Md. to lose $182 million if jobs bill dies Summer youth jobs for city at risk

April 21, 1993|By John B. O'Donnell | John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Maryland stands to lose more than $100 million in federal funds if President Clinton's economic stimulus package is killed by the Republican filibuster in the Senate.

As Senate debate on the stimulus package was beginning late last month, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., said the House-passed $16.3 billion package included $182.3 million for the state.

Trying to salvage his package, Mr. Clinton proposed a 25 percent cut only to have the offer spurned by Senate Republicans.

There is little hope the Democratic leadership will be able to win enough Republican defectors to gain the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster today.

A $6 billion Republican substitute that was defeated late yesterday contained only a few elements of the president's original plan.

Much of the money earmarked for Maryland in the president's $16.3 billion plan would be used for hundreds of construction and renovation projects.

The Clinton package includes $20.5 million in Environmental Protection Agency funds for sewer plant construction that would be administered through a state revolving fund and $38 million in federal Community Development Block Grant money for a wide range of housing and community programs.

In Baltimore County, for example, most of its $3.2 million in block grant funds would be used for affordable housing and rehabilitation projects, according to Frank Welsh, the county's director of community development.

Baltimore city would get the largest share of the block grant funds, $18 million under the Clinton proposal.

For Maryland, the most urgent element of the Clinton package is the only one that seems assured of adoption -- extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.

Page Boinest, Governor Schaefer's press secretary, said the weekly unemployment benefits for 23,000 Marylanders will run out this week unless Congress acts.

Beyond that, she said, the most urgent item is money for summer youth jobs. Maryland stands to pick up an extra $16.4 million under the Clinton plan to finance about 11,000 summer jobs for disadvantaged youth.

Without any extra money, the state will be left with only $9.8 million in federal funds for nearly 7,000 jobs, Ms. Boinest said. The Republican proposal defeated yesterday included $450 million for summer jobs this year, compared with the $1 billion Mr. Clinton proposed for two years.

With the summer jobs program set to begin in two months, Ms. Boinest said, "counselors are out now lining up kids eligible for the program." But they cannot enroll them until the state knows how many slots it will have.

The Clinton package also contains $5.9 million for Maryland's summer Head Start program.

And, it includes dozens of projects that federal agencies would undertake in the state.

They include $2.5 million for construction at the Fort Howard and Perry Point veterans hospitals, $12.3 million for construction work at the Department of Agriculture's facility in Beltsville and nearly $9 million for the Department of the Interior's parks and wildlife refuges.

Senator Mikulski said the Clinton plan included $11.7 million in mass transit funds for Maryland.

In addition to the $16.3 billion in new money, the Clinton plan contains another $3 billion to be released from highway trust funds, including $45 million that Maryland would have used for highway maintenance and repair. The Republican proposal defeated yesterday included $1 billion for highway funds.

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