In our recently published “Top Five in 2014″ article, Civitas recommended North Carolina examine federal funds coming into the state and evaluate the strings attached. The state’s reliance on federal funds has grown dramatically in the last couple of decades, which erodes our state’s sovereignty and concentrates more power in DC.
The Senate budget proposal released last week includes a section that begins to address that problem.
AGENCIES REPORT ON FEDERAL GRANTS
SECTION 14.1.(a) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture shall review every federal grant received by the respective departments and report no later than February 1, 2015, to the Chairs of the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources, the Chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division regarding the source and amount of the grant, the match required for the grant from State funds, and any conditions, limitations, restrictions, or additional actions or programs the department is required to fulfill or undertake as a result of accepting the grant.
SECTION 14.1.(b) This section applies to grants received on or after July 1, 2014.
This is a great start. Here’s hoping this provision makes it into the final budget.
The next steps would include: expanding this evaluation process to all state agencies and developing a roadmap to become less reliant on federal funds. With the national debt topping $17 trillion, and unfunded liabilities at more than $100 trillion, do we really want to be so reliant on federal government funds?