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Building Livable Communities for the 21st Century
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,
The Administration's 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 Clinton's 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.
Livability Goals 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
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 crime.
Enhance economic competitiveness by nurturing a high quality of
life that attracts well-trained workers and cutting-edge industries.
FY 2001 Livability Initiatives The President's FY 2001
budget request to Congress includes significant new investments to support
major livability programs:
Transportation 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 year's 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
Bonds. The President's budget will propose $10.75 billion in
bonding authority over five years for Better America Bonds more than a
$1 billion increase over last year's 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 local communities.
Initiative. The budget includes $25 million to fund the Department of
Housing and Urban Development's proposed Regional Connections Initiative.
The program will promote regional smart growth strategies and
complement the Administration's 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
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 Administration's Community Empowerment Agenda,
which is designed to encourage reinvestment in existing communities and provide
greater opportunity for their residents.
As part of last year's livability budget, the Administration
requested an additional $1.3 billion in appropriations. Of this, Congress
enacted more than $600 million, primarily for transportation.