THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS FORGED NEW PARTNERSHIPS WITH STATES AND LOCALITIES
Waivers for Welfare, Medicaid, and Food Stamp Reform -- President Clinton has given 35 States welfare reform waivers and 12 States statewide Medicaid waivers, waiving provisions of the Social Security Act so States can test better ways to provide for health and human services to their low-income populations. The Clinton Administration has also provided over 700 specific waivers to the Food Stamp Act, 167 related to welfare reform projects and over 500 for other purposes request by states.
Waivers for Education Reform -- The Department of Education has approved 84 waivers under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Goals 2000 to provide flexibility in order to improve academic achievement. The Department of Education also determined that for 47 additional requests, no waiver was required. In addition, the Administration has approved five Ed-Flex applications, delegating the Secretary of Educations Goals 2000 waiver authority to Oregon, Kansas, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas. What this means is these five States can now provide waiver authority to their local school districts WITHOUT coming to the U.S. Department of Education for permission. Some of the examples of waivers that have been approved to date:
· The Fort Worth, Texas School District received a waiver allowing it to target an extra portion of its Title I dollars to four high poverty, inner-city elementary schools. The schools were chosen for a complete overhaul due to low achievement of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills an other factors. Each school uses Title I funds to improve instruction for all its students and is reorganizing staff, lengthening the school year, focusing on teaching reading and math, providing extensive teacher training, and strengthening links to the community.
· As part of Oregons comprehensive school improvement efforts, the States Department of Education received a waiver to form innovative consortia, including both community colleges and school districts, for the use of Perkins funds. The consortia will receive Perkins funds to provide high quality vocational education programs to both high school and post-secondary students. Without the waiver, this type of collaboration would not have been possible.
Reduced Regulations --All Federal departments continue to eliminate and reduce burdensome regulations. The Department of Education for example has eliminated two-thirds of its regulations for elementary and education programs that have been reauthorized since the beginning of the Clinton Administration). In total, federal workers are sending 16,000 pages of obsolete regulations to the scrap heat and reworking 31,000 more pages of 86,000 pages of regulations which have been reviewed.
Unfunded Mandates -- As a former governor, the President fully understands the burdens state and localities face when the federal government imposes mandates without providing adequate funding. In October 1993 President Clinton signed the first Executive Order requiring all federal agencies to consult with state and local organizations before promulgating any new rules or regulations that impose new unfunded mandates. The President also signed the Unfunded Mandates Act into law March 1995, a law which now requires Congress to address statutory unfunded mandates.
· EPA has already removed over 25,000 of its 38,000 sites from the Superfund tracking system. These were sites that EPA had already investigated and determined No further remedial action planned. Thousands of these sites have no contamination at all while others are being addressed by State cleanup programs. These sites can be candidates for redevelopment, but potential developers were shying away from them simply because they were in the federal tracking system.
· Under the Brownsfields Initiative, EPA is working with States and cities to redevelop inner city industrial sites, returning contaminated land to productive use and creating jobs.
School to Work -- A joint initiative of the Departments of Education and Labor, the School-to-Work initiative is focused on helping States build statewide school-to-work systems. The initiatives offer young Americans access to programs designed to prepare them for first jobs in high-skill, high-wage careers, and increase their opportunities for further education and training. State and local partnerships may apply for waivers of regulatory or legislative requirements under numerous education and training programs to achieve these outcomes.
The Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community initiatives in 105 localities have strengthened the bond not only between the federal government and states and localities, but directly between states and their communities. As part of a new way of doing business, the federal government is working with communities in response to over 200 requests for flexibility from the federal government. The federal efforts include working directly with states as partners in responding to solutions that best fit the need of each community. Each Governor as well as State agency staff have been invited to a White Empowerment Zone Conference at the end of February.
More Flexibility Needed -- The Administration supports legislation -- the Local Empowerment and Flexibility Act, introduced by Senator Hatfield -- to provide bottom up solutions from states and localities to provide much greater flexibility in the use of federal funds in exchange for accountability for results.
Existing Performance Partnerships -- We are working in partnership with several States to provide increased flexibility and improve results Americans care about. An intergovernmental, interagency partnership was begin with Oregon in December 1994 to work together towards specific measurable goals -- with all partners breaking down barriers to meeting those goals. We focus on outcomes such as the number of teenage girls per 1,000 who become pregnant, as opposed to the number of visits to clinics. We also have ongoing partnerships with Indiana and West Virginia as those States explore ways to consolidate requirements for 199 federal grant programs targeted to children and families. We are about to enter into a partnership with the State of Connecticut based on that States innovative new law, the Neighborhood Revitalization Act, which requires the State to break down barriers in response to neighborhoods comprehensive plans and measurable goals to revitalize their economies and their neighborhoods. We have similar performance partnerships with several cities.
Presidents Proposals for More Performance Partnerships -- The Presidents FY 1996 Budget proposed a set of Performance Partnerships to increase state and local flexibility on HOW a program is run in exchange for increased accountability for results. These proposals are still in various stages of the legislative process.
· At HUD, the President proposed to consolidate 60 programs into three flexible performance-based funds.
· At HHS, the President proposed to consolidate over 100 public health programs into several performance partnership grants.
· At EPA, the President proposed to allow States to consolidate up to 12 media-specific grants (such as air, water, and hazardous waste), enabling states to target resources toward their most pressing priorities while still abiding by Federal law.
· At Agriculture, the President proposed to combine funding for 14 rural development loan and grant programs.
· At the Departments of Labor and Education, the President proposed to combine 70 education and job training programs into one system to provide substantial flexibility for state and local governments to design systems, to empower individuals to choose their own training, and to hold providers accountable for program performance.