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Congress reinstituted Congressionally Directed Spending (often referred to as earmarks) in early 2021. Since then, hundreds of county governments have secured billions of dollars in funding during the last three funding cycles. Nearly half of all earmark funding has been provided to government entities for a wide range of local projects and initiatives. Funded projects include all manner of road and transportation projects, wastewater and drinking water system projects, community centers and facilities acquisitions, flood mitigation, blight elimination, emergency services and police facilities, and more.

Many Senators and Members of Congress favor funding requests from county governments, but many counties have not had the capacity or information they need to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Virtually any county can access this funding, regardless of the size or location of the county.

The earmark application deadlines for this year have passed. Now is the time to start preparing for next year's process. To increase your chances of success for next year, there are steps you should begin taking this summer to lay the foundation for your earmark request(s).

NACo has partnered with Integer, LLC for a series of informational webinars to provide counties with basic information about earmarks and the process and answer questions you have about earmarks. Following our initial general webinar, we are pleased to offer a series of webinars geared toward rural, suburban, and urban counties, respectively.

Our featured speakers, Steve Taylor and Geoff Paul, bring deep expertise on the subject. Steve Taylor has led efforts around Congressionally Directed Spending since their revival and helped dozens of state and local nonprofits secure scores of earmarks worth tens of millions of dollars. And Geoff Paul has advised local government entities on budget efficiency and helped dozens of organizations engage with federal funding streams, including congressional earmarks.