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Pursuant to Senate Resolution 45, 88th Congress, the Committee on Government Operations assigned to its Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations the duty of making a complete study of intergovernmental relations between the United States and the States and municipalities. In the course of its investigations, the subcommittee has given extensive attention to the role and operation of Federal grants-in-aid and other forms of assistance to the States and their political subdivisions. Federal aid to States and local governments is a major feature of contemporary intergovernmental relations. As such, it commands special attention at all levels of government. Legislative proposals authorizing or modifying programs of this kind are almost constantly before the Congress. Governors, State legislators, and local officials are also concerned with various grant proposals, programs, and operating relationships. Yet no complete, up-to-date descriptive compilation of all the forms and subjects of Federal aid to State and focal governments has been available. To provide an authoritative reference source for officials at all levels, the subcommittee last year called upon the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress to prepare a systematic and objective compilation of program descriptions, with cross indexes and statutory citations. The request specified that each program statement indicate the range and general conditions of eligibility, the procedures for participating in the Federal aid, the provisions for allotment of appropriations among States or other units eligible for assistance, and the State and local matching requirements. For the sake of brevity it was suggested that references to technical specifications and administrative rules be minimized and that descriptions of the procedures within Federal departments and agencies for reviewing and processing applications be omitted. Amounts of appropriations currently authorized or approved were also not o In response to this request, the Legislative Reference Service has so this “Catalog of Federal Aids to State and Local Governments,” based on Federal laws in force April 1, 1964. The compilation was prepared by Mr. I. M. Labovitz, senior specialist in social welfare. Mr. H. as a broad background in intergovernmental fiscal relations, having prepared numerous reports, monographs, and statistical studies in this field. Before joining the Legislative Reference Service in 1956, he was for 15 years a fiscal and legislative analyst in the U.S. Bureau of the Budget, concerned with Federal-State-local relations and Federal programs for welfare, health, and education. farlier he worked in tax administration and public finance research

in Illinois. Mr. Labovitz has served as a technical consultant on several reports of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

The subcommittee anticipates wide interest in this compilation. If its expectation is realized, periodic revisions may be warranted to reflect the expiration or extension of various authorizations, changes in existing programs, and enactment of pertinent new laws.

EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Chairman, Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations. APRIL 15, 1964.




This report provides a listing and description of aids which the Government of the United States makes available to State and local governments in the fiscal year 1964 or later. It contains a statement and statutory references for each of 115 programs or groups of closely related programs. The authorizations apply to 8 of the 10 executive departments and 11 independent agencies of the Federal Government.

The Federal aids vary greatly in financial magnitude. The Federal aid highway program distributes more than $3 billion a year to States and their subdivisions. The public assistance program entails Federal assistance approaching $3 billion a year. At the opposite end of the financial scale are specialized revenue-sharing and technical assistance programs under which the total Federal outlay may be only a few hundred dollars a year. In a few of the listed programs, there are no current payments.


The count of 115 programs is necessarily somewhat arbitrary. It refers to the number of separate statements in the catalog. The several Federal aids for highways are described in a single statement, and, therefore, counted together as one item. Likewise counted as a single program in each case are public assistance, community and environmental health activities, and vocational education-each encompassing numerous subcategories. If each subcategory in all the statements is counted as a separate program, the catalog identifies 216 authorizations for Federal assistance to State and local governments. In several instances, particular subcategories actually are not separate programs, but in other cases even a subcategory may comprise aids for varied activities or services.


Included in the catalog are Federal aids which may be characterized as grants-in-aid, shared

revenues, loans and advances, and technical assistance. The several types are defined below.

Federal aids are not all in the form of money distributions. They may include transfers of land and improvements, commodities or other tangible personal property, and services, consultations, or advice. All these forms of Federal aid are noted in this compilation, subject · to the test that in every instance State and local governments or their public agencies.or instrumentalities are eligible for the Federal aid. Eligibility may occur automatically, by the terms of the Federal law,

or it may depend on individual applications approved by a responsible Federal agency designated by law.

In the statutes, and often in administrative arrangements, Federal aid to State and local governments is not sharply differentiated from Federal aid available to other types of recipients. Although this cata. log is limited to aids to State and local governments, it is not confined to those which are available exclusively to them. Rather, it attempts to cover all cases in which State and local governments or their agencies and institutions are eligible recipients of Federal aid.


The several forms of Federal aid may be identified as follows:

Grants-in-aid. These involve payments in cash or transfers in kind (things or services) which aid the recipient State or local government in administering specified programs, services, or activities.

A grant may be conditioned upon the performance of certain services in conformity to specified standards, but the recipient State or local government is not required ordinarily to make a payment or to reimburse the Federal Government granting agency or to refund an equivalent value.

Many Federal grant-in-aid statutes provide for the allocation of sums of money among States according to formulas containing specified measures of need, such as population, per capita income, area, or road mileage. These formulas vary considerably from one program to another, depending on the nature of the activity or services for which the aid is given. A few grants are allotted to States as a percentage of State expenditures within specified limits. A few others are distributed as an equal amount to each State. Some allocation formulas are statutory. Others are developed by the administering Federal agency on the basis of criteria listed in the laws.

Shared revenues.-In a special form of grant-in-aid, known as shared revenues, the amount of each payment to a recipient State or local government is a predetermined proportion of Federal Government receipts derived from some specified source, rather than an amount related to the measured need of the recipient for financial support for some particular public service or program. The particular use of the proceeds by the recipient government sometimes is circumscribed by the Federal statute authorizing the payment, but in any event there is no requirement for repayment or reimbursement to the Federal Government.

Loans and advances.—In some Federal aid transactions, repayment to the Federal Government may be required. A loan or advance may be interest-free or subject to an interest rate at or below market rates. It may precede or accompany a grant. It is subject ordinarily to a contractual arrangement between the administering Federal agency and the recipient State or local government.

Technical assistance.-Federal aid is often in the form of technical assistance to State or local governments. This may involve a formal designation of Federal personnel to assist a State or local government during an agreed period in providing some particular service or may consist of a variety of less rigid arrangements. Often technical assistance is provided under an informal understanding that repre

sentatives of the Federal Government will be available to give professional counsel and other help as needed by State and local government agencies.

Noted in this catalog are instances in which Federal statutes or appropriations provide particularly for technical help to State and local governments.

FINANCIAL ASPECTS Subject to.exceptions indicated below, Federal grants and other aids are not available until and unless appropriations are provided by specific congressional action. For example, within the broad program of public assistance, substantive law effective October 1, 1962, authorized Federal aid for a combined single plan for adult assistance in each State, but the first appropriation act specifically financing expenditures under this law was in a supplemental appropriation approved May 17, 1963. The same legislation, the Public Welfare Amendments of 1962, authorized a continuing program of grants for training public welfare personnel. The President's budget for the fiscal year 1964 requested $2 million of new obligational authority for this purpose, but the appropriation was denied for reasons summarized in the statement on "Training of public welfare personnel” in this report-chiefly because public assistance grants could be used in part for this type of training. Since the separate program is authorized by existing law, it is described in the catalog of Federal aids even though Federal grants actually are not available under that statutory provision.

Certain programs are financed under continuing authorizations which do not require annual congressional action on the appropriations. This is usually the case for revenue-sharing arrangements, for which the laws provide continuing authority (permanent appropriations) to divide designated Federal revenues with qualified States or local governments. An example is the payments to States from the national forest fund. Annual Federal grants of money to land-grant colleges and grants for vocational education are financed partly by permanent appropriations.

Appendix I lists Federal aid authorizations which are subject to expiration dates. In most instances, the time limit applies to the authorization under which Congress votes appropriations for financing the Federal aid. Often the substantive law specifies a maximum dollar limitation on the amount which may be appropriated for any fiscal year, with uniform or changing limits specified for successive years. A few laws limit the cumulative total of appropriations; this provides an indirect time limit on the authorizaton.

Amounts of appropriations authorized or actually provided are reported in only a few of the descriptive statements in this catalog. Omission of this information simplifies the presentation, especially for programs subject to complex statutory limits. More important, the omission should prolong the usefulness of the catalog, since appropriated amounts change from year to year and out-of-date figures could be confusing.

For those Federal aid programs for which separate appropriations are provided, the amounts appropriated for the last completed fiscal year, amounts estimated for the current year, and amounts recommended by the President for the coming budget year are reported

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