Which State and Local Programs Will Be Casualties of Trump-Era Budgeting?

Mississippi is most reliant on the federal grants the Trump administration could cut.

Mississippi is most reliant on the federal grants the Trump administration could cut.


Connecting state and local government leaders

Analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities say federal grants that make up about one-third of state budgets may soon disappear.

Editor's Note: You can find Route Fifty's in-depth coverage of President Trump's newly released budget proposal and the impacts it will have on U.S. state and local governments here.

The budget plans being proposed by the Trump administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill aim to slash federal grants to state and local governments, representing losses those governments will not be able to make up, according to a recently released report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan research and policy institute that focuses on poverty, inequality and fiscal responsibility.

The report provides a rundown of grant amounts sent to each state and the share of each state budget the grants represents.

In most states, the share of the budget that comes from federal grants lands between 30 percent and 40 percent, according to the CBPP analysis. The share is highest in Mississippi at 43.0 percent. It is lowest in Massachusetts at 16.1 percent. On average, taking state and local budgets together, federal funding accounts for roughly 22 percent of spending in each state. For state budgets alone, federal grants account for around one-third on average, or 31 percent.

But federal grant money supports programs that are too important to be cannibalized, according to the report authors. It is spending that supports health care, education, transportation, housing, clean water, community development, child care, job training and more.

The list of grants on the chopping block include ones that fund Title I high-poverty schools, special education, Head Start, mental health and substance abuse programs, low-income energy assistance, community health centers, child care, job training and employment programs. The list is long.  

For advocates of social welfare programs, it’s alarming report complete with charts and graphs.


CBPP has analyzed federal budgets for 36 years with an eye to how they might act to reduce or expand poverty around the nation. In recent years the group also has looked at the effectiveness of budget proposals, seeking to help “restore fiscal responsibility” in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals.  

Republicans, who now control the White House and both houses of Congress, have been working for years to slash spending but this year they’re also dedicated to boosting the military budget by some $54 billion and deeply reducing tax income. By some estimates, if passed, the Republican health care reform bill alone would amount to a $600 billion tax cut through 2026 for Americans who make more than $250,000 a year.

“In all likelihood, states and localities will be forced to scale back or eliminate services and programs for families, seniors, and people with disabilities, rather than raise their own funds to continue the programs funded by these federal grants at their current level,” the report authors wrote.