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August 27, 2014
In July, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $229 million in federal fiscal year (FY) 2014 awards for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), and $612 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program. These grants are awarded to states, territories, and four local governments (the District of Columbia, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles County). While PHEP received a 4.6% increase in FY 2014, grants for HPP were reduced by -31.1%.
Beginning in FY 2012, HPP and PHEP funds were consolidated into one funding announcement and awarded jointly. HHS notes that complying with application and reporting requirements will be a high priority in FY 2014, as several grantees have failed to submit information according to deadlines.
August 21, 2014
On July 24, 2014, the House Budget Committee released a discussion draft entitled Expanding Opportunity in America. The six-part plan for overhauling federal poverty policies would affect almost every major federal anti-poverty program. The centerpiece is a pilot program that would allow participating states to consolidate 16 mandatory and discretionary federal grants into a single comprehensive Opportunity Grant. The plan also calls for an overhaul of the federal education and criminal justice systems, and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which would be partly offset by eliminating the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) and other grant programs.
This Issue Brief reviews the major components of the draft and their potential impact on states.
August 6, 2014
In July, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) announced state allocations for the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program. JAG is one of the largest sources of federal justice funding to states and local governments, providing assistance for a broad range of purposes. The JAG formula is based on population and violent crime statistics. While appropriations for FY 2014 totaled $376 million (a 3% increase from FY 2013), set-asides and new compliance penalties reduced JAG awards to states by -2.5% compared to FY 2013.
August 1, 2014
On July 31, 2014, Congress passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021). The bill addresses the Highway Trust Fund’s (HTF) impending shortfall by infusing $10.8 billion. H.R. 5021 also extends programs authorized under Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, P.L. 112-141) until May 31, 2015. With passage of the bill, the Department of Transportation (DOT) should not need to implement the cash management plan described in a July 1 letter to state DOTs. This Issue Brief explains how H.R. 5021 affects federal programs directed to states.
August 1, 2014
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) provided an increase in the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for most expenditures under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2016. However, ACA authorized funding for CHIP only through FY 2015. As this date approaches, discussions over the future of the program have begun. This Issue Brief discusses the current financing of the program, implications of expiring funding, and recent reauthorization proposals.
July 16, 2014
On June 17, 2014, the Department of Interior (DOI) announced $437 million in payments to counties under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for federal fiscal year (FY) 2014. These payments compensate local governments, usually counties, for property tax revenue that would otherwise be collected on non-taxable land owned by the federal government. This year’s PILT allocation represents an 8.7% increase over total payments made in FY 2013. This Issue Brief provides background on the PILT program and details on the FY 2014 payments.
June 26, 2014
On May 21, 2014, the House and Senate announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA, P.L. 105-220). The agreement eliminates 15 current workforce programs, sets authorized funding levels for WIA formula grant programs, maintains the 15% set-aside for governors to address state-determined workforce needs, and includes several other provisions that guide state workforce boards and programs. In addition, the agreement reauthorizes the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of P.L. 105-220) and makes amendments to programs authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112). This Issue Brief summarizes the provisions of importance to states included in the agreement.
June 25, 2014
On June 10, 2014, the president signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA; P.L. 113-121). The law authorizes $17 billion for 34 new Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) projects in 18 states and eight modifications to current projects in seven states. It offsets this cost by deauthorizing $18 billion for inactive projects authorized before 2007. Under P.L. 113-121, “nonfederal interests,” such as state and local governments, will have more authority to influence Corps projects. The law also makes changes to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Finally, it authorizes funding for a new pilot project for the construction of water infrastructure projects. This Issue Brief provides a summary of the provisions of importance to states included in the law.
June 12, 2014
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) created and provided a direct appropriation for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2010. PPHF has been used to fund new programs included in health care reform and enhance funding for a number of existing programs. In some instances, PPHF has supplanted, rather than supplemented, federal funding for programs. Funding for PPHF has been reduced over time due to sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) and other legislation.
This Issue Brief takes a detailed look at the uses of PPHF and provides state allocations for PPHF grants of interest to states.
May 29, 2014
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the highway account of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will have difficulty meeting its obligations by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2014. According to a letter from the secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the highway account will dip below a critical threshold of $4 billion as early as July, and the transit account will fall below $1 billion in August. Once the HTF approaches the threshold, DOT has indicated it will use cash-management strategies to avoid insolvency, which may include delaying reimbursements to states. This Issue Brief provides answers to questions about the looming HTF shortfall.
May 8, 2014
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the parameters that will guide calendar year (CY) 2015 individual and state costs for the Medicare Part D drug benefit. CMS projects a 4.07% annual percentage increase in per capita Part D expenditures, following last year’s first-ever negative annual percentage increase (-2.76%). These data, as well as enrollment data for persons dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and FFIS projections of Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAPs) for federal fiscal year (FY) 2016, permit preliminary estimates of state clawback costs for CY 2015.
April 23, 2014
On April 4, 2014, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service released fiscal year (FY) 2013 payments under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. These payments are awarded to rural counties for building schools and maintaining infrastructure. The FY 2013 SRS payments totaled $276 million, a -5.2% decrease from FY 2012. In addition, USDA has determined that FY 2013 payments were not subject to sequestration under the Budget Control Act (BCA). This Issue Brief provides a summary of the FY 2013 allocations and the application of BCA sequestration to FY 2012 and FY 2013 payments.
April 23, 2014
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79, PREA) requires governors to certify to the Department of Justice (DOJ) that all state prison facilities are in compliance with national standards to prevent, detect, and respond to prison rape by May 15, 2014. To avoid any penalty, a governor may either submit certification of compliance, or a letter of assurance that the state will use at least 5% of specified funds to achieve full compliance with PREA standards. States failing to submit either of these will lose 5% of fiscal year (FY) 2014 DOJ grant funding for prison purposes, including a portion of Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG); the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act’s Title II Formula Grants (Juvenile Justice); and the Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against Women Formula Grants as a penalty for noncompliance. Due to guidance delays from DOJ, it appears that nearly every state and territory will be unable to certify compliance.
UPDATE: DOJ issued a statement about its newly released PREA compliance report. Of the 56 jurisdictions that are subject to the standards, 48 are in compliance or have submitted assurances.
April 22, 2014
On April 10, 2014, the Senate approved the
Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act, S. 994). The bill
reflects the compromise reached by House and Senate negotiators on their
respective versions. The House is expected to approve the bill once it returns
from recess next week.
S. 994 expands the information federal agencies must report on USAspending.gov; establishes common data elements and standards to allow comparisons from multiple systems; and focuses on reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. It also establishes a two-year pilot program to help develop recommendations to standardize reporting elements, eliminate duplicative reporting, and reduce compliance costs for federal award recipients. Unlike previous versions of the DATA Act, the Senate bill does not mandate full multi-tier recipient reporting or require recipients to report on the use of funds.
April 11, 2014
On March 27, 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released A Review of CBO's Activities in 2013 Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The annual report showed decreases in both the number of statements that identified mandates (92) and the total number of mandates enacted into law (22) in 2013. This decrease parallels a decline in public laws enacted. This Issue Brief summarizes CBO’s findings.
April 9, 2014
On April 7, 2014, the Senate passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014 (H.R. 3979), which would extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) for five months through June 1, 2014. The extension is retroactive to January 1, 2014, when the program expired. The bill also provides a similar five-month retroactive extension of provisions related to the Extended Benefits (EB) program and reemployment and eligibility assessment (REA) funding. It also includes several other provisions governing unemployment insurance (UI) programs. Finally, the bill uses federal pension smoothing and an extension of customs user fees as an offset for the UI costs. This Issue Brief summarizes the provisions of importance to states in the bill.
April 7, 2014
On April 1, 2014, the president signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (P.L. 113-93), which delays for one year, until April 1, 2015, the scheduled 24% reduction in the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians. In addition, the law extends a number of health programs operating under short-term extensions, as well as programs included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) scheduled to expire within the next year. The measure also delays the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) reductions included in ACA for another year. Finally, it includes two new demonstration projects for states.
March 26, 2014
On March 25, 2014, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released preliminary state personal income and per capita personal income data for 2013. The federal government uses state per capita personal income to calculate each state’s reimbursement rate for Medicaid and other grant programs such as Title IV-E adoption assistance and foster care. This matching rate, calculated annually, is known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The BEA release of the 2013 preliminary data permits projection of fiscal year (FY) 2016 FMAPs, which are based on per capita personal incomes for calendar years 2011-2013.
This Issue Brief summarizes the BEA data and provides FFIS’s estimates of the preliminary FY 2016 FMAPs. FFIS projects that FMAPs will increase in 17 states and decline in 21 states. Some states could see substantial changes in their FMAPs compared to FY 2015. These projections are based on preliminary data, and states have found that adjustments in the final estimates can have a large impact on their FMAP.
March 24, 2014
On March 18, 2014, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 preparedness funding opportunity announcement for the following programs:
- State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP)
- Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI)
- Operation Stonegarden
- Emergency Management Performance Grants Program (EMPG)
- Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP)
- Nonprofit Security Grant Program
- Intercity Passenger Rail Program (Amtrak)
- Port Security Grant Program
- Transit Security Grant Program
Preparedness grant programs fund a wide range of activities including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, and exercises. Final FY 2014 funding levels for the programs listed above total $1.6 billion, a 6.9% increase from $1.5 billion provided in FY 2013.
March 18, 2014
On February 28, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a notice in the Federal Register that provides preliminary fiscal year (FY) 2014 disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments. The release includes separate limits for DSH payments to institutions for mental disease (IMDs) and other mental health facilities.
Overall, the preliminary FY 2014 DSH allotments are $108 million (0.9%) more than FY 2013. Initially, states were expected to see significant reductions in DSH payments beginning in FY 2014. However, the Bipartisan Budget Act (P.L. 113-67) delayed the DSH reductions included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for two years.
February 27, 2014
On February 19, 2014, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the availability of approximately $150 million for the H-1B Ready to Work Partnership competitive grant program. This new program is aimed at providing job skills training, career development, and counseling to long-term unemployed workers in industries that hire foreign employees under H-1B nonimmigrant visas. This Issue Brief provides details on the Ready to Work competitive grant program and outlines the next steps for states interested in applying for funding.
February 24, 2014
On February 19, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) posted to its website monthly awards and estimates under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Contingency Fund for fiscal year (FY) 2014. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have received funds in FY 2014. ACF estimates that the $610 million appropriation for FY 2014 will be exhausted in March 2014.
February 21, 2014
On February 7, 2014, the president signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), which reauthorizes programs under the farm bill for federal fiscal years (FYs) 2014-2018. The final bill represents the conference agreement reached after both the House and Senate passed separate versions of the legislation last year.
The agreement would reduce direct federal spending by a total of -$16.5 billion from FYs 2014-2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) cost estimate. The law makes several changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), including creating new limits on state “heat and eat” policies and placing additional requirements on retailers to prevent fraud and abuse. While P.L. 113-79 adopts many provisions included in either the House or Senate proposal, it notably does not include a provision that would have preempted states’ ability to put conditions on how agricultural goods and livestock are raised within their borders or for sale in the state.
Previously, FFIS published Issue Brief 14-04,which outlined the major funding provisions in the new law. This Issue Brief provides further details on the policy provisions and changes of importance to states included in the 2014 farm bill.
February 14, 2014
On February 6, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) requirement that places restrictions on cash assistance. Specifically, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) requires states to adopt policies and practices to prevent TANF-funded assistance from being used in any electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transaction in liquor stores, casinos, or adult-entertainment establishments. The law requires states to be in compliance by February 22, 2014.
The NPRM describes the new requirements and proposed amendments to the TANF regulations. It provides states with suggestions for implementation and discusses some challenges and concerns raised by states. ACF seeks comments on the NPRM, which must be submitted by May 7, 2014.
Even though the rulemaking process is not finalized, states must meet the statutory requirement of submitting a report to HHS by February 22, 2014, outlining their implementation of the policies and practices required by law. In addition, states must modify their state TANF plans by that same deadline.
January 31, 2014
On January 30, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released $454 million in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant funds. States received an initial release of $2.9 billion in federal fiscal year (FY) 2014 funds in November 2013. With this second notice, ACF has released $3.390 billion of the $3.425 billion appropriated for the program in FY 2014. At this time, ACF is holding back $34 million (1%) of the total funding. Overall, LIHEAP funding increased by 5.2% in FY 2014, preceded by a -6.2% reduction in FY 2013 and a -26.1% decline in FY 2012. Moreover, Puerto Rico and the territories receive a significant increase in FY 2014 because the secretary of HHS announced that the set-aside for territories will increase to the statutory maximum.
January 29, 2014
On January 29, 2014, the House passed the Agriculture Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642), which reauthorizes programs under the farm bill for federal fiscal years (FY) 2014-2018. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week. The final bill represents the conference agreement reached after both the House and Senate passed separate versions of the legislation last year.
January 10, 2014
On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published final guidance in the Federal Register to implement specific reforms for federal policies relating to grants and cooperative agreements involving state and local governments as well as universities and nonprofit organizations. The reforms cover a wide range of areas, including administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements.
The final guidance is similar to the notice of proposed guidance (NPG) that OMB published on February 1, 2013, although it does reflect some feedback received through the comment period. OMB received more than 300 responses from the grant community on both the NPG and the advanced notice of proposed guidance (ANPG) issued on February 28, 2012. The reforms are a result of several executive orders to reduce administrative burdens and increase flexibility, while at the same time targeting improper payments and improving program performance. Moreover, they reflect various ideas from OMB’s collaboration with federal, state, and local representatives and other key groups to evaluate potential federal grant reforms.
The final guidance streamlines requirements from eight existing OMB circulars into one document—Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards—that applies to grants and cooperative agreements made to state, local, and tribal governments, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit entities. The consolidation is intended to eliminate duplicative and conflicting provisions, clarify where policies are uniform, and highlight the differences that exist among entities. It also makes several modifications to existing requirements. The guidance is effective on December 26, 2014, for nonfederal entities, with some flexibility for a smooth transition period.
January 8, 2014
The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA, P.L. 111-3) provided a new opportunity for states to obtain bonus payments for simplifying their Medicaid and CHIP programs and successfully enrolling children who are eligible for Medicaid. These payments are designed to help states offset a portion of their costs associated with increased enrollment.
On December 30, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that 23 states received $307 million in performance bonuses in fiscal year (FY) 2013. These states also received bonuses in FY 2012, and nine states have been awarded funds each year since the program began in FY 2009. FY 2013 marks the final year of the program’s authorization. In total, states have received $1.1 billion in performance bonuses over the five-year period.
January 3, 2014
On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau released resident state population estimates for July 2013. The new data identify population shifts and affect certain grant-in-aid and other formulas. The U.S. population continues to grow more slowly than it has since the Great Depression, with an increase of 0.72% in 2013. Population growth during the year ranged from -1.00% in Puerto Rico to 3.14% in North Dakota. In addition to Puerto Rico, West Virginia and Maine registered declines.
This Issue Brief summarizes the new population estimates and calculates their effect on calendar year (CY) 2014 tax-exempt private activity bond limitations and federal fiscal year (FY) 2015 Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) allocations.
December 4, 2013
With the end of the calendar year fast approaching, Congress has a number of budget issues and program expirations on its plate. Specifically, Congress has yet to finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget, and questions remain as to whether the congressional budget conference committee can reach an agreement to establish overall FY 2014 discretionary funding levels by the mid-December deadline. Apart from the FY 2014 budget, Congress has allowed some programs to lapse and several others are operating under short-term extensions until the end of the calendar year or when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on January 15, 2014. To receive funding, these programs will require further congressional action.
The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session for only two weeks before adjourning for the year. The House is currently in session and expects to adjourn by December 13. The Senate is in recess until next week and has a tentative departure date of December 20. Given the limited schedule, the timeframe for resolving these pending issues remains unclear. This Issue Brief identifies expired or expiring programs and highlights important deadlines for those programs as well as the FY 2014 budget. The table below summarizes the key deadlines.
November 21, 2013
On October 22, 2013, the House approved the Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act (H.R. 3205). The bill would reauthorize the Adoption Incentive program and Family Connection Grants through fiscal year (FY) 2016. Both programs expired on September 30, 2013. The bill modifies the formula for calculating adoption incentive payments. It also includes new state mandates related to the Title IV-E adoption assistance program. Specifically, it requires states to report on the amount and use of state savings in the Title IV-E adoption assistance program resulting from the phase-out of income eligibility requirements included in a 2008 child welfare law (P.L. 110-351), and would mandate that states spend at least 20% of those savings on post-adoption services.
The Senate has not yet considered a similar measure, although the Senate Finance Committee released a discussion draft of its bill, the Strengthening and Finding Families for Children Act of 2013, on September 30, 2013. Similar to the House bill, the Senate draft would restructure payments under the Adoption Incentive program, and require that states spend at least 40% of their adoption assistance savings on post-adoption and post-guardianship services and for services to support permanent outcomes for children who might otherwise enter foster care. The president also included a scaled-down reauthorization of the Adoption Incentive program and Family Connection Grants in his FY 2014 budget.
November 14, 2013
Last month, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued several notices to states on federal fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding for highway programs. It released the FY 2014 apportionments for major highway programs based on Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21, P.L. 112-141). FHWA also provided states with their FY 2014 obligation limitations. While the apportionments inform states of their authorized amounts, the total amount of obligations in a given year is controlled through the appropriations process by an obligation limitation. The FY 2014 obligation limitations issued on October 29, 2013, reflect the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-46). Since the continuing resolution (CR) covers October 1, 2013, through January 15, 2014, states have access to only a portion of their annual obligation limitation.
In addition, the notices identify states with highway safety penalties, which require them to transfer a portion of their funds to highway safety programs or activities. This year, a special apportionment for the High Risk Rural Road (HRRR) Safety program is required for the first time in seven states. Under MAP-21, states whose fatality rate on rural roads increases over a two-year period must obligate a portion of their Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds to the HRRR program.
A separate notice informed states of their reductions in National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) funds as a result of Budget Control Act (BCA) sequestration effective on October 1, 2013.
November 7, 2013
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is making $2.936 billion available in fiscal year (FY) 2014 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant funds under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 (CR, P.L. 113-46). The CR funds the government through January 15, 2014, at annualized FY 2013 levels (post-sequestration) for most discretionary programs. These initial awards represent 90% of a state’s annualized allocation under the CR.
This Issue Brief discusses the recent release of funds as well the outlook for LIHEAP funding in FY 2014.
October 31, 2013
The Medicare Modernization Act (MMA, P.L. 108-173) that established the Medicare Part D prescription drug program requires states to make cost-sharing payments to the federal government, commonly known as the “clawback.” As required by the MMA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) must notify states by October 15 of their clawback charges for the coming year. The recent CMS release indicates that the per-beneficiary monthly clawback charge to states will decline by -6.07% in calendar year (CY) 2014, a result of the first-ever negative annual percentage increase in per capita Part D drug expenditures and the annual statutory reduction in the state share. While all states will experience a reduction in their clawback multiplier, the degree will vary based on changes in a state’s Medicaid matching rate.
October 30, 2013
States must meet maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirements or obtain a waiver from the Department of Education (ED) to receive funding under the College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) program. On October 21, 2013, ED announced those states that qualified for MOE waivers for federal fiscal year (FY) 2013. A total of 33 jurisdictions applied for a waiver, with only six receiving approval. An additional eight states did not meet the MOE requirements, but did not apply for a waiver. States that applied for, but were not granted, a waiver will not receive CACG funds unless the state makes additional appropriations for higher education to satisfy the waiver requirements. To date, only $61 million of the $142 million available for CACGs in FY 2013 has been released. This Issue Brief provides background on the MOE requirements for the CACG program and the status of funding and waiver determinations in FY 2013.
October 25, 2013
Before the Patriot Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-56), state and local governments relied on three main grants targeted to preparedness. Over the next 11 years, that number grew to 27 in fiscal year (FY) 2008 and has since been reduced to 15 in FY 2013. Along with the duplicative nature of some of these grants, there has been broad-based concern with the grant application process, grant flexibility, and deadlines for risk assessments. There has also been a significant decrease in the amount of non-disaster preparedness funding since FY 2009 (-44%). Under the constraint of budget cuts and managing numerous grant programs, state groups have called for comprehensive grant reform. This Issue Brief provides a summary of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) appropriations, explains changes in funding between FY 2003 and FY 2013 for non-disaster preparedness grants, and highlights reform proposals.
October 2, 2013
On September 30, 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released revised state personal income and per capita personal income data for 2012 as well as revisions for prior years. In addition to the annual revisions, this release reflects BEA’s comprehensive (or benchmark) revision of state personal income statistics, which is done periodically to incorporate new data, methodologies, and concepts, and can result in significant changes to the data for some states.
The federal government uses state per capita personal income to calculate each state’s reimbursement rate for Medicaid and other grant programs such as Title IV-E adoption assistance and foster care. This matching rate, calculated annually, is known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The BEA release allows calculation of the final fiscal year (FY) 2015 FMAPs, which are based on per capita personal incomes for calendar years 2010-2012.
This Issue Brief summarizes the BEA data and provides FFIS’s estimates of the final FY 2015 FMAPs. Based on the new data, 12 states will see shifts in their FMAP of greater than one percentage point (compared to seven states in FY 2014). Overall, 21 states will receive increased FMAPs in FY 2015 while 17 states will see decreases. This reverses the recent trend of more states seeing decreases than increases.
Due to the federal shutdown, FFIS was unable to verify its calculations with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as is typically done before releasing the final FMAPs.
October 2, 2013
On August 26, 2013, the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) sent letters to the treasurers of 26 states informing them that the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA, 30 U.S.C. 191) payments that were sequestered in federal fiscal year (FY) 2013 would be returned to the states after the beginning of FY 2014 (October 1, 2013). This is in line with provisions for special or trust funds under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25). While other programs may fall under this same provision, there has yet to be any indication from federal agencies whether other sequestered special or trust fund payments will be returned to states. This Issue Brief provides estimates of the MLA payments to be returned to states and information on those programs that appear to fall under the same BCA provision.
August 30, 2013
On July 3, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $332 million in federal fiscal year (FY) 2013 awards for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), and $584 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program. These grants are awarded to states, territories, and four local governments (the District of Columbia, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles County). Beginning in FY 2012, HPP and PHEP funds were consolidated into one funding opportunity announcement and awarded jointly. In FY 2013, HHS is focused on greater program alignment as well collaboration with other federal emergency preparedness programs, such as those administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
August 29, 2013
On July 26, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a notice in the Federal Register that provides final fiscal year (FY) 2012 disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments, and preliminary FY 2013 DSH ceilings. The release includes separate limits for DSH payments to institutions for mental disease (IMDs) and other mental health facilities.
Overall, the final FY 2012 DSH allotments were approximately $20 million (0.2%) more than the preliminary allotments published last year. In addition, most states are expected to see slight increases in FY 2013. Beginning in FY 2014, however, the Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148 and 111-152) significantly reduces aggregate DSH payments based on the assumption that, with the expansion of health care coverage, there will be fewer uninsured and less uncompensated care.
August 22, 2013
On June 12, 2013, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) approved the Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013 (S. 1094) to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA; P.L. 89-10) for five years through federal fiscal year (FY) 2018. Similarly, on June 19, 2013, the full House passed the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), its six-year ESEA reauthorization proposal.
Both bills are similar to proposals approved by the committees in 2011, but big differences remain between the House and Senate versions. While each eliminates a number of K-12 programs, the Senate bill replaces these programs with nine new programs that have similar, distinct purposes. In some cases, these new programs would operate as competitive grants if the appropriation is below a certain level. The House bill, on the other hand, would establish three new block grants to fund a number of K-12 education activities. In addition, S. 1094 authorizes “such sums as necessary” for all programs under the bill, while H.R. 5 authorizes a maximum funding annual level for each program. When compared to current law and funding, H.R. 5 generally provides greater flexibility, but less funding for K-12 education programs, while S. 1094 retains the current funding and program structure. This Issue Brief provides detail on the major differences between the House and Senate bills.
August 7, 2013
Under the “qualifying individual” (QI) program, states receive 100% federal Medicaid reimbursement for paying Medicare Part B premiums for certain categories of elderly or disabled individuals up to an annual allotment. On July 26, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the Federal Register final state allotments for fiscal year (FY) 2012 and preliminary allotments for FY 2013. This program received $730 million in FY 2012 and $765 million in FY 2013. It has been authorized and funded through a series of short-term extensions, with the latest one set to expire on December 31, 2013.
July 31, 2013
On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240) to assist small businesses in accessing investment capital. One of the programs established in the act, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), includes a $1.5 billion formula grant within the Department of Treasury to strengthen state and territorial programs that support lending to small businesses and manufacturers. Since SSBCI was created, less than $400 million of the funds appropriated have been spent or obligated. All SSBCI allocation agreements expire on March 31, 2017
July 12, 2013
As a standard-setting and regulatory support organization for state insurance regulators, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) plays a key role in implementing portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Recently, it has focused on the accounting standards related to the new ACA annual tax on certain health care providers, beginning in calendar year (CY) 2014. Its draft proposal could financially affect states with Medicaid managed care programs. Beyond the NAIC proposal, the impact of the tax on health insurance premiums could have significant budget implications for many states.
June 28, 2013
On June 17, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released state allotment percentages for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). These allotments reflect the results of the 2011 Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment that was published on June 3, 2013. The revised state allotment percentages will be the basis for distributing funds under the DWSRF program from federal fiscal year (FY) 2014 through 2017. This Issue Brief explains the state impacts of these changes.
June 20, 2013
On June 5, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released $187 million in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant funds. States had already received $3.1 billion in federal fiscal year (FY) 2013 funds through the beginning of May 2013. With this release, states have received their entire allocation of $3.255 billion for FY 2013. The final figure reflects the enacted appropriation and sequestration. Overall, states experienced a -6.2% reduction in funding for the LIHEAP block grant in FY 2013, preceded by a -26.1% decline in FY 2012.
In addition, ACF recently published a notice in the Federal Register on new performance measures to be collected and reported by state LIHEAP grantees. Comments on the proposal must be submitted by August 6, 2013, and the measures will be effective beginning in FY 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013.
June 13, 2013
On May 24, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the 15 states eligible to receive Workforce Investment Act (WIA) incentive grants. These grants, totaling $10.4 million, are available to states that exceeded their performance measures for select education and workforce programs authorized under WIA (P.L. 105-220). This Issue Brief provides background on the incentive grants and the new awards available to states.
June 13, 2013
On May 15, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that outlines the methodology for implementing the annual reductions to state Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotments included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and 111-152). ACA specified aggregate reductions for fiscal years (FYs) 2014-2020, and required the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a methodology, in accordance with specified factors, for reducing state allotments.
The proposed rule provides a methodology for the first two years only. CMS expects those states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion to have higher rates of uninsured (and more uncompensated care). As such, the DSH reductions in those states may be smaller compared to states that implement the Medicaid expansion. FY 2014 and FY 2015 reductions will not include information on the relative impacts that result from state decisions on the Medicaid expansion and, as a result, may mitigate the initial reductions in states that implement the Medicaid expansion. However, CMS will release another proposed rule on the methodology for determining DSH reductions for FY 2016 and beyond that accounts for the different circumstances among states.
Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by July 12, 2013.
UPDATE: CMS issued its final rule on September 18, 2013. With the exception of minor technical changes, the final rule is identical to the proposed rule.
June 7, 2013
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-248), established a new set of minimum national standards for sex offender registries and notification laws. States failing to meet these standards are subject to a 10% reduction in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding. States that failed to meet the July 27, 2011, compliance deadline are offered the option of having their 10% penalty reallocated to them for the sole purpose of implementing SORNA.
To date, 37 of 56 jurisdictions have submitted complete implementation packages for review. The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) has determined that 16 states and three territories have implemented SORNA “substantially.” The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report in February 2013 that detailed a number of challenges noncompliant states face including cost and inconsistent state-level legislation. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has attempted to alleviate some of the financial burden on states by providing funding and technical assistance.
May 31, 2013
On May 21, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). The committee-approved bill includes an amendment that would direct employer green card fees to a new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) Education and Training Account. A portion of the funds from this account would be awarded to states by formula for STEM education programs. This Issue Brief provides details on the proposed account and funding structure.
May 29, 2013
On May 14, 2013, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry approved the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954), which would reauthorize the nation’s agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry programs through federal fiscal year (FY) 2018. On May 15, 2013, the House Committee on Agriculture approved its version of the farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (H.R. 1947).
Both bills are similar to those approved by the committees last year, but here are still large differences between the House and Senate versions. For example, H.R. 1947 would decrease direct spending on nutrition programs by $20.5 billion over the next 10 years, while S. 954 would decrease direct nutrition spending by $4 billion. The House bill achieves its savings through a number of provisions, including limiting categorical eligibility and eliminating state performance bonuses under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In addition, the House bill provides $34 million less than the Senate bill for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) over a five-year period. On the other hand, the 2013 bills include similar provisions for a variety of research and extension activities and the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG). This Issue Brief provides details on program changes, funding levels, and new provisions of importance to states in both the 2013 House and Senate proposals.
May 24, 2013
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its fiscal year (FY) 2013 preparedness funding opportunity announcement for the following programs on May 21, 2013:
- State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP)
- Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI)
- Operation Stonegarden
- Emergency Management Performance Grants Program (EMPG)
- Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program
- Nonprofit Security Grant Program
- Intercity Passenger Rail Program (Amtrak)
- Port Security Grant Program
- Transit Security Grant Program
- National Special Security Event Grant Program
Preparedness grant programs fund a wide range of activities including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, and exercises. Final FY 2013 allocations for the programs listed above total $1.5 billion, an 8.8% increase from $1.4 billion provided in FY 2012. However, a host of programs that are authorized by Congress received no direct funding in FY 2013, which contributed to a -31% decrease in funding compared to FY 2011.
May 3, 2013
On February 1, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published proposed guidance in the Federal Register that outlines specific reforms for federal policies relating to grants and cooperative agreements involving state and local governments as well as universities and nonprofit organizations. The reforms cover a wide range of areas, including administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements.
This guidance builds on the reform ideas OMB published last year in an advanced notice of proposed guidance (ANPG), which resulted in more than 350 responses from the grant community. The reforms are a result of several executive orders to reduce administrative burdens and increase flexibility, while at the same time targeting improper payments and improving program performance. Moreover, they reflect some of the ideas from OMB’s collaboration with federal, state, and local representatives and other key groups to evaluate potential federal grant reforms.
The proposed guidance seeks to streamline requirements from eight existing OMB circulars into one document—Proposed OMB Uniform Guidance: Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards—that would apply to grants and cooperative agreements made to state, local, and tribal governments, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit entities. It also would make several modifications to existing requirements. OMB is seeking comments on the proposed guidance by June 2, 2013 (extended from the original deadline of May 2, 2013).
May 3, 2013
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which produces per capita personal income estimates by state, is going through a periodic comprehensive revision (“benchmarking”) process—adjusting concepts, statistical techniques, and presentations. The resulting new personal income data, to be published late in September 2013, may have a significant impact on some states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAPs) in federal fiscal year (FY) 2015 and beyond.
April 29, 2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the parameters that will guide calendar year (CY) 2014 individual and state costs for the Medicare Part D drug benefit. For the first time since the inception of the Part D program, CMS projects a negative annual percentage increase. These data, as well as enrollment data for persons dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and FFIS projections of Federal Medical Assistance Percentages—FMAPs—for federal fiscal year (FY) 2015, permit preliminary estimates of state clawback costs for CY 2014.
March 26, 2013
On March 15, 2013, the House passed the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act (H.R. 803), which would reauthorize and restructure several federal workforce programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA; P.L. 105-220). Specifically, the bill would consolidate several workforce and job training programs across federal agencies into a Workforce Investment Fund (WIF), which would operate as a block grant to states. H.R. 803 differs slightly from the reauthorization bill approved at the committee level last year. This Issue Brief examines those differences and provides updated estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2014 state allocations under the new WIF program.
March 20, 2013
On March 7, 2013, the president signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA; P.L. 113-4). This legislation reauthorizes various programs targeting domestic violence, including the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against Women formula grant program, from fiscal year (FY) 2014 through FY 2018. P.L. 113-4 generally reduces the authorization levels for VAWA grants to states with the exception of a slight increase for the Safe Haven program. The law also adds nondiscrimination provisions. This brief summarizes those provisions in the new law that affect state grants.
March 13, 2013
Most programs included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) are subject to the March 1, 2013, Budget Control Act (BCA) sequester. The major exception is funding provided to Medicaid, which is an exempt program. Even though these programs are covered by the sequester, several would not be affected in fiscal year (FY) 2013 because funding currently being obligated is from prior fiscal year appropriations.
February 15, 2013
On December 14, 2012, the Department of Education (ED) issued a set of proposed changes to the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). The proposed regulations seek to improve the competitive grant process by allowing ED to more effectively select grantees, provide higher-quality data to the public, and help applicants better focus on the goals of a particular project or grant. The proposed regulations were open to comments from the public, including states, through February 12, 2013. This Issue Brief provides a summary of the proposed regulatory changes and the major concerns from grantees.
February 12, 2013
On February 6, 2013, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) opened the application period for the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP; CFDA 11.549), which was authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96). Requirements for the grant program were described in FFIS Issue Brief 12-34. This brief lists the grant allocations and the timing for awards. Applications for grant funding must be received by NTIA no later than March 19, 2013.
February 8, 2013
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21; P.L. 112-141) made several changes to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) state highway safety grant programs. Those changes were codified on January 23, 2013, through Federal Register Document 2013-00682. This interim final rule (IFR) implements new state highway safety grant regulations to incorporate a new performance evaluation process and a new consolidated application requirement. NHTSA also solicits comments based on these new regulations.
February 6, 2013
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and related programs were last extended as part of the Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year (FY) 2013. These programs are set to expire with the CR on March 27, 2013. In order for the programs to continue to operate and receive funding, congressional action to extend or reauthorize these programs will be required.
February 6, 2013
On January 15, 2013, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service released the fiscal year (FY) 2012 payments by state under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. These payments are awarded to rural counties for the purposes of building schools and maintaining infrastructure. The FY 2012 SRS payments totaled $291.4 million, a -5.3% decrease from FY 2011. This Issue Brief provides a summary of the FY 2012 allocations.
January 9, 2013
On December 6, 2012, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the fiscal year (FY) 2013 allocation of state administrative funds for the cost of implementing new nutritional standards under the National School Lunch (NSL) and School Breakfast (SB) programs. Like FY 2012, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands will receive a total of $47 million in administrative funds. In addition to the allocations, FNS included guidance on the use of such funds. This Issue Brief provides a summary of that guidance and the FY 2013 state allocations.