State and Federal Relations

Internet Service Essentially Free for Millions Under New Biden Program

With a discount already in place, 20 companies have agreed to offer service for $30 a month. Advocacy groups are hoping states will adopt similar pricing requirements. 

Freight Advocates Push for a Share of $18B in Grant Funding

They’re urging the Biden administration to factor in their priorities when distributing money from the new infrastructure law for ports, railways and “megaprojects.”

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. 

Biden Wants to Move Faster Sending Disaster Aid to States

It can take upwards of a year to make funding available under a Department of Housing and Urban Development grant program that the president wants to rework. There's at least some bipartisan support for reforms in Congress.

Biden’s Attempt to Identify ‘Disadvantaged’ Communities is Proving to be Complicated

The initiative could set some places up to receive more federal investment, but critics are worried that a draft version of the program excludes areas in need of extra help.

Biden Reverses Trump's Rollback of Environmental Reviews for Infrastructure Projects

Critics say the latest update to the rules could bog down project timelines. But state transportation officials and environmental advocates welcomed the changes.

A Holistic Statewide Approach to Understanding Pollution Issues

COMMENTARY | Pollution and waste threaten everyone’s health, but some communities are hit harder than others. As the Biden administration looks to tackle these disparities, states can get ahead of federal mandates by identifying challenges in their communities now.

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.

How Some States Could Get Shorted With Lead Pipe Removal Funds

There are concerns that EPA is distributing billions of dollars in the infrastructure law based on an outdated study that does not consider how many dangerous pipes each state has.

Key Senator Indicates State ARPA Funds Takeback is Still on the Table

“Any of the funding is open for discussion,” U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney said as negotiators try to reach a deal over emergency Covid-19 funding that the Biden administration wants.

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?

The ‘Massive’ Task Awaiting State Medicaid Agencies

The end of a public health emergency would mean states losing hundreds of billions in funding for the health care program, and verifying whether millions of enrollees are still eligible.

States Seek Waiver for $380M in Unemployment Loan Interest

The push for a break from the federal government on the borrowing costs comes as Republicans in Congress are increasingly scrutinizing aid for states.

Senate Lawmakers Want to Overhaul How Wastewater Funds are Divided

There's general bipartisan agreement on the need for changes, but the specifics get complicated. Whether to send more money to growing states poses one stumbling block.

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.

McConnell Signals That Debate on State ARPA Aid Clawbacks Isn’t Over

As Democrats and the Biden administration seek $15 billion in new funding for the pandemic response, the Senate's top Republican calls them out for sending American Rescue Plan Act dollars to states “so flush with cash they don’t know how to spend it all.”

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.

Massive Spending Bill Clears Senate, Promising to Unlock Infrastructure Funds for States and Localities

The $1.5 trillion legislation would keep the federal government funded through September. It does not include provisions to grant more flexibility with state and local American Rescue Plan spending. Congress backed off proposed cuts to state aid—for now.

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.