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Tuberville aims to streamline grant process for small communities

If a legislative effort supported by U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) is successful, the federal grant application process for local governments could become simplified.

Sponsored by Alabama’s junior senator and eight of his fellow GOP colleagues, the Simplifying Grants Act aims to make the federal grant process easier for local governments in rural and smaller communities.

The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget and other executive agencies to streamline grant applications for local governments of populations less than 50,000, according to Tuberville’s office.

For grants to local governments, the legislation would also ensure checklists are available for each step in the application process.

In a statement announcing his support of the legislation, Tuberville said  majority of Alabama’s 67 counties would benefit.

“Congress should look for ways to cut red tape and make the government more efficient for the American people,” Tuberville said in a release. “The Simplifying Grants Act will do just that, giving valuable time and resources back to public servants in smaller towns across the country.

“In a state like Alabama, where nearly 60 percent of counties would benefit from the changes in this bill, that time will be well spent on projects in those communities. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to make it easier for small towns to access the tools they deserve.”

Local governments in smaller areas around the nation have long faced difficulties in applying for federal grants.

A report from the U.S. Advisory Commission released nearly three decades ago found  “federal aid programs have never consistently transferred income to the poorest jurisdictions or individuals.”

The report also cited, “unlike… other major federal systems, the United States lacks a systematic method for equalizing the fiscal resources of its states.”

Tuberville was joined by U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) in sponsoring the legislation.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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