IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

States Will Need to Compete for 39 Percent of IIJA Funding

While the lion's share of the funding available to state government in the just-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill will be dished out based on formulas, the majority of the grant programs will be competitive.

Government grant writers: Ready your pens.

On Monday, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the bipartisan bill that will pump historic amounts of money into everything from bridges to broadband Internet expansion to water pipe replacement.

And while much of that money will be spent at the federal level or doled out to state and local government based on formulas, about $76.6 billion of it — just counting that which states will be eligible for in the next five years — will be won by competition.

That amounts to about 39 percent of the five-year state funding, according to analysis by the nonprofit Federal Funds Information for States. Notably, even though competitive grants will be a minority of state funding, they make up a majority of the programs.
State governments won’t just be competing against each other: Local governments will be eligible for many of the competitive grant programs as well.

The split between available formula grants and competitive grants is highly dependent on subject area; for example, the vast majority of broadband funding and all water funding in the analysis will be formula-based but cybersecurity, rail and safety programs will be mostly competitive.
Stay tuned for more coverage as Government Technology dives into the details of the IIJA.
Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.