FY 2018 Omnibus: Trillions of Pennies from Heaven
For the first time in some time, states will see notable increases in many discretionary grant programs in fiscal year (FY) 2018, and almost no funding reductions. In the wake of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2018 (BBA), which raised discretionary spending caps under the Budget Control Act (see Budget Brief 18-04), Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-141). The bill was signed on March 23, the expiration date of the fifth continuing resolution that had provided FY 2018 funding absent appropriations.
The omnibus is notable for reasons beyond its generous spending. It also creates new grant programs that target funds to areas of congressional interest. The most prominent of these are opioid abuse, infrastructure, school violence, and lead in drinking water.
This Budget Brief describes funding and policy provisions in the omnibus that are relevant to states. Table 1 lists funding for selected grant programs. Compared to FY 2017, states will see a 9% increase in the discretionary programs included on the table; mandatory programs are estimated to increase 3%.