News Release: LB611’s Federal Funding Inventory Advances
NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute
Contact: Adam Weinberg
Legislative Bill 611 Advances, Receives Appropriations Committee Priority
Bill Requires Agencies to Inventory Federal Grants, Prepare Contingencies for Cuts
OMAHA, NE (March 21, 2017) – The Nebraska Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has advanced a bill to require an agency-by-agency inventory of federal funds granted to the state. State agencies already have information on hand about the federal funds they receive, but are not currently required to aggregate this information in a report accessible to legislators and the public.
In addition to requiring an annual report on the 30 percent of the state budget derived from federal funds, Legislative Bill 611 would require agencies to inventory the strings attached to receiving these grants—officially known as maintenance of effort requirements—which obligate the state to make additional financial commitments with state tax dollars.
“Federal funding incentives often cause the state to engage in programs or projects it might otherwise choose to avoid. LB611 would require agencies to create contingency plans in the event these funds were cut,” said Sarah Curry, Policy Director for the Platte Institute. “At nearly $20 trillion in national debt, federal spending priorities can change at any time, and will change inevitably, without Nebraska’s best interests in mind. State lawmakers need to be prepared for this reality,” said Curry.
LB611, which is supported by the Platte Institute, is sponsored by Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. John Stinner. The bill advanced from the committee with support from members of both major parties, and has received committee priority status for the 2017 legislative session.
“The Platte Institute would like to thank Sen. Stinner and the Appropriations Committee for seeing the value in providing more transparency for how federal grants impact the state policymaking process. We look forward to being a resource to all 49 State Senators as they consider how LB611 can help Nebraska be financially ready for changes in federal policy,” said Curry.
To arrange an interview with Sarah Curry on this topic, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska.