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NLC policy units assert local importance in federal equation.

Delegates to the Congress of Cities called on the new administration of President-elect Clinton to redirect federal spending and reinvest in the nation's cities. The policy statements and resolutions adopted at NLC's annual business meeting reasserted local authority over local concerns and the federal role in the future of cities.

Resolutions from the Board of Directors, and two policy committees reaffirmed NLC's acknowledgment that the end of the Cold War should coincide with federal recommitment to economic conversion and investment in physical and human resources. Much of the policy language adopted by the membership also focused on the problem of unfunded federal mandates.

The following highlights policy changes recommended by the five standing policy committees and ratified by the membership without amendment at the Annual Business Meeting.

Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR)

EENR amendments to the National Municipal Policy call on the federal government to take a more aggressive role on alternative fuels and support federal initiatives to increase energy efficiency of personal residences. The policy committee also amended its Superfund policy and added new policy to address the reuse of abandoned/defunct industrial areas impaired by environmental contamination.

Resolutions adopted in the EENR chapter include support for efforts to assess risk assessment; a resolution encouraging the development of local, state and regional household hazardous waste programs; support for a lead hazard trust fund; and a resolution encouraging the federal government to reduce the use of CFC/ODCs.

Human Development (HD)

NLC's HD Committee adopted policy changes on health care; crime and violence focusing on the growing impact to demonstrate NLC's strong concern over the growing impact of violent crime in cities; and education to better reflect the role of cities in public education.

The collective focus of HD was on prevention and improving the quality of life in the nation's cities and towns. Resolutions in the Human Development area include; support for the Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Bill and long-term support to end homelessness.

Transportation and Communication (T&C)

The T&C Committee amended NMP to include a new policy on access to computerized information; and safeguards against anti-competitive practices of Bell operating companies.

T&C Resolutions deal with the telecommunications provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); use of passenger facility charges for projects that may increase the level of airport noise; protection of local franchising for telecommunications providers; support for increased federal spending for surface transportation programs; and, support for designating December, 1992 as National Drugged and Drunk Driving Month.

Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR)

FAIR policy amends existing policy on federal fiscal assistance to local governments, municipal franchising authority and regional planning to underline NLC opposition to federal mandates in most circumstances. Other policy amendments include opposition to preemption of municipal tax authority under the federal ERISA law and improvements to the U.S. Census.

The majority of resolutions adopted in the FAIR chapter would reinstate resolutions passed last year. Resolutions cover accounting policy changes to be imposed on municipalities; extension of federal tax provisions that encourage investment and spending, a statement on budget priorities; support for sales taxes on interstate catalogue sales; opposition to federal preemption of state and local authority; administrative cost of federal transfers; federal land and office space procurement policies, and, support for legislation modifying the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Community and Economic Development (CED)

CED included the following changes to the NMP: support for the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) and clarify the need for it to be used as a planning tool; the establishment of benchmarks to be used by NLC to measure the organization's support for trade agreements negotiated by the federal government.

CED resolution include: support for affordable housing and community development partnership created through the CDBG and HOME programs; and, support for creation of Local Development Banks to finance business start-up.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Wollack, Leslie
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Dec 7, 1992
Words:638
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