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Clean Water help, summer jobs await House-Senate outcome.

The Senate passed and sent to conference with the House its $1.9 billion, combined version of a House-passed Somalia relief bill, HR 2118, with the House-passed cities' jobs bill, HR 2244.

For cities, the key issues in the House-Senate conference will be over how much and how soon funds are made available for summer jobs in communities, which community police version will be adopted, and whether any funds will be made available to help comply with federal Clean Water mandates. Both versions provide a combination of $70 million in grants and loans for rural water and waste projects.

Moreover, unlike the earlier $16.1 billion stimulus bill which passed the House and died in the Senate, the Senate-passed version would actually result in a net reduction in investment in cities and towns. To pay for the new spending, the bill includes rescissions or cuts from already approved spending, including $500 million Congress appropriated last year for enterprise grants to cities and towns designated as enterprise and empowerment zones.

The Senate version includes $200 million for summer jobs and $200 million for community policing--all that is left of the President's original package to help stimulate local economies.

The Senate also adopted a new, unfunded federal mandate on the bill last Tuesday when it adopted an amendment by Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.) to require that states and local governments institute workfare programs for able-bodied welfare recipients without dependents. The House version includes $320 million for summer jobs, $200 million for hiring or rehiring police officers, and $290 million for Clean Water state revolving loan funds. It has no comparable mandate.

The Senate bill, HR 2118, is a severely pared down version of the $16.3 billion jobs-stimulus bill President Clinton sent to the Congress in February and the $1.4 billion revised version he submitted last month. The final version passed by the Senate would provide just slightly over $500 million for cities versus $1.1 billion in the House version (see chart).

Different Police Funds

The Senate rejected the House approach on local police funding and instead adopted the approach sought by the Justice Department and supported by NLC. Unlike the House approach, which would require a local match and be allocated to states by formula, the Senate alternative would provide for discretionary grants.

Seventy-five percent of the funds would be targeted for grants to cover pay and benefits, excluding overtime, for the hire or rehire of law enforcement officers.

The remainder would be directed towards improvement of police-community partnerships, including: specialized training to help resolve community problems, multidisciplinary as well as multijurisdictional teams of police, public health, probation services, social services, education, and other disciplines to address the prevention of crime in communities and to work with youth to prevent crime.

Summer Job Money

The Senate voted to provide $200 million in additional funding for summer jobs for youths between the ages of 14 and 21, $120 million less than passed by the House. The funding would be allocated under the existing formula.
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Author:Shafroth, Frank
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jun 28, 1993
Words:505
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