Federal and City Relations

City Official: State Transportation Agencies Block Street Safety Progress

The Idaho city council president told congressional lawmakers that state policies are designed to make sure vehicles go fast. She and others offered local solutions to make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians.

New Online Hub to Help Cities Apply for Federal Infrastructure Funding

The $50 million initiative will provide advice and resources to municipalities, especially small towns, through public sector groups and nonprofits, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Infrastructure Week Finally Yields Actual Infrastructure Projects

Inflation and workforce shortages are causing difficulties. Still, local officials and the Biden administration are touting progress.

White House Wants to Ensure Good Stewardship of Infrastructure Funds

New guidance directs agencies on implementation of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Local Governments Vie for New Round of Congressional Earmarks

The revival of what critics deride as "pork" yielded $2.7 billion for localities this year. Now they're looking to secure even more of the federal cash. “We've had dozens of communities across our district submit requests,” says one House lawmaker.

Federal Agencies Pledge to Provide Funding More Equitably to Disadvantaged Communities

The departments said they will do more to address systemic racism in their programs and procedures and work more closely on these efforts with localities.

‘There’s a Large Amount of Fraud Out There,’ Says Special IG for Pandemic Recovery

The role is “not a political job in any way, shape or form” and “if we go out of business, then I think you're missing a key element of … oversight,” Brian Miller says.

Biden is Doubling Down on a Push to Roll Back Single-Family Zoning Laws

A $10 billion proposal in the president's budget would use federal grants as an incentive to spur changes with the local rules, which critics blame for stifling affordable housing and fueling racial inequities.

New Senate Bill Aims to Improve Federal Coordination With States and Localities

The measure has bipartisan support, but similar efforts in recent years have fizzled. Will this push be different?

Federal Pandemic Aid is Providing a Boost to City Housing Programs

City officials are tapping American Rescue Plan Act dollars to expand affordable housing and reduce homelessness, challenges that predate Covid-19 but that were also heightened by it.

How Your Government Agency Can Recoup Millions of Dollars

COMMENTARY | Recovering indirect costs from grants and contracts can help refill the general fund, which is under pressure due to rising costs and ongoing needs related to the pandemic.

City Officials Condemn Congress' Failed Plan to Claw Back ARPA Funds, Vow to Fight Future Attempts

The controversy over the aid to states could reemerge on Capitol Hill in the days ahead. Meanwhile, President Biden offered suggestions for how cities spending American Rescue Plan dollars.

One Year Into ARPA Rollout, Spending Varies as Scrutiny Mounts

Billions in state and local aid from the American Rescue Plan Act have gone to combat the pandemic, but also to build monuments and fix state buildings. Republicans are increasingly questioning the need for all the funding and how it is being spent.

Bridging the Digital Divide with American Rescue Plan Act Funding

COMMENTARY | One year after ARPA was signed, states, cities and counties are making meaningful progress to expand broadband access.

Biden Tries to Hit Reset on Domestic Agenda in State of the Union

The president renewed his case for child care and other social programs as a way to cut costs for families facing inflation. But political obstacles remain and Russia's attack on Ukraine presents a growing crisis abroad.

White House Moves to Identify 'Disadvantaged' Communities in Line for Federal Funding Boost

The administration wants to steer more money to areas most in need and has released a draft of places that should get more help.

The Biden Administration’s Plea to ‘Sanctuary’ Cities Gets a Cool Reception

The Department of Homeland Security is trying to foster greater cooperation with local governments on immigration enforcement following the strained relations of the Trump years.

Infrastructure Update: $6B Federal Bridge Funding Boost Arrives for Small Localities

With thousands of city and county bridges in “poor condition,” local leaders say “It’s about time.”

Massive Budget Bill Would Open Even More State and Local Funding

In a year that's already seen a major infrastructure package signed into law and billions in pandemic aid, domestic spending legislation the U.S. House approved last week promises to direct additional federal cash towards state and local priorities.

The Federal Government Spent Record Amounts of Money on Children Last Year. It Probably Won’t Last.

Spending on children—including tax programs, education, nutrition and social services—by state and local governments also will likely fall back to pre-pandemic levels within several years as Covid-19 relief measures expire, according to an Urban Institute report.