[AllPolitics - State Of The Union]

FDCH

CLINTON: Over the past four years, the Family and Medical Leave Law has helped millions of Americans to take time off to be with their families. With new pressures on people in the way they work and live, I believe we must expand family leave so that workers can take time off for teacher conferences and a child's medical checkup. We should pass flextime so workers can choose to be paid for overtime in income or trade it in for time off to be with their families.

(APPLAUSE)

We must continue, step by step, to give more families access to affordable, quality health care. Forty million Americans still lack health insurance. Ten million children still lack health insurance. Eighty percent of them have working parents who pay taxes. That is wrong.

(APPLAUSE)

My balanced budget will extend health coverage to up to 5 million of those children. Since nearly half of all children who lose their insurance do so because their parents lose or change a job, my budget will also ensure that people who temporarily lose their jobs can still afford to keep their health insurance. No child should be without a doctor just because a parent is without a job.

(APPLAUSE)

My Medicare plan modernizes Medicare, increases the life of the Trust Fund to 10 years, provides support for respite care for the many families with loved ones afflicted with Alzheimers. And for the first time, it would fully pay for annual mammograms.

(APPLAUSE)

Just as we ended drive-through deliveries of babies last year, we must now end the dangerous and demeaning practice of forcing women home from the hospital only hours after a mastectomy. I ask...

(APPLAUSE)

I ask your support for bipartisan legislation to guarantee that a woman can stay in the hospital for 48 hours after a mastectomy. With us tonight is Dr. Kristen Zarfos, a Connecticut surgeon whose outrage at this practice spurred a national movement and inspired this legislation. I'd like her to stand so we can thank her for her efforts. Dr. Zarfos, thank you. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

In the last four years, we have increased child support collections by 50 percent. Now, we should go further and do better by making it a felony for any parent to cross a state line in an attempt to flee from this, his or her most sacred obligation.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: And finally -- finally, we must also protect our children by standing firm in our determination to ban the advertising and marketing of cigarettes that endanger their lives.

(APPLAUSE)

To prepare America for the 21st century, we must build stronger communities. We should start with safe streets. Serious crime has dropped five years in a row. The key has been community policing. We must finish the job of putting 100,000 community police on the streets of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

We should pass the Victims' Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

And I ask you to mount a full-scale assault on juvenile crime, with legislation that declares war on gangs, with new prosecutors and tougher penalties; extends the Brady Bill so violent teen criminals will not be able to buy handguns; requires child safety locks on handguns to prevent unauthorized use and helps to keep our schools open after hours, on weekends and in the summer, so our young people will have someplace to go and something to say yes to.

(APPLAUSE)

This balanced budget includes the largest anti-drug effort ever -- to stop drugs at their source, punish those who push them and teach our young people that drugs are wrong, drugs are illegal and drugs will kill them. I hope you will support it.

(APPLAUSE)

Our growing economy has helped to revive poor urban and rural neighborhoods. But we must do more to empower them to create the conditions in which all families can flourish and to create jobs through investment by business and loans by banks.

We should double the number of empowerment zones. They have already brought so much hope to communities like Detroit, where the unemployment rate has been cut in half in four years.

We should restore contaminated urban land and buildings to productive use. We should expand the network of community development banks. And together, we must pledge tonight that we will use this empowerment approach, including private sector tax incentives, to renew our capital city so that Washington is a great place to work and live and once again the proud face America shows the world.

(APPLAUSE)

We must protect our environment in every community.

Copyright © 1997 Federal Document Clearing House

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