment would specifically exclude cultural exchange visitors from Subtitle F, and thus ensures that cultural exchange visitors are not defined as workers. Instead, a new Subtitle I is presented which would address the issues of protecting the participant from human trafficking. Read all of the details here. 
2. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sponsored Amendment 1483: This amendment would reduce the Summer Work Travel fee from $500 to $100, and would eliminate the language that bars the participant from paying the fee. Read all of the details here. 
However, as is always the case with Congress, this is very complex. Both amendments were introduced this afternoon under the umbrella of another large amendment package, known as the Corker-Hoeven Amendment. Many, many things are included in the umbrella.
So, we are cautiously optimistic that our issues will not be drowned out by the other more controversial pieces of the immigration reform bill and the umbrella amendment. We anticipate that the Corker-Hoeven Amendment will be debated on Monday. We are not calling you to additional action at this time - but we will keep you posted on progress.
If you have any questions – please contact me! And – please continue to spread the word that we need more testimonials on the value of the camp cultural exchange program – especially from non-English-speaking-country participants – testimonials can be submitted online at: http://www.acacamps.org/publicpolicy/cultural-exchange-testimonials .
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Topics of Special Interest to Camps in Montana
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Topics of Special Interest to Camps in Idaho
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Topics of Special Interest to Camps in Washington
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