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New Proposal on Job-Training Sets House Committee at Odds

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Washington--The House Education and Labor Committee, which is working on legislation to extend the Job Training Partnership Act, scheduled a third markup session this week to address contentious issues raised in a new substitute proposal.

After spending much of the year seeking a compromise, lawmakers found themselves still at odds on key points during markup sessions last month.

Like the original version of the jtpa legislation, the substitute plan introduced by Representative Matthew G. Martinez, Democrat of California, would separate adult and youth training and provide year-round job training for youths both in and out of school. Like its Senate companion, S 543, the substitute would require trainers to coordinate planning and assessments with local educators.

But the substitute's new provisions, which ranged from older-worker programs to changes in accounting procedures, prompted a six-page letter from Secretary of Labor Elizabeth H. Dole citing "significant concerns."

Republicans on the panel also were critical. "We spent day and night working on a piece of legislation that we seemed to have a consensus on," said Representative Bill Goodling, Republican of Pennsylvania, warning that the substitute's sudden appearance could lead to hasty decisions. "We have to look very carefully at what we are doing or we may create a monster," he said.

The substitute plan would continue jtpa's 8 percent block-grant set-aside for combined training and education programs. Ms. Dole opposes limiting the coordination funds to schools.--lh

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