2018

New Grants Tracker

Special Analysis 18-02
October 2, 2018
Summary 

The FY 2018 omnibus authorized and/or funded several new grants. The tracker monitors developments related to dispersing these funds.

Highway Funding in a Nutshell

Special Analysis 18-01
March 12, 2018
Summary 

Most of the roughly $675 billion in grants that the federal government provided to state and local governments in fiscal year (FY) 2017 followed a similar legislative path: Congress created programs through authorizing legislation, and either provided mandatory funding in the same legislation, or appropriated funding through the annual budget.

But federal funding for highways works a little bit differently. This Special Analysis provides a short but comprehensive introduction to federal highway funding, addressing some of our most frequently asked questions on the subject.

Grants 101: An Introduction to Federal Grants for State and Local Governments

Special Analysis
January 29, 2018
Summary 

FFIS demystifies the flow of federal funds to their many recipients using charts, graphs, and words. Grants 101 begins with the big picture and slowly works its way down to a more nuanced description of federal grants and how they work.

2017

Federal Grants Per Capita, FY 2016

Special Analysis 17-02
June 15, 2017
Summary 

The Census Bureau released state population estimates for July 1, 2016, at the end of December 2016. Using those estimates and the FFIS grants database, states were ranked on their fiscal year (FY) 2016 per capita receipt of federal funds in a host of areas. Among the major findings:

  • Due to its unique relationship with the federal government, the District of Columbia ranked first in federal grants per capita, followed by Alaska, New Mexico, and Vermont

  • Virginia received the lowest federal grants per capita, about 29% of the amount received by the highest-ranking state. Other states ranking low included Utah, Florida, Nebraska, and Kansas.

  • Medicaid drives most results. Medicaid grew 44% per capita between FY 2011 and FY 2016; non-Medicaid grants grew 2.3%.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased Medicaid’s impact, as states that expand Medicaid see an influx of federal funds.

  • Puerto Rico ranks near the top of many grants allocated by income and poverty, but ranks last in Medicaid because of a federal cap.

  • Income security and social services, education, and transportation are the other categories where federal grants average more than $100 per capita.

  • General government is a small category, but one program drives results for a few states: mineral leasing payments. While the average state received less than $10 per capita, Wyoming received more than $1,100, and New Mexico received $177.

This analysis is accompanied by detailed spreadsheets available to full database subscribers.

What's at Stake in Federal-State Fiscal Relations

Special Analysis 17-01
January 19, 2017
Summary 


The 115th Congress convened earlier this month with an ambitious agenda that could upend the status quo in federal-state fiscal relations. Among the possibilities:

  • Repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have a significant impact on health programs generally, and Medicaid specifically.

  • Federal tax reform could affect states through specific policies, or through state linkages to the federal tax code.

  • Other significant changes to mandatory programs have been proposed in recent years, including converting Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to block grants.

  • Completion of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget process might bring changes in discretionary programs, as may appropriations in FY 2018 and ensuing years.

  • Reinstatement of the federal debt limit later this year will provide an opening for significant policy changes. In the past, the debt limit debate has been associated with budgetary, economic, and policy upheaval.

  • Certain regulations may be targeted for reform or elimination, with various tools available to pursue such actions.

2016

Fifty-State Data Sources

Special Analysis 16-05
December 15, 2016
Summary 

This inventory identifies selected 50-state data sources covering a variety of topics. For each source, it includes a description, link, key features (such as update frequency and whether the data can be exported or customized), and FFIS’s assessment of its timeliness and ease of use. 

Note: If you are having problems accessing the links, please use the excel file below.

Tracking Federal Funds: Rhode Island’s Approach

Special Analysis 16-04
November 10, 2016
Summary 

Last month, FFIS hosted a workshop on building blocks for better federal funds management. Laurie Petrone—director of Rhode Island’s Grants Management Office—shared her state’s approach to managing federal funds. Rhode Island maintains a federal award catalog that tracks every federal dollar the state receives. This Special Analysis provides insights into Rhode Island’s Grants Management Office and its federal award catalog.

Summary of State Matching and MOE Requirements

Special Analysis 16-03
September 9, 2016
Summary 

The federal government is providing state and local governments with nearly $729 billion in federal funds in fiscal year (FY) 2016. However, most of these funds come with strings attached. Many federal grant programs require states to contribute their own funds to the cost of a program, through matching or maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirements. This Special Analysis provides a summary of programs with state matching or MOE requirements, based on the FFIS grants database.

Federal Grants Per Capita, FY 2015

Special Analysis 16-02
May 13, 2016
Summary 

The Census Bureau released state population estimates for July 1, 2015, at the end of December 2015. Using those estimates and FFIS grants database figures, states were ranked on their fiscal year (FY) 2015 per capita receipt of federal funds in a host of areas. Among the major findings are the following:

  •  Due to its unique relationship with the federal government, the District of Columbia ranked #1 in federal grants per capita. It was followed by Alaska, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
  • Virginia received the lowest federal grants per capita, about one-third the amount received by the highest-ranking state. Other states ranking low included Utah, Florida, Kansas, and New Hampshire.
  • Medicaid drives most results. Outside of Medicaid, federal grants declined between FY 2010 and FY 2015.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased Medicaid’s role, as states that expand Medicaid see an influx of new federal funds.
  • Puerto Rico ranks near the top of many grants allocated by income and poverty, but ranks last in Medicaid because of a federal cap.

The following areas also play an important role in state results:

  • Income security and social services, education, and transportation are the only other categories where federal grants average more than $100 per capita.
  • General government is a small category, but one program drives results for a few states: mineral leasing payments. While the average state received less than $10 per capita, Wyoming received more than $1,500, and New Mexico received $260.

This analysis is accompanied by detailed spreadsheets available to full database subscribers.

GAO Evaluates Federal Financial Management

Special Analysis 16-01
April 13, 2016
Summary 

In testimony offered to the Senate Budget Committee, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified a host of areas where federal financial management falls short. While most of them are specific to the federal government, some involve, have implications for, or will be of interest to state fiscal managers.