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Federal Grants to State Governments

The federal government of the United States has been awarding the local and State governments both block and categorical grants, which are allocated yearly. The grants provided by the federal government have helped the States to finance several services such as education, healthcare, income security, infrastructure, job training, environmental protection, public safety, and social services (Friedland & Wong, 2019). The federal government has been able to use grants-in-aid to embolden the States government to implement federal programs and policies. The federal government of the United States of America can analyze the current and future financial conditions of the State and use the trend to help them decide on which amount of federal grants will best suit the State.

Block grants can be used for numerous purposes, whereas categorical grants can only be used for a singular or specific purpose (Downey & Myers, 2020). The local authorities are tasked with allocating and overseeing funds from block grants. The federal government has placed minimum restrictions on the block grants that allow the State government to use the funds in numerous programs. The federal government prefers categorical grants as this gives them control and oversight regarding the programs being implemented by the States. An example of a categorical grant is the Medicaid and Head Start programs. Head Start Program is an example of a categorical grant given to the States Governments by the federal government and is used in areas such as education, nutrition, and health, and it also provides family and children services to low-income families. In Florida, children and families that meet the criteria for support get free services with the aid of the Head Start program. Medicaid has been used to better the health of States government by building public capacity, to expand healthcare infrastructure. Texas has improved health and education with the support of federal grants (Schlenke & Huber, 2015). Texas has implemented a waiver that aims to improve population health, lower the cost of health and improve the experience of care with the aid of Medicaid waivers. The grants also aid young adults’ mental health and suicide prevention programs (Fagan et al., 2019). Medicaid grants have helped State and local governments build a network of community providers who will reach out to the underprivileged population and address health disparities. Medicaid offers subsidized insurance coverage to families earning a low income.

The Housing and Urban Development section provides the Community Development Block Grant program, one example of a block grant, which has been among the longest-running grant programs. The States government uses Community Development Block Grant program to offer affordable housing to low-income families, provide enough sewer systems, and revitalize abandoned houses. Low-income earning families in Colorado have benefited from the Development Block Grant program, which offers social services to them (Sigrin & Mooney,2018). Other block grants include Mental health Block Grants and Social Services Block Grant Programs. In 2019, the grants allocated by the federal government to the States government were estimated to be around $750 billion. The States use the mental health Block grant to better mental health by targeting grown-ups with severe mental illness and children suffering from severe emotional disturbance. The federal government provides the States with grants to add new unique services and support existing programs.

The States carry out services such as outpatient programs, screening, distributing a portion of the funds to organizations that will aid in implementing the program, and a daily treatment program. The federal government annually allocates over 1 billion dollars to the States for the Social Services Block Grant Program. The program protects adults and children from abuse, providing medical care, childcare, adult care, and medical transportation to individuals who cannot take care of themselves. The State government can provide unique social services required through this program. In 2021, the federal government spent $1.2 trillion to support local governments, State governments, territorial and tribal governments which were offered as aid. The federal government also offers grants to the States government that are used in support of administration justice, and this is through crime prevention, solving community violence, acquiring resources needed for law enforcement, and implementation of juvenile justice strategies. Another example of a block grant is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which aims at supporting needy families within society and encouraging work. California residents who are needy have been able to benefit from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (Cuellar-Garcia, 2018).

The Federal grants help to boost the economic efficiency of both local and State governments since the funds will enable them to provide better services or goods. The funding from the federal government will aid the State government in setting up infrastructure that will help drive that State’s economy. Certain categorical grants have helped improve education within the State since the States will only be eligible for specific educational grants if the students maintain a certain level of performance and progress in their studies (Farrie & Sciarra, 2022). Federal grants have also shaped the education reforms within the State since the grants are issued with given restrictions and reports made to the federal government. Most state governments have used federal grants to improve education, transportation, income security, health, and other departments.


Cuellar-Garcia, M. M. (2018). What works: A mixed methods study on the perceptions of academically successful California Community College CalWORKs students. California State University, Fullerton.

Downey, D. C., & Myers, W. M. (2020). Federalism, intergovernmental relationships, and emergency response: A comparison of Australia and the United States. The American Review of Public Administration50(6-7), 526-535.

Fagan, A. A., Bumbarger, B. K., Barth, R. P., Bradshaw, C. P., Cooper, B. R., Supplee, L. H., & Walker, D. K. (2019). Scaling up evidence-based interventions in US public systems to prevent behavioral health problems: Challenges and opportunities. Prevention Science20, 1147-1168.

Farrie, D., & Sciarra, D. G. (2022). Making the Grade 2021: How Fair Is School Funding in Your State? Education Law Center.

Friedland, R., & Wong, H. (2019). Congressional politics, federal grants, and local needs: Who gets what and why?. In The Municipal Money Chase (pp. 213-244). Routledge.

Schlenker, T., & Huber, C. A. (2015). A unique funding opportunity for public health in Texas. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice21(Suppl 1), S81.

Sigrin, B. O., & Mooney, M. E. (2018). Rooftop solar technical potential for low-to-moderate income households in the United States (No. NREL/TP-6A20-70901). National Renewable Energy Lab.(NREL), Golden, CO (United States).


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