VP Announces Increased Funding for Civil Rights

Riling/Anderson (seamouse@televar.com)
Wed, 20 Jan 1999 10:55:17 -0800


                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release January 18, 1999


                  Proposal Would Increase Funding for
                 Civil Rights Enforcement by 15 Percent

     Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that the
Clinton-Gore Administration will seek $663 million for civil rights
enforcement, a 15 percent increase over last year's funding levels.

     "I am proud to announce today that as part of the balanced budget
we will be submitting to Congress next month, we are proposing to invest
$663 million for civil rights enforcement," Vice President Gore said.
"These funds will help ensure that no American is denied a job, a home,
or an education because of their race, color, creed, gender, or
religion; instead we will help ensure equal opportunity for all

     Specifically, the Vice President announced today:

Increased Funding for the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The Administration's 2000 budget provides $312 million for the
EEOC, 12 percent more than the enacted 1999 budget. Funds will go to
support, among other things, the agency's effort to reduce the backlog
of private sector cases to 28,000 by the end of 2000, through a
combination of investments in information technology, increased use of
mediation, and increased staffing.

Increased Funding for the Department of Justice's
Civil Rights Division

The President's 2000 budget provides $82 million, a 19 percent increase
over the 1999 enacted level of $69 million. This represents the largest
increase for the Civil Rights Division in nine years. The proposed
funding will permit the Department of Justice to significantly expand
investigations and prosecutions of criminal civil rights cases
(including hate crimes and police misconduct), fair housing and lending
cases, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This
increase will also allow the Division to prepare for the review,
required by the Voting Rights Act, of numerous redistrictings that will
follow the 2000 Census, and to obtain necessary technology improvements.

Funding for Civil Rights Enforcement Partnerships
 at the Department of Justice

State attorneys general have a vital role to play as partners in
eliminating discrimination through civil rights enforcement. The
President's Budget proposes $5 million for the Civil Rights Enforcement
Partnership, which will provide competitive grants to help build the
capacity of states to address specific enforcement issues within their
jurisdictions by hiring additional staff.

Increased Funding for the Department of Labor's
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

The Administration's budget requests $76 million for OFCCP -- an $11
million or 17% increase over the FY 1999 enacted level. The request
includes funds to expand the compliance assistance strategy to
encourage Federal contractor compliance through increased outreach,
education, and technical assistance, including providing contractors
with the necessary tools to evaluate their equal employment practices.

Increased Funding for the Department of Housing
and Urban Development's (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives

The Administration's budget proposes $47 million, or an over 17 percent
increase from last year, for HUD's efforts to reduce housing
discrimination. The budget requests $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. This includes $7.5 million to fund the second year of a
three-year audit-based enforcement initiative. The Administration
proposal also seeks $20 million, a 21 percent increase, for the Fair
Housing Assistance Program, to support the creation of additional State
and local housing organizations to meet the needs of currently under
served populations and to aid joint investigations and enforcement

Increased Funding for the United States Department
 of Agriculture's Office of Civil Rights

The President's budget proposal increases funding for USDA's civil
rights programs from $16 million to $19 million. USDA's civil rights
programs will emphasize outreach to disadvantaged farmers, involve
small and disadvantaged businesses in USDA programs, increase conflict
resolution activities, and more effectively process complaints brought
by employees and customers.

Increased Funding for the Department of
 Education's Office for Civil Rights

The President's budget proposal of $73 million provides an increase of
$7 million over the 1999 enacted budget to fund staff training and
technological improvements to ensure the resolution of civil rights
issues. The additional funds will enable OCR to work with State
Educational Agencies to address statewide compliance with civil
rights laws, fund a comprehensive demographic survey of the universe of
elementary and secondary public school districts, and keep pace with
increased customer and stakeholder expectations for information and
involvement in civil rights problem solving.


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