Section: Washington Update

NASACT Supports Spending Oversight Act

NASACT urges U.S. Senate to pass legislation continuing the important work of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee


The U.S. Department of Treasury has updated its Frequently Asked Questions document to address the three eligible use categories provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and discussed in the 2023 interim final rule: (1) emergency relief from natural disasters, (2) Surface Transportation projects, and (3) Title I projects.

NASACT Responds to Treasury on Definition of "Obligation" for SLFRF Funds

Click to view the comment letter, which includes member concerns about the interim final rule.


Last week, proposed revisions to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Guidance on Grants and Agreements were officially published for comment in the Federal Register. A redline version of the proposed changes can be viewed here.

NASACT Seeks Comments on SLFRF Interim Rule

NASACT will be preparing an association response to the interim rule and asks members to provide insights and comments for inclusion no later than COB on November 3, 2023.

Results from the 2023 Washington Office Survey

For detailed results of the survey, or if you would like to discuss the commentary we received, please contact Neal Hutchko in the Washington Office at (202) 624-5873

OMB Requests Comment on Revisions to 2 CFR Covering Grants and Agreements

OMB is seeking comment on two notices concerning revisions to Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations governing grants and agreements. The first is a broad request for information on revisions to title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulation, subtitle A, chapter I and chapter II (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards). The second is a proposed rule revising OMB guidance for grants and agreements concerning implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.


Of note is the requirement that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issue data standards for information that municipal securities issuers provide to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and that the information should be machine readable.

Treasury OIG Publishes Grant Solutions Closeout Procedure Guidelines for CRF

The GrantSolutions quarterly reporting requirement has been extended through September 30, 2022, with final reports for closeout due no later than the quarter ended December 31, 2022.

Education Releases Guidance Document

The document includes a chart comparing the requirements included in the CARES Act, Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations Act, and ARPA, as well as an FAQ section.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Resources

See resources from the White House and the National Governors Association.

Treasury Shares Webinars on SLFRF Reporting

View videos on the various aspects of reporting under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Program.

Treasury Adds Resources on Capital Projects, Emergency Rental Assistance, and More

The U.S. Treasury Department has added a number of new items to its COVID information page.

CRS Issues Report on Tracking COVID Funding

The Congressional Research Service has issued a report providing resources to track federal COVID funding.

​New Financial Assistance Transparency Reporting

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has released the publication of OMB Memorandum M-22-02,  New Financial Assistance Transparency Reporting Requirements. The M-22-02 requirements concludes and formally rescinds M-21-03.

​New Emergency Rental Assistance Data and Information from Treasury

Treasury will soon begin the process of recapturing excess funds that exceed a jurisdiction’s needs or administrative capacity and reallocate them to jurisdictions with demonstrated needs for this assistance.

Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund Guidance Now Available

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released guidance for the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) program established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Treasury Guidance on Non-Entitlement Units Is Now Available

The United States Treasury has issued guidance on non-entitlement units (NEUs) providing additional information on eligibility and a step-by-step guide for states to allocate and distribute funds to their NEUs. States should follow the guidance and calculate allocations based on the list of local governments and their respective populations. The statute requires that all allocations to eligible governments be based on population. Treasury expects to make payments to states for distribution to NEUs in two equal tranches approximately twelve months apart.

NASACT’s 2021 Washington Office Survey: The Results Are In

The 2021 NASACT Washington survey is now complete. Forty-three offices from 33 states participate in the survey this year. These responses are invaluable to staff in the Washington D.C. office, as they provide a snapshot of the issues of most importance to members and help guide where NASACT’s focus should be during the upcoming year.


The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRP), established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments.


While many programs of importance to states will receive additional funds in the rescue plan, the State Recovery Fund is of particular interest as it provides direct aid.

Uncovering Hidden Patterns in Regulatory Documents: Applying Machine Learning to Single Audits

Audit and regulatory documents provide considerable opportunities for applying advanced machine learning techniques that can draw out desired insights and findings.

President Issues Memos Providing Retroactive 100% FEMA Cost Share

New memo provides that the 100 percent cost share is retroactive for eligible work performed beginning January 20, 2020. A fact sheet highlighting the FEMA action can be found here.


President Biden has issued more than 30 Executive Orders and Memoranda in his first few days in office, several of which are applicable to NASACT members.


With both chambers of Congress now in Democratic control for at least the next two years, the pressure to advance legislative priorities as quickly as possible has grown. There are a number of items that may impact NASACT member offices.

​Treasury Provides Information on the New Emergency Rental Program

Governments must provide completed payment information and a signed acceptance of award terms form generally must be submitted not later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on January 12, 2021, to ensure payments are made within the 30-day period specified by the statute.


The 2020 Addendum provides updated audit guidance for five new COVID-19 programs, eight current programs for COVID-19 related compliance requirements and one new non-COVID program.


The bill includes a provision that would extend the spend deadline to December 31, 2021, for CARES CRF dollars already appropriated. Direct aid to state and local governments for lost revenue, which was debated for months, was not included in the final language.

​Treasury Updates Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance and FAQs

Last week, the U.S. Treasury updated its guidance and Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund to clarify ongoing questions surrounding the treatment of payroll and benefits of public employees and administrative costs.

OMB Reminds Federal Agencies of Importance of Strong Award Descriptions

OMB reminds federal agencies of their financial assistance requirements for award description data quality and controls.


Prime recipients should review the memo for detailed requirements concerning projects and expenditure categories and be prepared to also provide detailed obligation and expenditure information for any contracts and grants awarded, loans issued, transfers made to other government entities, and direct payments made by the prime recipient that are greater than or equal to $50,000.

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Names ED & Unveils New Website

PRAC is required to coordinate its oversight activities with the comptroller general of the United States and state auditors.

Treasury Issues Guidance and FAQs Surrounding the Coronavirus Relief Fund

While broad in nature, the guidance makes it clear that the funds are NOT to be used for revenue replacement.

President Trump Signs CARES Act Into Law, Recovery Act-Like Reporting Required

Of note for states is a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for state, local and tribal governments to be used for expenditures incurred due to COVID-19 during the period that begins March 1, 2020 and ends December 30, 2020.

OMB Releases Proposed Changes to the Uniform Guidance Covering Grants and Agreements

There are a number of changes that could affect state government. Please provide your comments by March 11.


Of note is a provision that would amend the Single Audit Act to require single audits and audit related information to be reported in a form consistent with the data standards established by the act.

GREAT Act Passes Senate

Of note is a provision that would amend the Single Audit Act to require single audits and audit-related information to be reported in a form consistent with the data standards established by the act.

Treasury/IRS Seek Comment on Potential Tax Consequences of LIBOR Transition

The Treasury and IRS are seeking comment on complications under any section of the Code or existing regulations that may arise from the replacement of an Interbank Offered Rates with a qualified rate. NASACT member input is needed.

2019 Washington Office Survey: The Results Are In!

The results are in on the 2019 Washington Office survey, with 32 offices from 23 different states participating. The responses are an invaluable asset to NASACT’s Washington office, as they provide a snapshot of the issues of importance to members and help guide efforts for the office during the upcoming year.

GREAT Act Passes Out of Committee, Awaits Senate Vote

NASACT has been monitoring the GREAT Act for potential impacts on state and local governments. The companion measure (S. 3484) was introduced in the Senate on September 24. On September 26, the bill moved out of committee and now awaits a vote by the full Senate.

Little Publicized Section of Tax Cut and Jobs Act Could Cause Burden for Governments

Changes to Internal Revenue Code section 162(f) and an added section 6050x imposed by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act could result in burden for governments. The IRS is seeking comment on the paperwork burden of the 6050x transitional guidance.


Government groups are urging members of Congress to oppose the bill, which would set a dangerous precedent with regard to unfunded mandates and intrusions into the operations of state and local governments.


The Internal Revenue Service has proposed regulations that would amend the rules for determining whether information returns must be filed using magnetic media (electronically). State payroll offices may be particularly interested in the proposal.

Legislation to Designate Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets Becomes Law

Section of 403 of S. 2155 will reclassify municipal bonds as high-quality liquid assets to encourage banks to hold those assets, which will help ensure low-cost infrastructure financing remains available for state and local governments.

Results Are In On the 2018 Washington Office Survey

These responses are an invaluable asset to NASACT’s Washington office, as they provide an accurate snapshot of what issues are most important to the members and guide where the focus should be during the upcoming year.

New Improper Payments Bill Introduced

The Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act (S. 2374), bipartisan legislation that would help save millions of federal dollars by curbing erroneous payments to deceased individuals, was recently introduced.

Legislation Proposed to Require Grant Recipients to Use Specific DATA Standards

Member input needed! NASACT was recently asked to comment on legislation established to create and require federal grant recipients to use data standards to report information to the federal government on grants they receive. The legislation, entitled the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act of 2018 (GREAT Act) was introduced on January 29.

Public Finance Network Opposes Bond Provisions in H.R. 1

The Public Finance Network, of which NASACT is a member, recently sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) to express opposition to provisions in H.R. 1 that eliminate financing tools used to provide critical investments in infrastructure and save taxpayer money.

Questions Surround Tax Reform and Maintenance of the Tax Exemption for Municipal Bonds

There are real and tangible benefits that the tax exemption for municipal bonds affords our governments and its citizens. NASACT members are engaged in a variety of programs to manage taxpayer dollars and finance public infrastructure in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

SLGE Survey Highlights Retirement Savings Uncertainty

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence recently completed a survey that examines the employment and retirement planning and saving experiences of state and local government workers, as well as their confidence in their retirement income prospects.

OFR Releases 2016 Financial Stability Report

The Office of Financial Research has released the 2016 Financial Stability Report, outlining and assessing potential threats to the stability of the U.S. financial system, describing key OFR findings and insights, and documenting progress in meeting OFR's mission.

MSRB Announces New Board, Seeks Input on Strategic Priorities

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has announced the areas that it will focus on in the upcoming year, as well as the names of its new 21-member board of directors which establishes regulatory policies and oversees operations.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Provide Financial Stability to Muni Bonds

Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) have introduced legislation to allow high-quality municipal debt to be classified at a level equivalent to debt issued by corporations.

Municipal Finance Caucus Website Unveiled

The Congressional Municipal Finance Caucus, headed by Co-Chairs Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), has unveiled its new website.

MSRB Announces Board Meeting Topics

The Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board will meet July 27-28 in Washington, D.C. to discuss current market topics and elect new members and officers.

OFR Unveils New Money Market Fund Monitor

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research has released a new online Money Market Fund Monitor and an explanatory brief.

Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Holds Inaugural Meeting

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking convened its first public meeting on Friday, July 22 in Washington, D.C.

New Bill Would Clarify Advisor Role to Issuers

H.R. 5596 would amend the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide that an issuer of municipal securities is not required to retain a municipal advisor prior to issuing any such securities.

SEC Announces New Investor Advisory Committee Members

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the appointment of three new members to its Investor Advisory Committee, and the reappointment of five members whose terms recently expired.

Uniform Guidance: Promising Practices

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Financial Assistance Reform have announced the third in a series of webcasts on Uniform Guidance. The webcast, entitled "Uniform Guidance: Promising Practices," provides an opportunity to hear from thought leaders...

Treasury's OFR Announces New Research Papers

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research will soon be unveiling a new wave of financial research papers...

Ohio State Auditor Appears Before House Committee to Discuss SNAP Fraud

Last Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to discuss ways in which program integrity measures can be improved within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)...

SIFMA Seeks Changes to Muni Disclosure Rules, Leads Efforts to Improve Compliance

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission urging it to amend Rule 15c2-12 governing municipal securities disclosure. SIFMA believes that...

CHOICE Act Introduced

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has released a discussion draft of the 126-page Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act (CHOICE Act). In promoting the bill, Rep. Hensarling has declared it a “plan to replace the Dodd-Frank Act.” The legislation would...

MSRB Makes ABLE Documents Available on EMMA

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has announced that offering documents about securities established by states under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act) will now be available on the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access, or EMMA, website. The ABLE Act allows states to establish tax-advantaged savings vehicles that support individuals with disabilities in maintaining health, independence and quality of life. ABLE offering documents will be made available on EMMA both voluntarily by states and per MSRB regulations by municipal securities dealers involved in the primary offering of ABLE programs...

SEC Announces Municipal Securities Fraud Settlement with Illinois Issuer

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a settlement with Juan Rangel, the former president of UNO Charter School Network Inc. and former CEO of United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago, for his role in a misleading $37.5 million bond offering to build three charter schools.

GAO Reviews State and Federal Efforts to Combat SNAP Recipient Fraud in New Report

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a new report examining the fiscal accountability relationship between states and the federal government related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The report, “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Enhanced Detection Tools and Reporting to Combat Recipient Fraud Are in Development,” examines some of the ongoing concerns GAO has with potential SNAP eligibility fraud, including...