State and Federal Relations

As traffic fatalities remain high, states and feds meet to swap road safety ideas

The gathering marked the second anniversary of the Biden administration’s push to reduce roadway deaths. The feds also used the occasion to announce that $1.25 billion in grants is available for its Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

The race heats up for massive IRA state and local climate funding program

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program will award $4.6 billion to states and metro areas this year to implement aspects of local climate action plans.

Are the Build America rules slowing infrastructure progress?

State DOTs, transit agencies and the construction industry want the White House to make it easier to comply with rules designed to include American-made products in infrastructure projects.

Why it’s tough to stamp out housing voucher discrimination

In many places, it's illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants using Section 8 vouchers. Enforcing those rules is difficult, but governments are forging ahead.

Texas governor rallies Republican governors and AGs with secessionist rhetoric

Greg Abbott is using legal arguments similar to those used by supporters of the Confederacy to justify his confrontations at the border with federal authorities. Law professors warn that could be dangerous.

Biden unveils $4.9B in big-ticket infrastructure grants

Three dozen projects got the green light and millions of federal dollars. The president also used the announcement to bolster his reelection campaign.

Which states will join the new summer meal program for low-income kids? Here’s the list.

Thirty-five states are participating in the 2024 launch of a program that will provide low-income families $40 per child for groceries during the summer months when schools are not in session.

GOP lawsuit over CO2 rules attacks Biden administration for overreach, pushes climate denial

Joined by 21 states, the complaint falsely claims there is “no consensus” on the causes of climate change. One environmental advocate said the argument is “like suing NASA for saying the world is round.”

Why 2023 emerged as a banner year for passenger rail

Many efforts that had been in the works for years started paying off this year, but passenger rail advocates hope even better things are on the way.

Feds consider limiting how states can use welfare funds

The Biden administration says that the 1996 welfare reforms gave states too much spending flexibility. Now, it wants to claw back back some of those freedoms.

Biden wants states to ensure Obamacare plans cover enough doctors and hospitals

A proposal from the federal government would standardize open enrollment periods across all states, require states to assess the accessibility of their insurer networks and expand adult dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Child care programs see closures, resignations and tuition hikes after federal funding expires

In West Virginia, providers and parents are feeling the impact on the other side of the "child care cliff."

States expect ‘big jump’ in Medicaid spending

As pandemic-era federal funding support winds down, state Medicaid directors said in a survey that they anticipate their share of the costs to increase even as enrollment declines.

Shutdown appears averted as House passes ‘laddered’ proposal

The continuing resolution extends SNAP through September, ensures other benefit programs are funded into early 2024 and avoids millions of workers being furloughed.

Amid high heating prices, emergency funding for energy bills dries up

Congress approved one-time funding last year to help low-income families pay to heat and cool their homes. As winter approaches, states and advocates are calling for more money.

House proposes slashing $4B from the EPA

The GOP funding cuts, passed along party lines, would significantly impact state and local efforts to improve drinking water and reduce water pollution. Additional cuts would severely hamper environmental justice projects.

Legacy programs stymie Biden's efforts to boost equity in infrastructure spending

Communities of color benefit when federal agencies pick transportation projects, but most infrastructure money is doled out using old rules that favor whiter areas, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

Governors press Biden to help with migrant surge

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is the latest state leader to outline changes in federal policy the Biden administration could make to alleviate some of the strain on states and cities.

New White House office will work with communities to curb gun violence

The office will look to build off of last year’s landmark gun legislation and has been applauded by national local government associations who have called gun violence an “incredibly serious issue in America.”

As cities struggle to shelter migrants, calls for federal action grow

State and local leaders have resorted to desperate measures—sometimes circumventing the federal government—to find housing and support for the influx of asylum seekers. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.