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to development, but 5 to 6 months is to us-does not seem long, but if you have a family not eating too well, it is a real long period.
I would suggest that perhaps if this could be streamlined or maybe if the States have adequate facilities to do their own review as to what it is going to be damaging to the environment, that maybe this provision could be waived.
As far as industrial projects are concerned, we hope to include public projects this year. And in my own State we have what we call site sesection law, and we virtually cannot build anything without approval of our Environmental Commission. So, in our own State, we would be very well equipped to deal with the environmental problem.
Mr. HARSHA. How long would it take you and your State to get clearance of this kind, or make a finding of this nature?
Governor CURTIS. We could do it in a period of about 2 weeks. The only requirement we have is advertising a public hearing, 7 days in advance and holding public hearings, and it would be a question of how fast the Commission was capable of acting, which on urgent projects could act very rapidly. Mr. HARSHA. Thank you. Mr. EDMONDSON. The gentleman from Illinois.
Mr. Gray. I just wanted to compliment the Governor on a very fine statement.
How many counties do you have in your state that are eligible for EDA assistance? Do you have any idea offhand ?
Governor CURTIS. We have development district which comprises five counties. We have another county which is eligible for the strict criteria of the EDA, and another labor market area. I think it is safe to say that we are covering about seven counties, I believe.
If our unemployment rate continues, the major part of the State is going to be eligible, again.
Mr. Gray. The reason I ask that question, I just wondered if you would care to comment on whether you believe that the EDA applications that are now being made from that redevelopment district are receiving the consideration that you think you are entitled to. I know that I have a 22-county district in southern Illinois, and we have not had one single approval by EDA in over a year.
Do you feel you are getting the kind of consideration you expected when Congress passed the EDA Act?
Governor CURTIS. It has not been too bad to date. We had one instance where we tried to use the New England regional money with EDA money, and we got into a situation which comes first-it was like the chicken and the egg situation. We were able to get around that. That is probably the worst situation we have had.
One other little problem is last June they transferred our field coordinator to Oklahoma, and Oklahoma's field coordinator to Maine, and one of them quit, and another one got fired. And since June of last year, we have not had a field representative in Maine.
Mr. Gray. You testified earlier that you had experience with the accelerated public works before. Do you not believe that this is a more direct pipeline into the community, of taking care of the needs without running the gamut of running through the district office of EDA and coming here and waiting and waiting? Have you not had much better experience with the public works acceleration programs than you have with EDA?
Governor CURTIS. Yes, from the public works side, I thought the accelerated public works program was a fine program.
Mr. GRAY. You concede a need for additional authorizations under EDA and accelerated public works
Governor CURTIS. Yes, I would like to see a continuation of the industrial loan program in a real beefing up at this particular time of the public works project. I believe if we ever get ourselves out of Southeast Asia, when we do pick up the slack in the economy, this is what we ought to be doing.
Mr. GRAY. Thank you, Governor. We appreciate your coming.
Thank you very much, Governor, for a very fine statement. And thank you, Mr. Bradford, for your participation.
To present the next witness and preside at the hearing at this stage, I would like to yield the gavel at this time to our distinguished colleague from West Virginia, Congressman Kee.
(Mr. Kee assumed the Chair.)
Mr. KEE. At this time, the committee is indeed delighted to welcome before us the illustrious, distinguished and capable Governor of our own State of West Virginia, Governor Arch Moore.
Governor Moore has testified before another subcommittee of this committee upstairs, Bob Jones' committee. It was really a thrill to listen to this most knowledgable man's presentation.
STATEMENT OF HON. ARCH A. MOORE, JR., GOVERNOR OF THE
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
Governor MOORE. Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to have an opportunity to appear here before you this morning. I apologize for being somewhat late, but we had some extensive questioning in the other subcommittee which made it necessary that responses probably be a little longer than usual.
The matter which you are presently considering in the area of accelerated public works is one which is not unfamiliar to me, having been with you at a time when the Congress put together the accelerated public works program in the early 1960's. I remember so very well the dramatic results that occurred as a direct result of the efforts here in this particular program, as it would relate to the State of West Virginia, the few things that have happened in my State, which are somewhat different than they were, we will say, in the early 1960's, in that the general condition of the economics of the State of West Virginia today is decidely different in terms of the number of unemployed, in terms of the number of job opportunities in the private sector, for example, which, to a small degree, would indicate that the direct benefit, for example, to be obtained from an accelerated program at this time would perhaps not measure the results which occurred in the early 1960's.
However, there are certain significant observations I would like to make and then submit myself to whatever questions you may have. .
In the area of accelerated public works, the one deficiency that still exists in the geography of my State, or geography of my region, has to do with the problem generally of sanitation, sewage disposal
facilities, other necessary public facilities to handle water treatment, and matters of this particular type.
In the question of the State of West Virginia and its benefits under EDA, we have had approximately 84 public works projects approved. This has brought approximately $50 million in the State of West Virginia, and has generated approximately 5,000 job opportunities as directly related to those projects.
I believe that I should let you know that I am one Governor that feels that any injection of public works funds has a large effect and would be very well received in my State of West Virginia, and I do not attempt to testify this morning for or on behalf, let us say, of any other Governors of the Appalachian region, but any injection of public funds enables a State such as the State of West Virginia to maintain the opportunity of eroding, attacking the problem of unemployment, but more importantly meeting some of the deficiencies that exist in the quality of life as it is now in existence in the geography of my State.
I feel that any program that has a direct relationship with the distribution of any amount of Federal funding helps the cities, the towns, the communities, and the States, to again meet the deficiencies that exist in the quality of life and the geography which I represent.
In many aspects of the EDA program today that are not at this present time operable in the State of West Virginia, but when you talk in terms of the accelerated program, which attaches itself particularly to community facilities or the absence thereof, it does have a vital effect again on the quality of life and the geography of my State, but, certainly more importantly, as it touches upon the level of unemployment.
In that regard I would share with you that what heretofore had been the experience of ours, when there was a national turndown in the economy of the State of West Virginia heretofore had been the first State to feel a turn in the national economy, and the last State to feel any economic upturn. As a direct result, the gap of economic deficiency generated the cause of the national turndown of our economy, the gap was quite large. But a significant turnaround has occurred in terms of the present economic turndown. We have been one of the last States to feel that economic turndown, and my present judgment is that by reason of that, we would be one of the first States to feel the economic upswing in the event the same should occur.
For the first time in the history of our State, the gap of economic deficiency being quite small, rather than being the first down and last up, we have a uniqueness today of being the last of the turndown, and our projection is we will be the first to benefit from any regeneration.
The problem in terms of accelerated public works, we do have this circumstance that I should say to you, there is presently adequate Federal law on the books to permit us to meet the deficiencies, for example, in sewage treatment facilities and in water treatment facilities, and the general problems of sanitation, but by reason of the constitution of my State, I cannot share State funds with any local unit of government.
As a direct result of that, my State has forfeited this year almost $5 millions that it would otherwise be entitled to on a local community basis for project, the nature of which particularly I am talking to you in terms of sanitation and sewage disposal systems, which they otherwise would have the opportunity to share in.
The reasons that we are forfeiting these dollars is because the local communities themselves do not have the revenue base to come forth with their proportionate share to participate in the program as it is now in existence. The additional request of funds in this particular subject matter area that has been asked of by the administration will indicate that the State of West Virginia, all things being equal, would not have the opportunity to participate in the program because of the dearth of local funds and opportunity of local communities and cities and towns to come up with their participating share.
We are fortunate in the Appalachian region to be able to make up a portion of that by giving a supplemental grant to the basic grant from ARC funds. But there is a limitation as to what we can do in consideration of the magnitude of the problem, that we forfeiting a a great number of Federal funds that would be available for us for project completion and undertaking that would fit on all fours into the nature of a project which would be approved under the accelerated public works.
Essentially, I am saying to you that I think you ought to give attention to the participating percentage that is required if you are going to look at this project. Otherwise, I have a serious question as to whether or not you are going to be able to inject a sufficient amount of public funds to permit local funds, towns and cities to participate in the program.
We simply have to recognize that the beneficiaries of an accelerated public works program are mostly local community in nature, and the local communities without help from the State government in terms of injection of State dollars to encourage them to either enlarge upon their bonding capacity or whatever form of financing they must undertake, that in a State like ours, Mr. Chairman, we just have a constitutional prohibition, and in the few instances—incidentally, there is one in your congressional district in which I tried to use funds from my Governor's contingency fund to provide for water for a community that went dry. It is a system that went dry-
Mr. KEE. Athens.
The attoney general of the State would not permit me to use them, and I could not use State funds, even though they were in the character of my Governor's contingency fund.
. As a firm believer in the injection of public funds to bring about a result which will enhance the quality of life as it exists in any small town, community or area of our Nation, I feel we ought to take a close look at the accelerated public works approach to see whether or not percentage participation is adequate to do the job that you want done and to bring these funds on site and to have them undertaking a material improvement in a particular community:
Mr. KEE. Governor, on that particular point, under the bill, the accelerated public works provision requires supplements up to 80 percent.
Do you agree with your experience as Governor that we should make a provision in the law to state that where local communities, whether it is State or political subdivision, have made every effort, but they cannot come up with the 20 percent, that under the presentation to the Federal Government, they should then have the authority and the right to waive local participation and that the same thing is going to happen over at Athens that you just referred to—they do not have the money over there.
Governor MOORE. Mr. Chairman, you are correct in this regard, and the Congress has in several program areas provided for a waiver of local participation, and when upon proper showing there has not been reason to expect that that local participation is there, there is one thing that when you use that term—and I have had the same experience I think that—then I say disrespectfully that you gentlemen have had, when you say 80 percent, if not adequately funded, you are going to find out there will be administrative feeling placed in this program of about 40 percent level, which is going to materially affect the program areas that you want to attack. If you leave that to the administrative determination, its natural tendency of an administrator to make his dollars go as far as they can, and he is going to suggest, I am sure, that, well, for a project we will give you 50 percent, and hold that out as an incentive to the local area or local community.
And while we talk in terms of 80 percent here, it would be somewhat misleading, Mr. Chairman, if you just simply say up to an 80-percent grant, because I can tell you what is going to happen in your congressional district. They are going to say, “Well, now, Congressman Kee, you can get us 80 percent," and you are constantly put in the task of fighting for that 80 percent, when administrative determination is for something less, and puts you in rather an untenable position rather frankly, especially if one project gets 80 percent.
Mr. KEE. I have been through that battle.
Mr. GRAY. I am going to have to run to the House floor, but I wanted the opportunity to welcome my distinguished friend, Governor Moore and former neighbor to the committee this morning. He has made a very good statement and has had, as usual, presented himself very well before this committee, as he did when he served in this great body.
I have a congressional district that is essentially similar to some of the congressional districts in West Virginia, primary coal areas, and I sympathize with and am in agreement with your statement, and wanted to thank you for coming:
Governor Moore. Ken, it is nice to have a chance to visit with you, and I think this is my first opportunity since I assumed some additional responsibilities.
Off the record.
Mr. HAMMERSCHMIDT. Governor Moore, I want to take this opportunity to say how welcome you are before this committee.
Your statement was so comprehensive that I do not know that it lends itself to a lot of questions.
Mainly, I wanted to say it is so good to see you again, Arch, and welcome to the committee.
Governor MOORE. Thank you, John.