Congressman Panetta Applauds House, Senate Passage of Sam Farr Peace Corps Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) praised the passage of the Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018, H.R. 2259, in the U.S. Senate. The legislation will now be sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law. Congressman Panetta supported the House version of the bill, which was passed unanimously on July 10, 2018.
The law will increase the monthly pay rate for volunteers, improve access to medical care for volunteers, strengthen accountability and oversight, and enhance procedures to reduce the risk of crime in the countries in which volunteers serve. The legislation is named in honor of former Peace Corps volunteers Sam Farr, retired Democratic congressman of California’s 20th Congressional District, and Nick Castle, of Brentwood, California.
"It is wonderful to see this bill, named after my predecessor and Peace Corps alumnus, Congressman Sam Farr, become a reality," said Congressman Panetta. "Peace Corps volunteers make a commitment to serve others, and they deserve our commitment to support them and their work, and protect their well-being.”
The Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 contains the following key provisions:
- Requires Peace Corps to provide prospective volunteers with critical information prior to deployment, including country-specific crime statistics and health risks.
- Requires Peace Corps to provide volunteers with access to qualified medical doctors.
- Strengthens existing provisions ensuring volunteer protection from sexual assault and harassment, including extending the authority of the Sexual Assault Advisory Council.
- Enhances access to health care for returned Peace Corps volunteers by granting them immediate access to the care they need and deserve.
- Provides further reforms to improve oversight, management, and efficiency of the Peace Corps.