NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute
Contact: Adam Weinberg
Mobile: (402) 500-0209
Legislative Testimony for Feb. 21: LB337
Bill Inventories Federal Funds, Plans for Budget Uncertainty
LINCOLN, NE – The Platte Institute will testify in support of a bill that would require a regular inventory of federal funds in the Nebraska state budget. Federal funds make up about 30 percent of the state's total spending.
The proposal, Legislative Bill 337 by state Sen. John Stinner, will be heard before the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in State Capitol room 1507 at 1:30 p.m. The bill is currently second on the agenda.
Platte Institute Policy Director Sarah Curry will testify for the Platte Institute. A copy of Curry's testimony is available online at PlatteInstitute.org/Testimony.
LB337 would create a federal funds inventory for Nebraska. Numerous state agencies rely on grants from the federal government their operations, totaling about 30 percent of the state's budget. In exchange for receiving these funds, states and local governments often agree to establish new programs or provide funding from their own revenues, which may need to be maintained in the future regardless of continued federal support for those programs.
The inventory will require state agencies receiving federal funds to document the requirements included with each grant, and create a contingency plan in the case of a hypothetical 10 and 25 percent reduction in funds from Washington.
"Measuring the impact of the federal funds and the impact of a coming spending crisis is possible only with the information this inventory will give us. Today, we simply do not know the impacts of future federal funding cuts," said Curry.
"Those federal dollars are not “free;” they come with current and future commitments. This bill will require an agency-by-agency inventory of all federal funds coming into Nebraska and the strings attached to them," said Curry.
A similar bill to inventory Nebraska's federal funds, LB611, reached second round debate in the Legislature in 2018. On General File, the bill won approval 28-11 with 10 senators present but not voting.
To schedule an interview on this topic, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 500-0209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. More media resources are available at PlatteInstitute.org/Media.