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The Clinton Administration has sent to Congress a new supplemental spending bill for fiscal 1993 that includes $320 million for summer youth jobs, $680 million less than President Clinton proposed in his original plan.

The bill does not propose new spending for such programs as Chapter 1, Head Start, and childhood immunization that were included in the original package. It was killed by a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

The House Appropriations Committee may consider the $920 million supplemental as soon as this week.

The new spending would be offset by a 0.45 percent across-the-board cut in current spending for all domestic discretionary programs. An Education Department spokesman said it is unclear how education programs would be affected.

Summer-job programs funded by the bill would be required to spend 30 percent of the funds on educational enrichment. But program directors have said that it may be too late to develop high-quality programs.

The bill would also allow some service-delivery areas to transfer up to 30 percent of their funds to year-round programs for youths.

Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich told the Senate Appropriations Committee last week that academic enrichment would remain a "vital component'' of summer-youth programs in the future. The Administration has requested $400 million in calendar year 1994 and $500 million in 1995 for education activities.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week let stand a federal appeals court ruling that barred the distribution of Bibles to students in the Renssalaer, Ind., schools.

The U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in January that the district's long-time practice of allowing Gideons International to distribute Bibles violated the First Amendment's ban on government establishment of religion.

The Seventh Circuit court overturned a federal district judge who had ruled in favor of the Gideons in Renssalaer Central School Corporation v. Berger (Case No. 92-1561).

The Court also let stand a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that because the Fairfax County, Va. school district does not have the authority under state law to arbitrate in contract disputes, a construction firm could not force arbitration. The case is W.M. Schlosser Company Inc. v. School Board of Fairfax County (No. 92-1517.)

The House Judiciary Committee last week approved a version of "the freedom of choice act'' that would strike down most state restrictions on abortion rights, but would allow parental notice and consent laws.

Supporters of the bill rejected an amendment that would have mandated parental consent, and approved an amendment that would allow minors in states with restrictive parent involvement laws to obtain consent from a "responsible adult.''

The panel approved the bill on a 20-to-15 vote last week. A companion measure passed the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee last March, and the issue now awaits floor action in both chambers, where additional amendments are expected.

Vol. 12, Issue 35

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