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CLINTON-GORE LIVABILITY INITIATIVE:
BUILDING LIVABLE COMMUNITIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
"Our role is to expand the choices available to communities -- not to
dictate solutions. By providing new tools and resources, we can help communities
create the future they want."
--Vice President Gore, Dec. 6, 1999
The Administrations Livable Communities Initiative, launched last year
by Vice President Gore, is designed to help communities across America grow
in ways that ensure both a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic
growth. This initiative will strengthen the federal government's role as a partner
with the growing number of state and local efforts to build "livable communities"
for the 21st century.
Key elements of the $9.3 billion Livable Communities Initiative, included in
President Clintons proposed FY 2001 budget, include: $9.1 billion for
transportation systems, $25 million for regional smart growth efforts, and $125
million to fund crime solving technologies to improve community safety. The
initiative also includes a tax credit proposal calling for $10.75 billion in
bonding authority over five years for Better America Bonds. The proposed FY
2001 funding for the Livable Communities initiative represents a 14 percent
increase over last year.
The Clinton-Gore Livable Communities Initiative aims to help citizens and communities:
Preserve green spaces that promote clean air and clean water, sustain wildlife,
and provide families with places to walk, play and relax.
Ease traffic congestion by improving road planning, strengthening existing transportation
systems, and expanding use of alternative transportation.
Restore a sense of community by fostering citizen and private sector involvement
in local planning.
Promote collaboration among neighboring communities -- cities, suburbs or rural
areas -- to develop regional growth strategies and address common issues like
Enhance economic competitiveness by nurturing a high quality of life that attracts
well-trained workers and cutting-edge industries.
FY 2001 Livability Initiatives
The Presidents FY 2001 budget request to Congress includes significant
new investments to support major livability programs:
Choices. The budget submission includes a record $9.1 billion to help
ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution a $1.1 billion increase
over last years funding level. This item includes $6.3 billion for mass
transit, $1.6 billion for congestion relief and air quality improvement, $719
million for community transportation enhancements, $468 million to improve
passenger rail service, and $52 million for the Transportation and Community
and System Preservation pilot program. The funding will reduce traffic congestion
and improve air quality by enhancing transit services and supporting other
transportation alternatives, such as high-occupancy vehicle lanes, ridesharing,
bicycle and pedestrian paths, and cleaner fuels fleets. The funding will also
promote more livable communities by encouraging states and localities to coordinate
land use plans and transportation.
Better America Bonds.
The Presidents budget will propose $10.75 billion in bonding authority
over five years for Better America Bonds more than a $1 billion increase
over last years proposal. The proposal would allocate $2.15 billion
in annual bond authority over the next five years at a cost of approximately
$700 million. The bonding authority would allow state, local and tribal governments
to finance projects that preserve green space, create or restore urban parks,
protect water quality, and clean up brownfields. The tax credit bonds mature
in 15 years and the Federal Government would provide tax credits in lieu of
interest payments to bondholders making the bonds interest free for
Regional Connections Initiative.
The budget includes $25 million to fund the Department of Housing and Urban
Developments proposed Regional Connections Initiative. The program will
promote regional 'smart growth' strategies and complement the Administrations
other regional efforts. Regional Connections matching grants will help local
partnerships design and pursue smarter growth strategies across jurisdictional
lines. Legislation to authorize this program has been introduced in Congress.
Crime Solving Technologies to Improve Community
Safety. The budget includes $125 million to fund state and local grants
through the Department of Justice for crime-solving technologies to improve
public safety. These programs will upgrade and computerize State and local
criminal history records, improve crime laboratories, and reduce DNA sample
Community-Federal Information Partnership --A $50 million program funded by several agencies to provide communities
with grants and technical assistance for easy-to-use information tools to
help develop strategies for future growth.
The Livable Communities Initiative integrates the commitments of more than
a dozen Federal agencies. The Initiative also supplements the various programs
that make up the Administrations Community Empowerment Agenda, which
is designed to encourage reinvestment in existing communities and provide
greater opportunity for their residents.
As part of last years livability budget, the Administration requested
an additional $1.3 billion in appropriations. Of this, Congress enacted more
than $600 million, primarily for transportation.