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IV. New Government -
A New Federal-State Partnership
The Clinton Administration Has Forged A New Partnership
with States and Local Governments.
Giving States Flexibility. President Clinton has given 29
states -- more than quadrupling the previous total -- the right to slash
through federal regulations to reform their welfare systems. We have
also used waivers to give states more flexibility to manage
federally-funded program such as Medicaid and Food
Empowerment Zones -- Community-Based Decisions. In
December, President Clinton and Vice President Gore initiated the
Community Empowerment Initiative by designating and funding 9
Empowerment Zones and 95 Enterprise Communities as the beginning of a
ten-year experiment in community-based decision-making.
Performance Partnerships. The President's budget proposed a
first set of Performance Partnerships that give flexibility
to state and local governments on how to run a program. In exchange,
the government expects increased accountability for results.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development will consolidate 60
programs into three flexible, performance-based funds; transform public
housing into a system that works for people and communities; and create
an entrepreneurial Federal Housing Corporation that increases
homeownership and affordable housing opportunities.
The Department of Transportation will consolidate programs that the
Government now funds into three programs: a unified transportation
allocation to states and localities; a discretionary grant; and state
The Public Health Service proposes to consolidate 108 activities
into 16 grant categories and build performance incentives into
the authorizing legislation.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposes to allow states to
consolidate up to 12 specific grants, e.g., air, water, and
hazardous waste) so they can target resources toward their most pressing
The Agriculture Department proposes combining funding for 14 rural
development loan and grant programs and authorize its state
directors to allocate funds between these programs.
The Oregon Option
A federal inter-agency team has worked with state and local officials in
Oregon to design and test a results-oriented approach to intergovernmental
service delivery. For example, Oregon will measure changes in the
overall teen pregnancy rate rather than count the number of clients
served as in the past.
Initially, the effort will focus on stable families, a developed
workforce, and healthy children. Under the redesigned system -- which
will reduce red tape and administrative burdens for state and local
governments -- all partners will work toward clear performance goals for
government programs and be accountable for achieving results. This new
federal-state-local partnership could serve as a model for improvements
Other Examples of A New State-Federal
Common Sense. The President endorsed consolidated planning
processes for Indiana andWest Virginia that will let them coordinate
nearly 200 federal grants to help
children and families.
Flexibility. The President has signed legislation to
increase state and local flexibility in the Goals 2000, which allows six
states to waive federal requirements to target their money to better
achieve national education goals.
Cutting Paperwork. Federal, state and local agencies have
collaborated to integrate application forms in Atlanta, reducing six
separate applications for assistance programs totalling 64 pages to a
single, eight-page form.