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Streamlining Federal Grants Act Earns National Special Districts Support

November 3, 2023 | Cole Arrealo-Karr

The National Special Districts Coalition supports legislation intended to simplify and streamline processes to apply for and execute federal funding opportunities.

NSDC outlined its support for the Streamlining Federal Grants Act in a letter to bill sponsors Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., (S. 2286) and Rep. Maria Gluesenkamp-Perez, D-Wash., (H.R. 5934) in a November 2 letter.

The legislation would set in motion government-wide action to address systemic issues in the application and administration of federal funding programs. Of note, the bill would require each federal agency administering a significant number of grant programs to appoint an official to oversee grant policies, management, planning and implementation. A federal council would also be established to oversee aspects of the review, receive feedback from program users, and collaborate on an interagency basis to foster simpler notices of funding opportunities. Additionally, the legislation would improve agency data collection for better performance management and program evaluation, support workforce development for implementing federal grants, and ensure consistent application of financial assistance policies. Grants.gov would also get an improvement after three years based on public feedback.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to examine challenges rural local governments face to access federally-funded opportunities. The Simplifying Federal Grants Act (S. 375 [Rubio] and H.R. 914 [Franklin, Fla.]) seeks to streamline obstacles with similar approaches with a focus on communities with fewer than 50,000 residents. NSDC holds a “support if amended” position on Rubio/Franklin bills as the Coalition seeks a technical amendment to include special districts in the proposed federal study of why many federal funds are not making it to rural communities as intended.

NSDC will continue to engage and ensure special districts are included in critical legislation to address barriers to federal funding.

Contact Cole Arreola-Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Director, for questions at colek@nationalspecialdistricts.org.

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