In an effort to increase transparency when state agencies receive federal dollars, State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom has filed a measure requiring the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) to make a “Coercive Federal Funds Report” available online.
Senate Bill 296 would require the report to include a detailed description of each source of federal funds received by an agency in excess of $5 million, as well as the conditions that must be met for continued eligibility for each fund source based on relevant federal law, regulations and guidance.
The conditions for each monetary source would be clearly separated into categories, including how the federal funds must be spent, how related nonfederal, state or local funds must be spent; and if state regulations must meet or exceed the stringency of federal regulations.
“When the state of Oklahoma accepts funds from the federal government, there are strings attached,” said Bergstrom, R-Adair. “At times, it’s beneficial to draw that money back to Oklahoma. However, there are also times when there are long-term commitments the state is making that Washington isn’t going to pay for. Legislators need to know what those commitments are so we can decide whether or not they are in the best interest of our citizens who will ultimately pay the bill.”