BUILDING ONE AMERICA
After six years of the Clinton Administration, the American economy continues to break records. Home ownership and job creation are at all time highs, while crime, poverty and welfare rolls continue to fall. This new era of prosperity offers unprecedented opportunity, but the doors of opportunity are not open equally to all -- there are still striking disparities in jobs, in investments in neighborhoods, in education and criminal justice. We also know that, some time in the next century, America will have no majority race. Therefore the President believes we must work to create One America, not only to address the errors of the past, but to assure our future.
Because the challenges facing us reach far beyond the Federal government and require our engagement as individuals, and in our families, churches and communities, the President began in 1997 a national Initiative on Race. The elements of this Initiative were three-fold: action, study and dialogue with communities and community leaders of all races and regions to raise, discuss and better understand the tensions that divide us. A distinguished advisory committee then reported to the President throughout their year of service. Later this year the President issue his assessment to the American people. Many of the programs in this budget are already part of the response.
The President's budget for 2000 provides funding and programs to promote job growth and economic development in urban and rural areas, increase home ownership, promote educational opportunity, and strengthen civil rights enforcement.
JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
· The New Markets Investment Initiative: The budget provides tax credit and loan guarantee incentives to stimulate $15 billion of new private capital investments in targeted areas; build a network of private investment institutions to funnel credit, equity and technical assistance into businesses in America's new markets; and provide the expertise to targeted small businesses that will allow them to use investment to grow.
· Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI): The budget also provides expanded funding for Community Development Financial Institutions, which have expertise in lending and investment in underserved areas, both rural and urban. The budget provides $125 million for the CDFI fund, including $15 million for a new microenterprise initiative that would provide technical assistance grants to microenterprise intermediaries to assist low-income and disadvantaged entrepreneurs.
· Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Enterprise Communities (ECs): The budget provides mandatory funding for ten years: $150 million a year for urban EZs; $10 million a year for rural EZs; and $5 million a year for rural ECs. It also includes a new USDA program to provide $5 million for partnership technical assistance grants to help rural communities develop comprehensive strategies for revitalization and to better coordinate Federal assistance. In addition, the Budget provides a $50 million regional Empowerment Zone Initiative to assist urban EZ/EC's in linking their economic development strategies to their broader metropolitan regional economies to increase youth employment.
· Federal Housing Administration Loan Limits: The Administration's successful 1999 proposal to increase the FHA mortgage limit will allow FHA to help more families purchase their first homes, especially in areas with high housing prices. Reforms of FHA's property disposition practices, starting this year, will reduce costs and stabilize neighborhoods.
· Playing-by-the-Rules: Also in 1999, the Administration proposed and Congress enacted a $25 million Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation "Play-by-the-Rules" pilot program. This program will allow renters with solid payment track records to own their own homes. The budget provides a second round of $15 million for this initiative.
· Low Income Housing Tax Credit: The budget proposes to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to spur the private sector to develop more affordable low-income rental housing. The proposal will cost $1.6 billion over the next five years and help develop 75,000 to 90,000 units per year. It will restore the value of the tax credit, which has eroded over the last decade due to an increase in building costs, helping to reduce rents by an average of $450 a month for the average housing credit renter who, in turn, earns $13,300 a year.
· Public Housing Program: In 1998, Congress passed comprehensive public housing reform legislation, the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act. The Act increases the availability of Federal housing assistance to very poor families with limited housing choices while at the same time promoting a greater mix of income and new administrative flexibility in public housing.
· Head Start: Among the President's highest priorities, Head Start will serve 877,000 low-income children in 2000, providing comprehensive child development services and helping parents get involved in their children's lives. Since 1993, the President has worked with Congress to increase annual Head Start funding by 68 percent. This year's proposal will keep the program on track to meet the President's goal of serving one million children by 2002: a $607 million increase that will add 42,000 new slots for young children, including 7,000 Early Head Start slots, for total enrollment of 877,000.
· Title I -- Education for the Disadvantaged: This program provides funds to raise the educational achievement of disadvantaged children. Title I will receive $8.7 billion in 2000, a $373 million increase over 1999. This funding includes resources for a new Accountability Fund, which would support immediate and significant State and local interventions in the lowest performing schools to improve student achievement.
· End Social Promotion and Provide After-School Opportunities: The President is committed to ending social promotion and will work to give students the tools they need to meet challenging academic standards. This budget proposes an expansion to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, enabling more than 7,500 schools to open their doors before and after the school day and during the summer.
· Doubles GEAR-UP for College Program: President Clinton's balanced budget doubles funding --from $120 million in FY99 to $240 million in FY2000 -- for the GEAR UP program that supports States and partnerships between high-poverty middle or junior high schools and colleges to help low-income children prepare for and enroll in college. In 2000, GEAR UP will reach 381,000 students.
CIVIL RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT
· Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The budget provides $312 million for the EEOC, 12 percent more than in 1999. Funds will support, among other things, a reduction in the backlog of private sector cases, through a combination of investments in information technology, increased use of mediation, and increased staffing. The increase for EEOC also includes $10 million as part of a joint, $14 million EEOC/Department of Labor Equal Pay Initiative, to focus additional resources on providing employers with the necessary tools to assess and improve their pay policies, and educating the public on the importance of this issue as well as their rights and responsibilities.
· Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives: The budget provides $47 million, $7 million more than in 1999. Funding for these initiatives includes $27 million, a 15 percent increase, for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), which provides funding to private fair housing groups to assist in enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. The budget also provides $20 million, a 21 percent increase, for the Fair Housing Assistance Program, which supports the creation of additional State and local housing organizations to meet the needs of currently underserved populations and aid joint investigations and enforcement activities.
· Department of Justice's Civil Rights Enforcement: The budget provides $82 million, a 19 percent increase over 1999, representing the largest increase for the Civil Rights Division in nine years. The budget also provides $5 million for the Civil Rights Enforcement Partnership, to provide competitive grants to help build capacity of states to address specific enforcement issues within their jurisdictions by hiring additional staff.
· Department of Labor: The budget provides $76 million for DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an $11 million increase over 1999. This includes $4 million of the President's $14 million joint, EEOC/Department of Labor Equal Pay Initiative.
· Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights: The budget provides $73 million -- an increase of $7 million over 1999 -- to fund staff training and technological improvements to ensure the resolution of civil rights issues.
· Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): The budget provides $22 million for HHS's Office of Civil Rights to continue its focus on preventative activities.
· U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: The budget provides $11 million, a 22 percent increase over 1999, for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
· Department of Transportation (DOT): The budget provides $8 million for DOT's Office of Civil Rights, an increase of $1 million.
· Department of Labor (DOL): The budget provides a $1 million increase -- to $6 million -- for DOL's Office of Civil Rights to enforce the Federal statutes and regulations that prohibit discrimination in all Labor Department financial assistance programs.
· Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The budget provides $2 million for the EPA's Office of Civil Rights to address potential discrimination within EPA and in programs and activities that receive assistance from EPA.
HISPANIC EDUCATION INITIATIVES
· Right Track Partnership: The budget provides $100 million for a new Right Track Partnership program to help keep young people from dropping out of school and encourage those who already have dropped out to return and complete their education. The program will target resources to disadvantaged and limited-English proficient youth.
· Bilingual and Immigrant Education: The budget provides $35 million, for a total of $415 million, for Bilingual and Immigrant Education. Includes $25 million, for a total of $75 million, for Professional Development, and $10 million, for a total of $170 million, for Instructional Services to support programs for limited English proficient students.
· Other Education Initiatives: The budget also provides increases of:
$14 million, for a total of $42 million, for assistance for colleges and universities that serve large numbers of Hispanic students; $9 million, for a total of $22 million, for the High School Equivalency Program for migrants and the College Assistance Migrant Program; $190 million, for a total of $575 million, for Adult Education, including $70 million to expand services and improve English as a Second Language and civics programs; $25 million, for a total of $380 million, for Title I-Migrant Education, which provides additional educational assistance to migrant children; $10 million for a Labor Department program to provide training and education assistance to migrant youth including literacy assistance, worker safety training, English language assistance, and drop out prevention activities; $30 million, for a total of $630 million, for the TRIO programs that work with disadvantaged high school and college students to encourage them to complete high school and attend, and graduate from, college; $30 million, for a total of $150 million, for Comprehensive School Reform demonstrations in high-poverty schools, providing grants for research-proven reform efforts to schools that have low achievement and high drop-out rates. Also, a portion of the Head Start expansion dollars will be used to boost minority participation by under represented groups, particularly in areas with recent influxes of immigrants and limited English proficient children, including seasonal farm workers.
COMMITMENT TO NATIVE AMERICANS
· Law Enforcement: The second year of the Interior and Justice Departments' joint law enforcement initiative, for which the budget proposes $164 million in 2000 (50 percent over 1999), will continue to address high crime rates in Indian country with more resources for drug control and youth crime prevention programs, equipment detention services, crime reporting surveys, and officer hiring and retention.
· Education: The Administration is continuing its commitment to education by expanding the school construction initiative to address Indian reservations' school repair and replacement needs systematically. As part of the school modernization proposal, Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will receive a set-aside in bond authority ($200 million in both 2000 and 2001, plus up to $30 million to guarantee bond repayment) for its schools on Indian reservations in need of replacement or major repairs. In addition to school construction, BIA will increase resources for school operations; early intervention partnerships; child care; and technology within schools, classrooms and libraries. The nationwide class size reduction initiative also includes a set-aside for BIA schools, to be used for hiring 1,000 new Indian teachers. Only two-thirds of Native American students successfully complete high school --far fewer than other students. To address this challenge, the President is proposing $10 million to begin training and recruiting of 1000 new teachers for areas with high concentrations of American Indian and Alaska Native students.
· Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Services: DOI's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Health and Human Services Department's Indian Health Service (IHS) make up nearly two-thirds of Federal funding for Native American programs. For the BIA, the budget provides $1.9 billion, nine percent over the 1999 enacted level. Over 90 percent of BIA operations funding goes for basic, high-priority reservation-level programs such as education, social services, law enforcement, housing improvement, and natural resources management.
For IHS, the budget proposes $2.4 billion, a substantial increase of eight-percent over the FY 1999 level.
This increase would enable IHS to continue expanding accessible and high-quality health care to its Native American service users, through IHS' existing network comprised of over 540 direct health care delivery facilities (this is also discussed in Health Care and Services, above). This increase reflects a four-pronged approach for IHS (e.g., substantial increase in 2000, access to health grants, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements, and vigilance on fraud and abuse). In addition, from 1998 to 2000, IHS expects to collect an additional $82 million in reimbursements due to Medicaid collections rate increases.
· Tribal Contracting and Self-governance: BIA and IHS will continue to promote Tribal self-determination through local decision-making. Tribal contracting and self-governance compact agreements now represent half of BIA's operations budget, and over 40 percent of IHS' budget.
· Trust Fund Balances: The Administration is committed to resolving disputed Indian trust fund account balances through informal dispute resolution and supports the unique government-to-government relationship that exists in Indian trust land management issues. After Tribal consultations, BIA submitted its recommendations to Congress in November 1997. Legislation reflecting these recommendations was proposed in 1998, but not enacted. It will be re-proposed in the 106th Congress.
· Trust Land Management: As part of BIA's commitment to resolving trust land management issues, BIA will re-propose legislation to establish an Indian Land Consolidation program to address the fractionation of Indian land. In 1999, BIA will devote $5 million to three pilot projects in Wisconsin in cooperation with Tribes, to purchase small ownership interests in highly fractionated tracts of land from willing sellers. The budget proposes to double funding for this program.
· Trust Management Improvement Project: The budget provides $90 million for DOI's Office of Special Trustee's trust management improvement project, an increase of $51 million over 1999. Current activities include verifying individual Indian's account data and converting these data to a commercial-grade accounting system. Ownership, lease, and royalty information related to the underlying trust assets will also be verified and converted to a recently acquired commercial asset management system.
· Racial Disparities in Health Status: Despite improvements in the Nation's overall health, continuing disparities remain in the burden of death and illness that certain minority groups experience. To address these and other disparities, the budget includes $145 million for health education, prevention, and treatment services for minority populations. The budget also proposes to provide an additional $50 million to address HIV and AIDS issues in minority communities.
· Minority and Native American Elders: The budget provides $4 million for HHS' Administration on Aging to reduce chronic disease among minority elders. In addition, the budget proposes a $125 million National Family Caregiver Support Program, including $2.5 million in competitive grant funding for Native American family caregivers.