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Board adopts policies, plans for next year.

The federal budget, crime and drugs, housing and community development issues, local partnerships and taxes are the NLC Board of Directors' legislative targets for the next few months. The Board adopted the five short-term legislative priorities at its December Board meeting during the Congress of Cities.

Budget: Whether to reopen and change the 1990 budget agreement is certain to be a heated political issue in both the White House and the Capitol next year. NLC believes that the reductions in military spending that are prompted by the dramatic changes in Russia should be used to reduce the federal deficit and invested in the nation's cities and towns. NLC also supports eliminating the "firewalls" that keep changes in any of the three major spending areas--defense, domestic, and foreign aid--from affecting the others

Crime and drugs: The president's threatened veto of the 1991 crime bill could leave crime and drug legislation still unresolved in 1992.

Housing and community development: Current housing and community development programs are scheduled to expire on September 30, 1992, and the Department of Housing and urban Development is likely to want to make acceptance of federal preemption of local land use and zoning authority a condition of loan and grant awards. NLC supports the extension of housing and development programs and opposes federal preemption of local land use and zoning authority.

Local partnerships: Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, plans to put he Local Partnership Act of 1991 before the full House next year. The act, modeled after the former general revenue sharing program, would provide targeted fiscal assisance to cities and towns to help pay for unfunded federal mandates and to respond to growing fiscal disparities.

Taxes: With a major tax bill a possibility next year, along with efforts to extend NLC-supported tax programs and simplify restrictions on municipal bonds, taxes are of considerable interest.

Besides setting short-term legislative priorities, the Board endorsed a general plan for the 1992 election campaigns that will use existing NLC resources in a grass roots effort to communicate the priorities for America's cities and towns to the candidates.

The Board also approved NLC support for the general idea of a Save Our Cities march on Washington, with the League's actual involvement to be decided at the officers' meeting in January. At the Board luncheon, Elliot Osborne described the proposed march and urged NLC's participation.

Other Board actions included the adoption of reports and action plan by the Task Force on Cities' Role in Education and the Task Force on the Future of America's Youth, both detailed elsewhere in this issue of the Weekly.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Page, Clint
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Dec 16, 1991
Previous Article:NLC to feds: rethink, redirect, reinvest.
Next Article:Education secretary's challenge: break the mold.

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