THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNS LEGISLATION THAT STRENGTHENS HEAD START AND PROVIDES CRITICAL SUPPORT FOR AMERICA'S FAMILIES October 27, 1998
Today, President Clinton signed into law bipartisan legislation that strengthens and expands Head Start services for America's families, promotes promising Individual Development Accounts to help more low-income families achieve self-sufficiency, and renews the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Passed by Congress at the President's urging, the Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998 provides critical support for America's families.
Strengthens Head Start. This legislation builds on the President's commitment to improve and expand Head Start. Under the President's leadership, Head Start has become America's premier early childhood development program, ensuring that low-income children start school ready to learn.
Establishes Individual Development Accounts to Promote Self-Sufficiency. Since 1992, President Clinton has supported the creation of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to empower individuals to save for a first home, post-secondary education, or to start a new business. The passage of this legislation effectively completes the President's 1992 community empowerment agenda. The legislation creates a five-year, $125 million demonstration program to establish IDAs for more than 50,000 people. Each dollar saved by a low-income family in an IDA would be matched, providing an incentive to build assets. The final budget agreement included $10 million to get this program off the ground.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Keeps the Heat On and Continued Support for Communities. After threats from some in Congress to eliminate this critical support for the elderly and low-income families, President Clinton successfully fought to fund the program that provides heating and cooling assistance to over five million households across the nation. The bill signed today also extends the Community Service Block Grant programs, providing states and organizations support on economic development, social services and other needs for low-income communities.