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Los Angeles Mayor To Propose Anti-Poverty Plan At Conference January 25, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Politics, US News.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–The mayor of Los Angeles called for tax-free learning savings accounts for every student in the country Wednesday, a day before he plans to officially unveil the plan at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Antonio Villaraigosa, who is leading a mayors task force and is recommending a package of anti-poverty measures, gave a preview of his ideas in a speech to the National Press Club.

“This is a down payment on America’s future we can no longer afford to postpone,” he said.

Points of the package, he said, include a tax-free learning account for every student, with the government matching up to $500 per student per year; a focus on pre-kindergarten education and vocational skills; a commitment by state and local governments to commit up to $650 per student for schools adopting certain curriculums; and an expansion of the earned income tax credit.

Villaraigosa declined to disclose an exact price tag but said: “The cost is in the billions; the dividends are in the trillions.”

More than 250 mayors nationwide are gathered in Washington this week for the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, coinciding with the start of Congress.

Mayors are discussing issues including energy, crime, climate change, affordable housing, poverty and education and hearing from lawmakers.

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