Florida Republicans Bring Back the Simplifying Grants Act

Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin, R-Fla., brought back the “Simplifying Grants Act,” which, supporters insist, will “make it easier for local governments, with less than 50,000 people, to apply for, receive, and manage grants.”

Rubio and Franklin first introduced the bill last fall. More than a half dozen Republican senators lined up to co-sponsor Rubio’s bill, including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. More than three dozen House Republicans lined up to co-sponsor the bill, including U.S. Reps. Carlos Gimenez, Bill Posey and John Rutherford of Florida.

According to Rubio’s office, the bill “would require that agencies simplify the often complex, time-consuming, and expensive grant process for all current and future federal grant opportunities” and would help the Sunshine State.

“This would benefit 26 out of Florida’s 67 counties (39 percent) and 2,147 out of the country’s 3,143 counties (68 percent) as well as thousands of other cities, towns, and other governmental entities,” Rubio’s office noted.

“Local governments use federal dollars to invest in infrastructure, public safety, law enforcement, and our children’s education, among other important priorities. Regretfully, our current grant process leaves small local governments and their residents behind. This bill would provide a simplified process so small local governments are able to apply for and receive the funds they need,” Rubio said when he introduced the bill last year.

“While Biden’s border crisis continues to enable record amounts of lethal drugs to flood across our border, local municipalities—which fund local law enforcement—require more support to address the influx of crime and lethal narcotics we are seeing across the country. The Simplifying Grants Act will make it easier for small towns across the country to access crucial federal funding to protect their communities. I fully support this legislation and urge its quick passage through the Senate,” said Scott.

Franklin weighed in on why he brought the bill back.

“People living in rural areas pay federal taxes like everyone else, but they are less likely to see their fair share of those dollars reinvested in their communities,” said Franklin. “I continually hear from the smaller communities I represent how the deck is stacked against them. The Simplifying Grants Act will level the playing field and give them a real opportunity to compete.”

Franklin’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee with more than 30 co-sponsors, including Rutherford and U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla.

Kevin Derby
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