2019

Disaster Relief Bill Provides $19.1 Billion

Budget Brief 19-12
June 7, 2019
Summary 

The president has signed an emergency supplemental bill that provides $19.1 billion in disaster relief (H.R. 2157), targeted primarily to natural disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019. The measure also includes an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through September 30, 2019.

This brief summarizes the funding specified in the bill.

FY 2020 Appropriations Update: Health and Human Services

Budget Brief 19-11
June 6, 2019
Summary 

The Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education appropriations bill is one of the largest and includes funding for scores of state and local grants. The House appropriations committee has approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 bill. The Senate appropriations committee has indicated it intends to consider its bill in early June.

This report describes funding and policy provisions affecting HHS grant programs (Budget Brief 19-10 focused on education and labor programs). For most programs covered in this brief, the House recommends either level funding or increases. Additionally, the bill includes funding for a few new grants. 

FY 2020 Appropriations Update: Labor, Education

Budget Brief 19-10
May 30, 2019
Summary 

The Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education appropriations bill is one of the largest and includes scores of state and local grant programs. The House appropriations committees has approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 bill.

This brief highlights education and labor programs in the bill; a companion brief will summarize health and human services programs.

President Releases “Swiss Cheese” Budget

Budget Brief 19-09
March 15, 2019
Summary 

The president’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget was released on March 11. It provides a broad overview and includes some policy and grant specifics, but does not include programmatic detail for all agencies. Based on available information, this Budget Brief highlights provisions of the proposal that are relevant to states.

In general, the budget largely mirrors the FY 2018 and FY 2019 requests. It proposes a few new programs, but eliminates, consolidates, or reduces scores of grant programs, with the result that federal aid to states declines significantly. Congressional appropriators have not been receptive to the president’s proposed eliminations in the past.

FY 2019 Final Appropriations: Agriculture and Nutrition

Budget Brief 19-08
February 28, 2019
Summary 

Final fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations for Agriculture-Nutrition were included in P.L. 116-6, which finalizes appropriations for the year. This brief summarizes funding and other provisions related to the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

FY 2019 Final Appropriations: Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

Budget Brief 19-07
February 27, 2019
Summary 

Final fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations for Interior-Environment were included in P.L. 116-6, which finalizes all remaining appropriations for the year. This brief summarizes funding and other provisions in the bill related to the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also covers the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

FY 2019 Final Appropriations: Transportation-Housing and Urban Development

Budget Brief 19-06
February 26, 2019
Summary 

Final fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations for Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) were included in P.L. 116-6, which completes appropriations for the year. This brief summarizes funding and other provisions of interest related to transportation and housing in the bill.

FY 2019 Final Appropriations: Commerce-Justice-Science

Budget Brief 19-05
February 21, 2019
Summary 

P.L. 116-6, signed on February 15, 2019, provides fiscal year (FY) 2019 consolidated appropriations for several agencies that had been operating under continuing resolutions since the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, 2018 (including a month-long partial government shutdown). Among the appropriations included were those for Commerce-Justice-Science. This Budget Brief describes funding and other provisions of interest to states for programs in these areas. 

FY 2019 Final Appropriations: Homeland Security + Emergency Declaration

Budget Brief 19-04
February 21, 2019
Summary 

Fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was included in P.L. 116-6, which provides appropriations for seven bills that had been largely operating under a continuing resolution since October 2018 (including a month-long partial government shutdown). This brief summarizes provisions of interest to states for programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It also briefly describes the president’s subsequent emergency declaration to secure additional funding for a southern border wall.

Three-Week CR Ends Government Shutdown

Budget Brief 19-03
January 29, 2019
Summary 

After a record 35-day partial federal government shutdown, Congress passed—and the president signed—a third continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The CR (H.J.Res.28):

  • keeps the federal government operating through February 15, 2019
  • is retroactive to December 22, 2018, the expiration date of the last CR
  • reimburses states for costs incurred operating federal programs during the shutdown (which also applies to future lapses in FY 2019 should they occur)
  • continues funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • extends Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs through February 15 (other programs—such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF]—have been extended by separate legislation)

FY 2019 Partial Shutdown and TANF

Budget Brief 19-02
January 18, 2019
Summary 

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is one of the few Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant programs affected by the partial government shutdown. This Budget Brief explains why and addresses key things to know about TANF during the shutdown.  

Revisiting the BCA

Budget Brief 19-01
January 18, 2019
Summary 

While a partial federal government shutdown is the most immediate problem facing states, its resolution will be followed closely by another impending budget dilemma: the return to strict spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.

Until now, Congress has relaxed the BCA caps through a series of laws (each entitled the Bipartisan Budget Agreement [BBA]). However, no such agreement is in place for FY 2020 or beyond. As a result, non-defense discretionary spending is slated to decline by -$55 billion (-9%). Some in Congress have suggested incorporating a larger agreement to relax the FY 2020 spending caps into a deal to end the partial shutdown.

This brief revisits the BCA in the context of the current shutdown and the upcoming FY 2020 budget process.

2018

How Major Programs Might Fare in a Partial Government Shutdown

Budget Brief 18-19
December 19, 2018
Summary 

The second fiscal year (FY) 2019 continuing resolution (CR)—which funds the portion of federal spending not covered by full-year spending bills enacted earlier this year—will expire on Friday. While Congress just announced an agreement on another short-term CR through February 8 and the president appears to support it, the risk of a federal shutdown likely will continue until a final budget is enacted.

Should a partial shutdown occur, state officials will have questions about their ability to operate federal grant programs in the absence of a current appropriation. The answers to those questions vary by program. FFIS Budget Brief 18-17 provides answers to general questions; this brief provides targeted summary information about specific grant programs.

Appendix: links to the sources of program-specific details

FY 2019 CR #2: Second Verse Same as the First

Budget Brief 18-18
December 12, 2018
Summary 

A little more than two months into fiscal year (FY) 2019, a second continuing resolution (CR) has been adopted to fund the portion of federal spending not covered by five full-year spending bills enacted earlier this year. This CR amends a nearly identical one that expired on December 7, extending it through December 21, and adding a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.

The CR covers about half the discretionary spending tracked in FFIS’s database, as shown in the chart below. The agencies listed on the chart are covered by the CR and would potentially be affected by a partial government shutdown. Table 1 at the end of this brief shows the latest funding levels for about 100 of the largest individual grant programs; those listed in italics are funded under the CR.

UPDATE (12/13): The spreadsheet below includes a more robust list of grant programs funded by the CR.

FAQs: A Partial Federal Government Shutdown

Budget Brief 18-17
November 28, 2018
Summary 

FFIS answers frequently asked questions about federal government shutdowns.

FY 2019 Conference Agreement: Health and Human Services

Budget Brief 18-16
September 29, 2018
Summary 

Congress passed an agreement that combines full-year appropriations for Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education and Defense with a continuing resolution (CR) for all remaining programs that extends until December 7, 2018.

This report describes funding and policy provisions affecting HHS grant programs (Budget Brief 18-14 summarized the CR and Budget Brief 18-15 focused on education and labor programs). All HHS programs covered in this brief are either level-funded or receive increases. Additionally, the bill continues programs first funded in FY 2018 and includes a few new grants. Funding for major grant programs under both the CR and the agreement is included in Table 1 at the end of the brief.

FY 2019 Conference Agreement: Education and Labor

Budget Brief 18-15
September 24, 2018
Summary 

Appropriators from the House and Senate released a compromise bill (H.R. 6157) to combine full-year appropriations for Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) with a continuing resolution (CR) for all remaining programs that extends until December 7, 2018. The Senate has adopted the agreement and the House is expected to vote on it in the coming days. Budget Brief 18-14 summarizes the CR portion of the bill.

This brief summarizes provisions in the LHHS bill that affect Department of Education (ED) and Department of Labor (DOL) programs. Provisions affecting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be addressed in Budget Brief 18-16. Proposed funding for major grant programs under both the CR and the LHHS bill is included in Table 1 at the end of this brief.

Correction: Rather than limiting state Wagner-Peyser Employment Services administrative funding to 20%, the agreement rejected the limitation.

Congress Reaches Agreement on Combined CR, Labor-HHS-Education/Defense Minibus

Budget Brief 18-14
September 19, 2018
Summary 

With the start of fiscal year (FY) 2019 less than two weeks away, appropriators from the House and Senate released a compromise bill (H.R. 6157) to combine full-year appropriations for Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) with a partial-year continuing resolution (CR) for all remaining programs. The Senate adopted the agreement yesterday, and the House is expected to vote on the measure next week when it returns from recess.

This brief summarizes provisions of the CR. The LHHS spending bill will be analyzed separately in forthcoming briefs. Proposed funding for major grant programs under both the CR and the LHHS bill is provided in Table 1 at the end of this brief. 

FY 2019 Appropriations Update: Agriculture and Nutrition

Budget Brief 18-13
September 6, 2018
Summary 

Fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been approved by the House and Senate appropriations committees, both of which have rejected most of the president’s proposals. This brief summarizes provisions of interest to states.

FY 2019 Appropriations Update: Homeland Security

Budget Brief 18-12
August 22, 2018
Summary 

Fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been approved by the House and Senate appropriations committees, both of which have rejected most of the president’s proposals. This brief summarizes appropriations action to date for state and local programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FY 2019 Appropriations Update: Labor, HHS, Education

Budget Brief 18-11
July 30, 2018
Summary 

The Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education appropriations bill is one of the largest and includes funding for scores of state and local grant programs. Both the House and Senate appropriations committees have approved their respective fiscal year (FY) 2019 bills. The full Senate plans to take up its bill soon, as part of a two-bill “minibus” along with Defense. The House hasn’t indicated its intentions.

This brief highlights funding and other provisions of interest to states in the two bills. 

FY 2019 Appropriations Update: Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

Budget Brief 18-10
July 11, 2018
Summary 

The House and Senate appropriations committees have approved their respective Interior-Environment spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The bills also cover related agencies that oversee state grants, including the Forest Service, National Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities. This brief highlights funding and other provisions of interest to states in the House and Senate bills.

FY 2019 Appropriations Update: Commerce-Justice-Science

Budget Brief 18-09
July 5, 2018
Summary 

This brief describes House and Senate action on the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriation, which has passed the appropriations committee in both chambers.

FY 2019 Appropriations Update: Transportation-Housing and Urban Development

Budget Brief 18-08
June 28, 2018
Summary 

The House and Senate appropriations committees have each approved Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The House bill would increase combined T-HUD appropriations by $1.5 billion compared to FY 2018, while the Senate would increase funding by $1.1 billion. This brief summarizes funding and other provisions of interest in the bills.

Rescission Package Would Have Limited Effect on Outlays

Budget Brief 18-07
May 9, 2018
Summary 

As expected, the White House has released a proposal to rescind $15.4 billion in previously appropriated federal spending, which would reduce outlays by an estimated $3 billion. This Budget Brief describes the proposals in the rescission package that affect state and local grant programs.

FY 2018 Omnibus: Trillions of Pennies from Heaven

Budget Brief 18-06
March 30, 2018
Summary 

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%.

President’s FY 2019 Budget: Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Budget Brief 18-05
February 23, 2018
Summary 

The president’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget was released on February 12, 2018, just three days after enactment of legislation that reset discretionary spending caps for both FY 2018 and FY 2019. Accordingly, the president’s budget proposed less discretionary spending than the new caps allow, and an addendum was released to stake a claim to some of—but not all—the additional resources.

This Budget Brief highlights significant provisions of the proposed budget, and incorporates spending requested in the budget addendum.

Fifth FY 2018 CR Amends BCA and Much, Much More

Budget Brief 18-04
February 12, 2018
Summary 

In the early hours of February 9, Congress passed a fifth continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which the president signed. This CR—the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 (P.L. 115-123)—extends funding for six weeks, through March 23. Running more than 600 pages, it incorporates a plethora of policy changes, many of which are important for states. This brief summarizes these provisions, including:

  • Increasing the discretionary spending caps
  • Extending mandatory sequestration
  • Providing additional disaster assistance
  • Suspending the debt limit
  • Creating a committee on budget process reform
  • Extending, implementing, or reauthorizing certain health and human services programs
  • Incorporating a host of tax extenders and modifications
  • Offsetting a portion of the new spending provided in the bill with cuts and changes to other programs

While not part of the legislative language, an informal agreement was reached as part of the BBA negotiations, under which increased funding for non-defense discretionary programs would be targeted to specific priorities in FY 2018 and FY 2019, including:

  • Opioids and mental health ($3 billion/year)
  • Infrastructure ($10 billion/year)
  • Child care ($2.9 billion/year)
  • Veterans’ health ($2 billion/year)
  • Higher education ($2 billion/year)
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH, $1 billion/year)

Short-Term CR Ends Shutdown, Funds CHIP for Six Years

Budget Brief 18-03
January 24, 2018
Summary 

After a three-day federal government shutdown, Congress passed—and the president signed—a fourth continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The CR (H.R. 195):

  • keeps the federal government operating through February 8, 2018

  • reimburses states for costs incurred for operating federal programs during the shutdown (this provision also applies to future funding lapses in FY 2018 should they occur)

  • extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and related programs through FY 2023

  • suspends the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurer tax for calendar year (CY) 2019 (the tax will still be in effect in CY 2018)

How Major Programs Might Fare in a Government Shutdown

Budget Brief 18-02
January 19, 2018
Summary 

The federal government is just hours away from a potential shutdown. Should that occur, state officials will have questions about their ability to operate federal grant programs in the absence of a current appropriation. The answers to those questions vary by program.

FFIS Budget Brief 17-21 provides answers to many such general questions, and the FFIS website includes additional materials from federal sources. This brief provides targeted summary information about some of the largest programs.

The Budget To-Do List for 2018

Budget Brief 18-01
January 11, 2018
Summary 

This brief identifies key issues that must be resolved before a final budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018 can be enacted. It also highlights other issues that will require congressional attention in the coming weeks and months, outlines the FY 2019 budget process, and identifies potential congressional priorities in 2018.