(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.)