Page images
PDF
EPUB

we find the proposed administration's legislation to be vague and inconclusive. At the present time, it is virtually impossible for Wisconsin to receive a clear statement in any given year on statewide per title dollar allocations.

Similarly, the regional OEO office has often directed the operations of the antipoverty program in Wisconsin at variance from State advice. The regional OEO sitting in judgment upon CAP activities and developments in Wisconsin has not expressed the practical judgments needed to carry out a higher level of performance in our State.

At this point, all too often, the only information the Governor has on a project at the time he is asked to waive his 30-day review period, is a telephone call. We believe in the OEO and its general administration of Economic Opportunity Act. Therefore it is our advice that the funding of projects through the regional office pay greater emphasis to prior recommendations by the State technical assistance agencies. The State TA is rarely asked to assist in planning new fiscal year approaches to the campaign against poverty. Priorities are similarly neglected. Also, State TA's should be funded on a formula basis.

I further believe the States and the Federal Government should require either through statute, executive order or Federal regulation, that multipurpose physical, economic, and human resources planning and development agencies be established in nonmetropolitan areas. I believe the Federal Government should provide grants and conditions so each State can divide its counties into logical single or multicounty areas. Some counties in Wisconsin have already organized physical planning commissions with from five to seven counties within their geographical boundaries. How much better it would be if the entire State were organized with governing bodies, technical staff, and facilities to provide a comprehensive set of services for physical and social economic planning and development. Wisconsin intends to do much more along these lines.

As a preliminary step in this direction the Governor, on June 5, 1967, urged Wisconsin’ delegation to support section 208 of H.R. 8068 which would amend section 701 of the Housing Act of 1964.

At this point, Mr. Resnick, I would like to depart from the written testimony to skip over a couple of pages of testimony. I would merely point out that we feel very strongly about developing the legislation as proposed by the Governor, and we would hope that this committee would follow the recommendations as stated on pages 7, 8, and through the top of page 9 of the printed testimony. In our opinion, we believe the multipurpose planning commission could provide a capability for following through on the general recommendations made by previous persons testifying before this committee. I think this would be a great device for locking in the CAMPS program, the manpower on local and State levels, the physical planning, the economic planning, and the human developmental planning, and implementation as well. Not that we would destroy or subvert the intent of the Community Action Agency, but the Community Action Agency could be a building block of multicounty nature.

In Wisconsin, we have seven planning districts presently. We have demographic information, we have industrial and economic development studies and recommendations which cut right across the board

in rural sections of this state as well as urban, and we feel that by pulling the antipoverty programs into a multipurpose, larger planning district, human development recommendations and considerations could be meshed together and implemented.

Turning from planning districts to national administration, I urge that the OEO be retained as a separate Federal department on the national level. I further support the administration's Bill H.R. 8311 inasmuch as this bill substantially verifies the present antipovery administration.

Mr. RESNICK. I want to ask you a question at that point. I presume you are here speaking for the Governor of the State of Wisconsin.

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. RESNICK. And that in essence, you are opposed to the Republican version of the war on poverty, the so-called opportunity crusade.

Mr. SMITH. I would continue my testimony by stating that I do not advise any transfer of rural poverty functions from the OEO to the USDA with the present emphasis of the Department of Agriculture on products rather than people. I fail to see how the proposed transfer under the opportunity crusade of 1967 (H.R. 10682) of the Office of Economic Opportunity to HEW could improve the potential for eliminating poverty.

I am not completely satisfied with the present OEO procedures. But I believe the administrative structure as it presently exists has better possibilities for effectively coordinating the poverty program. The OO definitely does need strengthening.

Briefly recapitulating, I have already mentioned my recommendation for the increase in over and above the 50 alloted new rural community action agencies. Also, I must insist that more general versatile title II CAP moneys be made available.

Hopefully, Congress will act more expeditiously in authorizing and appropriating resources for the OEO or approve a 2-year budget.

Finally, increased Federal fiscal aid for state technical assistance and multipurpose planning districts and retention of the OEO would enhance future Economic Opportunity Act programs in fiscal year 1968.

(The unread portion of Mr. Smith's statement follows) :

As a preliminary step in this direction the Governor, on June 5, 1967, urged Wisconsin's delegation to support Section 208 of HR-8068 which would amend Section 701 of the Housing Act of 1964. He said then and I quote:

“Section 209 of Senate Bill 144.5 and Title I of Senate Bill 1589 (these provisions are the same) and its House Companion Section 208 of HR-8068 would amend Section 701 of the Housing Act of 1964. The major change made by the proposal would be to provide 701 planning grants for multi-county rural planning anencics. These grants are already available to similar urban planning agencies. This proposal, especially if it is financed by a supplemental appropriation to the planning assistance program could serve to broaden greatly Wisconsin's planning assistance to rural areas. It could strengthen significantly the comprehensive planning function at the state and local level while enhancing the prospects for implementation of sound plans.

“I believe there are two amendments which should be made in this proposal to enhance its value for implementation at the state and local level :

1. The urban regional and rural district planning agencies should be public agencies which are politically responsible. An amendment to this bill should assure that such agencies are composed of elected officials or persons responsible to the elected officials of the unit of government within which the planning agency is operating.

Provisions should be made for a reasonable administrative tie between these area-wide or local agencies and the state planning agency in order to achiere local planning which is fully coordinated and reasonably consistent with the state-wide program. It is well recognized that a state's comprehensive planning program should not consist of a complex of independently prepared, ill coordinated regional and district plans.

2. Supplemental grants should be provided to rural planning districts that organize to implement mutually agreed upon area-wide plans. This type of incentive program already exists for urban and metropolitan planning programs under Section 205 of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.

OTHER RURAL PLANNING LEGISLATION

"I have recently learned that Senate Bill 645 which also provides for rural planning grants has passed the Senate. I am not in favor of passage of this bill.

“The procedure for establishing and working with community development districts is not defined as the specific responsibility of the state in cooperation with local governmental units (local units of government petition the Secretary Agriculture for approval of their areas as a Community Development district).

"Rural planning grants would not be administered by the state as is presently the case in the 701 program. They would go directly to the community development district. This would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the state's planning and development programs and would make it difficult to achieve a coordinated development pattern for the complex of numerous rural and urban planning districts in the state.

“The bill fails to call for a supplemental appropriation for what is now an underbudgeted 701 program. The proposed cost sharing ratio would be three fourths Federal to one-fourth local money for the rural planning districts. This would be disruptive to the total 701 program since the two-thirds to one-third ratio for urban areas would not be changed."

Turning from planning districts to national administration, I urge that the OEO be retained as a separate federal department on the national level. I further support the administration's Bill Hr–8311 inasmuch as this bill substantially verifies the present anti-poverty administration.

I do not advise any transfer of rural poverty functions from the OEO to the USDA with the present emphasis of the Department of Agriculture on products rather than people. I fail to see how the proposed transfer under the Opportunity Crusade of 1967 (HR-10682) of the Office of Economic Opportunity to HEW could improve the potential for eliminating poverty.

I am not completely satisfied with the present OEO procedures. But I beliere the administrative structure as it presently exists has better possibilities for effectively coordinating the poverty program. The OEO definitely does need strengthening.

Mr. RESNICK. I would like to thank you for a very fine statement which you have presented here from the State's point of view. It certainly touches on the weaknesses of the war on poverty. I think your recommendations are very sound. I think there is no question but that the coordination of all these various planning districts into unified planning districts certainly would be a big step in the right direction and eliminate a lot of overlapping and so on.

I, personally am glad to know that the feeling in the State of Wisconsin is that the Office of Economic Opportunity should be retained basically as it is. The problems that you outline in your presentation in getting funds now-it seems to me that if broken up, would make your job that much more difficult. If it were split up into six or seven different places, whatever money was available would be that much more difficult to obtain.

Mr. SMITH. I think that would be the case. As I mentioned before, we have fine community action agencies if money and authorizations were made that we could get in operation very quickly. With a national allocation of only 50, it seems logical to me to doubt whether we are going to get all nine funded. We could go beyond them, actually. So I think this is an unfortunate circumstance that a low number of new EAPA agencies has been authorized for fiscal 1968.

Mr. RESNICK. That is one of the many problems. Again, I want to thank you for your very fine statement. You have put very succinctly the problems of the State in dealing with the war on poverty.

Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Mr. RESNICK. Mr. Żwach?

Mr. Zwach. Mr. Chairman, I am sorry I did not hear most of the testimony, because I was previously here and then got tied up on telephone calls.

Did you present what the State and county units of governments are doing with regard to rural development ? Did you touch on that? And if you did not, could you touch on it orally?

Mr. Smith. Well, I do not believe that I touched upon that directly.

The State of Wisconsin, of course, through the CAMPS committee, on which I serve, as well as other representatives of my office working with the U.S./State Department of Agriculture officials, has been attempting to plan and develop projects in the rural areas of our State.

Speaking for the Wisconsin Office of Economic Opportunity, at least as identified by the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee's reports, they indicate that we have an 80–20 bias operationally in the Wisconsin OEO toward rural, as compared to urban activities. This follows because by and large outside of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and a few key larger cities, we have a rural orientation in Wisconsin.

I do not want to belabor this planning point too much, but I would like to establish the fact that we have seven district plans in print now covering the entire State of Wisconsin. In terms of planning economic, industrial development, and human resources or infrastructural activities, we know by and large now what the major problems are, what future trends obtain, and we feel that with the proper implementation procedures, we could do a better job in developing our growth points as identified, as well as rural area economies.

Mr. Zwach. Do you have a rural development section? You do have business development agencies and tourist business agencies in Wisconsin ?

Mr. SMITH. Yes.

Mr. Zwach. Do you have a rural development section at the state level?

Mr. SMITH. Well, I believe the State department of agriculture as such, does not have a rural specialty division, but it works for the benefit of agriculture in Wisconsin.

Mr. Zwach. I have no further questions.
Mr. RESNICK. I want to thank you.

I would like to state at this time that our scheduled witness for tomorrow, Mr. Roger Fleming of the American Farm Bureau Federation, cannot appear. It is requested that the statement of Mr. Lynn be put into the record-I am sorry; Mr. Fleming will submit his statement for the record, together with the additional information which was requested. Without objection, that will be done.

(No additional statement or information was supplied for the record by either Mr. Lynn or Mr. Fleming.)

(The following statements and letters were also submitted for the record :)

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STATES IN THE WAR ON POVERTY

(By Hon. Joseph S. Clark, a U.S. Senator from the State of Pennsylvania) For nearly five months the Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower and Poverty, which I serve as chairman, has been assessing the effective ness of the greatest social and economic experiment of our time, the Federal war on poverty.

Our study is not finished, but one conclusion can fairly be drawn from a large part of the testimony presented to our subcommittee and to the Subcommittee on Rural Development of the House of Representatives which has also been holding hearings in recent months.

The evidence points to the conclusion that few States are pulling their own weight in the anti-poverty crusade, and that the States that protest the loudest about States' rights and the sanctity of State prerogatives are the same States that have refused to accept their share of responsibility for vigorous action on behalf of the poor and underprivileged.

Time and again our Subcommittees have encountered State attitudes that seem to say, "We will accept all the Federal money that we can get allocated to our State for anti-poverty projects, but we prefer not to make substantial financial contributions to the programs if we can help it. Moreover, the State should be given complete supervision and control of these porgrams.".

Over many years, before the advent of the war on poverty, individual states had frequent opportunities to wipe out penury and deprivation, or at least to make a vital start. But no serious, concerted effort was ever launched.

During these last few months our Senate subcommittee has inspected, at first hand, urban and rural poverty areas in Mississippi, New York, California. Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and elsewhere. We encountered appalling poverty conditions undoubtedly as old as the States themselves. We saw widespread hunger and malnutrition, victimizing children and adults alike. We saw thou. sands of Americans living in squalid urban slums and dilipidated rural shacks; we even found migrant workers and their families living in abandoned autos.

We visited areas of heavy and persistent unemployment which generated a despair and hopelessness that settled over cities and neighborhoods like an oppressive fog. Over and over again we were confronted with a heartbreaking lack of medical care, clinical and hospital facilities, elemental hygiene, and even immunization programs.

We took testimony establishing that at least 50% of all poor children in the U.S. do not have adequate immunization ; that 64% of poor children have nerer seen a dentist in their lives; that 45% of all women who have babies in baspitals have absolutely no prenatal care; that an infant born to poor parents has twice the risk of dying before reaching its first birthday; and that the chances of dying before the age of 35 are four times greater for a member of a poor family.

The total of America's poor still stands at 32,500.000 despite nearly three years of the war on poverty, and at least 22% of the nation's needy receive absolutely no public assistance or welfare help. And the Economic Development Administration reported recently that more than 840 American communities are suffering acutely from unemployment and low income. At least 226 of these communities are afflicted with a jobless rate exceeding 8%, twice the national average; and 59 are economically sick with joblessness ranging from 13.8% to 30%.

Here, then, is the picture—but only a partial picture of penury in the midst of plenty in the world's most affluent society in the year 1967. We have not forgotten that last year in the testimony before our subcommittee, Sargent Shriver, offered an unprecedented challenge to Congress and to the country. The United States, the OEO Director told us, can eradicate poverty by 1976 if it brings to bear the necessary resources, talents, and determination.

By 1976, the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the nation can complete the task of bringing to all Americans the fulfillment of the Declaration's promises of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." So said Director Shriver on June 21, 1966.

« PreviousContinue »