Author Archive

Kery Murakami

Infrastructure

Biden Administration Releases $45B for Broadband to States

Guidance for the infrastructure program says states must make affordable broadband available to the middle class, too, and cannot exclude cities from being considered for the funding.

Health & Human Services

States are Taking Action to Rein in Prescription Drug Prices

A New Jersey bill capping out-of-pocket expenses for insulin and asthma inhalers is among the latest proposals. Broader efforts remain bogged down in Congress.

Infrastructure

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. 

Finance

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.

Tech & Data

How Data-driven Policies Can Help States and Localities

Officials say that following the numbers and looking at evidence has proven useful in tackling a range of equity issues and with steering clear of partisan fights.

Finance

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.

Infrastructure

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.

Infrastructure

New Program Aims to Help Rural America Tap More Federal Funding

The Biden administration initiative is starting in five states and there are plans to expand it.

Health & Human Services

Why Pandemic Food and Medicaid Benefits Could Soon an End

The federal government is again extending a health emergency keeping the extra aid in place, but this could be the last time.

Finance

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.

Infrastructure

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.

Infrastructure

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.

Infrastructure

A Top Senate Democrat Signals Support for Billions More in Water Quality Grants for States

But Republican opposition to Biden’s energy policies could thwart the president's hope for a significant EPA funding boost.

Infrastructure

Is Federal Overreach ‘Creeping’ Into New Water Infrastructure Guidance?

The top Republican on a Senate subcommittee is expressing concerns about EPA's rules for how states use federal drinking water and wastewater funds, while others are calling for Congress to ease the threat of taking back money from states.

Finance

States and Localities Score Wins in New Covid-19 Spending Deal

There aren’t any clawbacks of state aid and the package would extend greater latitude for spending ARPA dollars on infrastructure.

Finance

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.

Infrastructure

Why States Want Changes to Programs Providing Billions in Water Funds

As the infrastructure law unleashes a wave of federal cash for water system upgrades, officials are pressing for tweaks in how governments can access and spend the money.

Finance

Biden Wants to Send Even More Federal Dollars to States and Localities

The president's budget plan would raise spending in areas like housing and law enforcement. The proposals come as billions in pandemic aid is flowing to the state and local level.

Finance

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?