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House Journal: Page 1892: Tuesday, April 25, 1995

Number two, a total block grant relieves the state of any
responsibility to put up the match that is now required for you
to participate in the program. Now, you may say, well, we would
do that anyway. We have a tradition in Iowa of taking care of
our own. But what if you lived in a state with a booming
population growth, with wildly competing demands for dollars?
And what about when the next recession comes? Keep in mind,
we're making all these decisions today in the second year in
which every state economy is growing. That has not happened in a
very long time.
Will that really be fair? How do you know that there won't be
insurmountable pressure in some states just to say, well, we
can't take care of these children anymore; we've got to give the
money to our school teachers; we've got to give the money to our
road program; we've got to give the money to economic
development; we've got environmental problems. So I ask you to
think about those things. We can find a way to let you control
the welfare system and move people from welfare to work., but
there are two  substantive problems  with the block grant
program that I want to see overcome before I sign off on it,
because there is a national responsibility to care for the
children of the country, to make sure a minimum standard of care
is given. 
In the crime bill, there is a proposal to take what we did last
time, which was to divide the money between police, prisons and
prevention, and basically give you a block grant in prevention,
and instead create two separate block grants, one for prisons
and one for police and prevention, in which you would reduce the
amount of money for police and prevention and increase the
amount of money for prisons, but you could only get it if you
decided - a mandate, but a funded one - if you decided to make
all people who committed serious crimes serve 85 percent of
their sentences.
So Washington is telling you how you have to sentence people but
offering you money to build prisons. The practical impact means
that a lot of the money won't be taken care of, and we will
reduce the amount of money we're spending for police and for
prevention programs. I think that's a mistake.
I'm more than happy for you to have block grants for prevention
programs. You know more about what keeps kids out of jail and
off the streets and from committing crime in Des Moines or Cedar
Rapids or Ames or anyplace else than I would ever know. But we
do know that the violent crime rate has tripled in the last 30
years, and the number of police on our streets has only gone up
by 10 percent. And we know there is city, after city, after city
in America where the crime rate has gone down a lot, a lot when
police have been put on the street in community policing roles.
So I say, let's keep the 100,000 police program. It is totally 
nonbureaucratic. Small towns in Iowa can get it by filling out a
one-page, eight-question form. There is no hassle. And we should
do this because we know it works. There is a national interest
in safer streets, and it's all paid for by reducing the federal
bureaucracy. So my view is, keep the 100,000 police, give the
states flexibility on prevention. And I hope you will agree with
that. That, at any rate, is my strong feeling.
Lastly, let me say on education, I simply don't believe that we
should be cutting education to reduce the deficit or pay for tax
cuts. I don't believe that. I just don't believe that.
So my view - my view on this is that the way to save money is to
give every university in the country and every college in the
country the right to do what Iowa State has done - go to the
direct loan program, cut out the middle man, lower the cost of
loans, save the taxpayer money.

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