Roughly half of Iowa's budget consists of money from Uncle Sam. Federal funds could suddenly be reduced or eliminated and many time these funds come with strings attached requiring additional state funding.
- Itemize all federal funds
- Measure the dollars and obligations
- Identify the end date
Work Left to Do:
Tell legislators that Iowa must protect itself from Washington’s mismanagement.
Iowa Must Protect Itself From Washington’s Mismanagement
The point of a federal funds inventory is not to debate the merit of these federal initiatives, but rather to bring attention to a problem: Federal funding often disappears, and state and local taxpayers are left with the bill.
Roughly half of Iowa’s budget consists of money from the federal government. While it may seem like a great idea to accept all of the tax dollars Washington, D.C. will send us, this money often comes with strings attached that can drive up costs for state government. Federal programs can also be eliminated, and when Iowans are used to programs created through federal grants, the state is hesitant to cut them—so legislators continue to fund the programs entirely with state dollars.
Additionally, there is a lack of transparency and understanding regarding maintenance of effort requirements for federal grants. During the budgeting process legislators are frequently informed that there is a maintenance of effort agreement for a program, but it is not always clear exactly what that agreement is, leading legislators to mistakenly believe that state funding can never be reduced when this may not be the case. Additional clarity is needed on potential end dates for federal funds as well, so legislators can anticipate the ending of a federal program and aren’t surprised when federal money is eliminated. These improvements would help ensure that legislators have the best tools to use your tax dollars as efficiently and effectively as possible.