Federalism under Obama

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Feature #1 of 2009-2010 federalism: MONEY

  • ARRA offered more money to state and local govts than any other previous stimulus
  • Of $787b in funds, 1/3 went to/through states 
    • FMAP: $87b
    • Energy assistance and conservation block grants, state energy grants
    • Infrastructure projects: $63b
  • ARRA: federal assistance to states served multiple goals:Federal assistance increased from 3.7% of GDP (2008) to 4.6% of GDP (2009) - increase of 9%
    • economic stimulus
    • programme support
    • leverage for policy change
  • Spike in federal assistance to state and local governments in 2009 - largely result of increase in Medicaid spending as FMAP was enhanced. Now, Federal assistance exceeds levels of mid-1970s
  • Higher education expenditures e.g. Pell Grants (2010 reconciliation bill)
  • Proposals for more grants under Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization (NCLB), based on USDOE's "Blueprint for Reform"

Feature #2: Direct efforts to control state budgets, policies and admin

  • Much of the money comes with strings. Flexibility sometimes offered but usually


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