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Statement on Signing the District of Columbia Revenue Act of 1970.

January 06, 1971

IT IS with special satisfaction that I have signed the District of Columbia Revenue Act of 1970. This legislation represents a significant step forward in making the District truly a city of which all Americans can be proud.

While the Congress did not enact the formula approach that I recommended for determining the Federal payment, it did enact a substantial and appropriate increase which will enable the District to meet its obligations and to move ahead in improving vital government services. These additional funds were especially needed in such important areas as narcotics treatment and the fight against crime, a struggle that has now reached a welcome turning point in our Nation's Capital.

I also note with approval the granting of authority to the City Council to fix rates for water and sewer services. This carries forward on the commitment I made last year to see greater responsibility delegated to the District Government. The bill also contains additional measures to promote economy and improve efficiency in the District Government, such as allowing long-term leasing and allowing the use of HEW standards for milk inspection. These measures are important if the District is to improve its effectiveness and keep costs within available resources.

In my April 28, 1969, message on the District of Columbia, I said that it was my aim to increase the responsibility and efficiency of the Government of the District of Columbia. The steps taken in this bill are part of this effort, which I am hopeful will also be carried forward by the recently established Commission on the Organization of the Government of the District of Columbia.

It is unfortunate that actions on this bill came too late to allow appropriation action by the 91st Congress on the funds requested for the Washington Technical Institute and the Federal City College. In light of the increased authorization provided in this bill, I am confident that the new Congress will act early in the next session to provide the appropriations necessary to expand the capacities of these important institutions. Such action will provide needed educational opportunity for the youth of the District and prove a sound investment in the future.

Note: The statement was released at San Clemente, Calif.

As enacted, the bill (H.R. 19885), approved January 5, 1971, is Public Law 91--650 (84 Stat. 1930).

Richard Nixon, Statement on Signing the District of Columbia Revenue Act of 1970. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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