2019 Illinois Compiled Statutes
Chapter 525 - CONSERVATION
525 ILCS 50/ - Illinois Veteran, Youth, and Young Adult Conservation Jobs Act.

(525 ILCS 50/1) (from Ch. 48, par. 2551)
Sec. 1. This Article II shall be known and may be cited as the Illinois Veteran, Youth, and Young Adult Conservation Jobs Act.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/2) (from Ch. 48, par. 2552)
Sec. 2. Declaration of Intent. The General Assembly finds that the level of unemployment among veterans, the youths of this State, particularly those age 14 through 18, and young adults, age 18 through 25, is unsatisfactory. This situation is not conducive to the development of veterans and the youth and young adults of Illinois as the future of the State. The General Assembly further finds that the availability of conservation and recreational programs for veterans, youth, and young adults in parks and recreational facilities and other lands operated by the State, by units of local government, and by local not-for-profit entities is severely limited. The General Assembly therefore creates the Illinois Veteran, Youth, and Young Adult Conservation Jobs Act to establish (a) the Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps and the Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps to provide year-round employment for veterans and young adults of this State for the purpose of conservation, rehabilitation, protection and enhancement of the State's public land and (b) the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps and the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps to provide employment for the veterans and youth of this State for the purpose of administering and operating conservation or recreational programs operated by units of local government or local not-for-profit entities at conservation and open spaces, parks, or recreational facilities or other similar facilities or locations.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/3)
Sec. 3. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96. Repealed by P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/4) (from Ch. 48, par. 2554)
Sec. 4. Definition of Terms. For the purposes of this Act:
(a) "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.
(b) "Director" means the Director of Natural Resources.
(c) "Local sponsor" means any unit of local government or not-for-profit entity that can make available for a summer conservation or recreation program park lands, conservation or recreational lands or facilities, equipment, materials, administration, supervisory personnel, etc.
(d) "Managing supervisor" means an enrollee in the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps or the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps who is selected by the local sponsor to supervise the activities of the veterans or youth employee enrollees working on the conservation or recreation project. A managing supervisor in the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps may be 19 years of age or older.
(e) "Veteran" means an Illinois resident who has served or is currently serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces, a member of the Illinois National Guard, or a member of a Reserve Component of the United States Armed Forces.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12; 98-463, eff. 8-16-13.)


(525 ILCS 50/5) (from Ch. 48, par. 2555)
Sec. 5. Cooperation. The Department of Natural Resources shall have the full cooperation of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois State Job Coordinating Council created by the Federal Job Training Partnership Act (Public Law 97-300), and the Department of Employment Security to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12; 98-463, eff. 8-16-13.)


(525 ILCS 50/6) (from Ch. 48, par. 2556)
Sec. 6. Funding. Funding for the Illinois Veteran, Youth, and Young Adult Conservation Jobs Act shall be from any State or federal funds or grants or other funding so received by the Department and any matching funds required by the Department from local sponsors that choose to participate in the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps or the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps programs.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/7) (from Ch. 48, par. 2557)
Sec. 7. Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps. With respect to the Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps program:
(a) Enrollment. The Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps shall be limited to citizens of this State who at the time of enrollment are 18 through 25 years of age inclusive and who are unemployed.
The Department shall make public notification of the availability of jobs for young adults in the Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps by the means of newspapers, electronic media, educational facilities, units of local government and the Department of Employment Security offices.
The Department shall promulgate reasonable rules pertaining to application for jobs with the Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps.
Any applicant who knowingly and purposely provides wrongful information regarding age, employment or educational records shall be deemed ineligible to participate in the program. Any applicant who successfully gains employment in the program and is later proven to have falsified his or her application shall be dismissed immediately from the program.
(b) Terms of Employment. Once enrolled in the Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps, each enrollee shall receive at least the standard minimum wage as set by the State of Illinois and shall work normal working hours as determined by the Department. The enrollees shall not be classified as employees of the State for purposes of contributions to the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois or any other public employment retirement system of the State.
(c) Permissible Activities. The Director shall designate suitable projects in which enrollees of the program shall participate. No project designated for enrollee participation shall result in the displacement of individuals currently employed or positions currently existing, either directly or under contract with any private contractor, by the Department through the reduction of overtime or nonovertime hours, wages or employment benefits.
Projects so designated by the Director shall be for the purpose of enhancing public lands owned or leased by the Department or developing and enhancing projects or initiatives undertaken in whole or part by the Department. Such projects shall include improving the habitat of fauna and flora; improving utilization of conservation or recreation facilities and lands by the public; improving water quality; and any other project deemed by the Department to improve the environmental, economic and recreational quality of the State owned or leased lands.
All projects designated for activity by the Director shall be within a reasonable commuting time for each enrollee. To the extent possible, the Director shall designate areas where a pool of enrollees may work. In no circumstance shall enrollees be required to spend more than 1 1/2 hours of commuting time to a project or a designated area; provided, an enrollee may agree to spend more than 1 1/2 hours of commuting time to a project or a designated area.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/7.5)
Sec. 7.5. Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps. With respect to the Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps program:
(a) Enrollment. The Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps shall be limited to citizens of this State who at the time of enrollment are veterans who are unemployed. Preference may be given to veterans with a disability.
The Department shall make public notification of the availability of jobs for eligible veterans in the Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps by the means of newspapers, electronic media, educational facilities, units of local government, and the Department of Employment Security offices.
The Department shall adopt reasonable rules pertaining to application for jobs with the Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps.
Any applicant who knowingly and purposely provides wrongful information regarding employment or veteran status shall be deemed ineligible to participate in the program. Any applicant who successfully gains employment in the program and is later proven to have falsified his or her application shall be dismissed immediately from the program.
(b) Terms of employment. Once enrolled in the Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps, each enrollee shall receive at least the standard minimum wage as set by the State and shall work normal working hours as determined by the Department. The enrollees shall not be classified as employees of the State for purposes of contributions to the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois or any other public employment retirement system of the State.
(c) Permissible activities. The Director shall designate suitable projects in which enrollees of the program shall participate. No project designated for enrollee participation shall result in the displacement of individuals currently employed or positions currently existing, either directly or under contract with any private contractor, by the Department, or unit of local government through the reduction of overtime or non-overtime hours, wages, or employment benefits.
Projects so designated by the Director shall be for the purpose of enhancing public lands owned or leased by the Department or developing and enhancing projects or initiatives undertaken in whole or part by the Department. Such projects shall include improving the habitat of fauna and flora; improving utilization of conservation or recreation facilities and lands by the public; improving water quality; and any other project deemed by the Department to improve the environmental, economic, and recreational quality of the State owned or leased lands.
All projects designated for activity by the Director shall be within a reasonable commuting time for each enrollee. To the extent possible, the Director shall designate areas where a pool of enrollees may work. In no circumstance shall enrollees be required to spend more than 1 1/2 hours of commuting time to a project or a designated area; provided, an enrollee may agree to spend more than 1 1/2 hours of commuting time to a project or a designated area.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/8) (from Ch. 48, par. 2558)
Sec. 8. Illinois Youth Recreation Corps. With respect to the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps:
(a) Purpose. The Illinois Youth Recreation Corps is established for the purpose of making grants to local sponsors to provide wages to youth operating and instructing in conservation or recreational programs. Such programs shall provide conservation or recreational opportunities and shall include, but are not limited to, the coordination and teaching of natural resource conservation and management, physical activities, or learning activities directly related to natural resource conservation management or recreation. Such programs may charge user fees, but such fees shall be designed to promote as much community involvement as possible, as determined by the Department.
(b) Application. Local sponsors who can provide necessary facilities, materials and management for summer conservation or recreational activities within the community and who desire a grant under this Act for the purpose of hiring managing supervisors as necessary and eligible youth for such conservation or recreational programs may make application to the Department of Natural Resources. Applications shall be evaluated on the basis of program content, location, need, local commitment of resources, and consistency with the purposes of this Act.
(c) Enrollment. The Illinois Youth Recreation Corps shall be limited to citizens of this State who at the time of enrollment are 14 through 18 years of age inclusive and who have skills that can be utilized in the summer conservation or recreational program. The ratio of youth employee enrollees to a managing supervisor must not be less than 10 to 1 for any local sponsor with a total number of youth employee enrollees of 10 or more. Any local sponsor program with a total number of youth employee enrollees of less than 10 must be limited to one managing supervisor.
The local sponsors shall make public notification of the availability of jobs for eligible youth in the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps by the means of newspapers, electronic media, educational facilities, units of local government and Department of Employment Security offices. Application for employment shall be made directly to the local sponsor.
The Department shall adopt reasonable rules pertaining to the administration of the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps.
(d) Terms of Employment. The enrollment period for any successful applicant of the program shall not be longer than 60 working days during the months of June, July and August. Once enrolled in the program, each enrollee shall receive a reasonable wage as set by the Department and shall work hours as required by the conservation or recreation program but not in excess of a maximum number of hours as determined by the Department, except that an enrollee working as a managing supervisor shall receive a higher wage than an enrollee working in any other capacity on the conservation or recreation program. Enrollees shall be employees of the local sponsor and not contractual hires for the purpose of employment taxes, except that enrollees shall not be classified as employees of the State or the local sponsor for purposes of contributions to the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois or any other public employee retirement system.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12.)


(525 ILCS 50/9)
Sec. 9. Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps. With respect to the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps:
(a) Purpose. The Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps is established for the purpose of making grants to local sponsors to provide wages to veterans of any age operating and instructing in conservation or recreational programs. Such programs shall provide conservation or recreational opportunities and shall include, but are not limited to, the coordination and teaching of natural resource conservation and management, physical activities, or learning activities directly related to natural resource conservation management or recreation. Such programs may charge user fees, but such fees shall be designed to promote as much community involvement as possible, as determined by the Department.
(b) Application. Local sponsors who can provide necessary facilities, materials, and management for summer conservation or recreational activities within the community and who desire a grant under this Act for the purpose of hiring managing supervisors as necessary and eligible veterans for such conservation or recreational programs may make application to the Department. Applications shall be evaluated on the basis of program content, location, need, local commitment of resources, and consistency with the purposes of this Act.
(c) Enrollment. The Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps shall be limited to citizens of this State who at the time of enrollment are veterans of any age and are unemployed and who have skills that can be utilized in the summer conservation or recreational program. Preference may be given to veterans with a disability.
The ratio of veterans employee enrollees to a managing supervisor must not be less than 10 to 1 for any local sponsor with a total number of veterans employee enrollees of 10 or more. Any local sponsor program with a total number of veteran employee enrollees of less than 10 must be limited to one managing supervisor. Veterans who are unemployed shall be given preference for employment as managing supervisors.
The local sponsors shall make public notification of the availability of jobs for eligible veterans in the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps by the means of newspapers, electronic media, educational facilities, units of local government, and Department of Employment Security offices. Application for employment shall be made directly to the local sponsor.
The Department shall adopt reasonable rules pertaining to the administration of the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps.
(d) Terms of employment. The enrollment period for any successful applicant of the program shall not be longer than 6 total months. Once enrolled in the program, each enrollee shall receive a reasonable wage as set by the Department and shall work hours as required by the conservation or recreation program but not in excess of a maximum number of hours as determined by the Department, except that an enrollee working as a managing supervisor shall receive a higher wage than an enrollee working in any other capacity on the conservation or recreation program. Enrollees shall be employees of the local sponsor and not contractual hires for the purpose of employment taxes, except that enrollees shall not be classified as employees of the State or the local sponsor for purposes of contributions to the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois or any other public employee retirement system.
(Source: P.A. 97-738, eff. 7-5-12; 98-463, eff. 8-16-13.)


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