Federal Omnibus Spending Bill Increases Funding for Several County-Related Programs

April 06, 2018

Legislative News

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MoneyOn March 23, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 that includes funding increases for several county-related programs. The legislation, which was signed by the president on the same day, ends a series of short-term funding extensions.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has prepared a comprehensive rep​ort on the FY 2018 omnibus spending measure with additional information on the funding levels for programs important to counties.

Highlights include:

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program – The CDBG program, which funds community and economic development programs, is appropriated $3.3 billion, an increase of $300 million from FY 2017 levels.

Election Security Funds – The bill provides $380 million in Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds to states to improve election security and technology. Texas is expected to receive approximately $24.4 million, which includes a 5 percent match provided by the state.

Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) – The JAG program, which assists state and local governments with funds for certain criminal justice initiatives, is appropriated $415.5 million, an increase of $12.5 million over FY 2017 levels.

Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) – Approximately $30 million is provided for MIOTCRA grants, which help counties divert individuals with mental illness from county jails. This is $18 million more than was appropriated for FY 2017.

State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) – SCAAP is set to receive $240 million, which is a $30 million increase from FY 2017 levels. The program reimburses local governments for some of the costs of incarcerating certain undocumented immigrants.

Second Chance Act Grants – These grants, which assist programs that help individuals reintegrate into their communities following incarceration and help reduce recidivism, are funded at $89 million, an increase of $30 million from FY 2017 levels.

Opioid Abuse – The bill includes approximately $4 billion in funding to address the opioid epidemic, including $1 billion in funding for the Opioid State Target Response Grants.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) – The bill extends the National Flood Insurance Program until July 31, 2018 to provide Congress with more time to pass a long-term reauthorization of the program. The NFIP currently faces an approximately $1.4 billion annual shortfall.

Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program – The PILT program, which provides payments to counties and other local governments to help offset losses in tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal land in their jurisdictions, is appropriated $530 million, an increase of $65 million over FY 2017 levels.

Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program – Payments to counties through the SRS Program, which assist local governments affected by the decline in timber harvest revenue on federal lands, are restored in the bill. The program is reauthorized for FY 2017 and FY 2018.

Transportation – The bill provides an additional $10 billion in new transportation infrastructure funding. It includes $45 billion for the Federal-Aid Highways Program. Additionally, it provides $1.5 billion for TIGER grants to assist states and localities with critical infrastructure needs, setting aside 30 percent of these funds for rural communities.

For additional information, please contact Laura V. Garcia, Deputy Legislative Director, at (800) 456-5974.​