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July 12, 2024 Clouds | 83°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 6B: Federal grant funds

Section 6B. (a) The comptroller, in consultation with the secretary of administration and finance, shall promulgate regulations which shall not be subject to chapter 30A to govern notice requirements for applications for federal grants by a state agency and the receipt and expenditure of federal funds. Such requirements shall, at a minimum, include:

(1) reference to the federal statutory authority under which the action is proposed;

(2) a description of the substance of the application; and

(3) a fiscal statement setting forth:

(i) the projected grant budget per year including the number of personnel to be funded with federal funds;

(ii) the estimated amount of cash match, in-kind match or other monies to be supplied by the state and any other source from which such match will be required, and a description of the federal allocation formula and matching requirements including whether the grant is distributed to the commonwealth on the basis of a federally specified formula or on the basis of the federal grantor's discretion and a description of the federal constraints placed on the agency's discretion to use the grant; and

(iii) the duration of the grant, the number of fiscal years the agency has been receiving assistance and the number of fiscal years in which assistance can be expected to continue under the program and a statement as to the priority of the program alongside other state or federally funded programs, including whether the agency would request that all or part of the program be funded out of the General Fund in the event federal funds are reduced or discontinued.

To avoid any inconsistency or duplication in review, notices given under this section shall be coordinated with other notice requirements for project or plan proposals in connection with federal aid including those required under Circular A–95 of the United States Office of Management and Budget.

(b) Upon official notification to a state agency from a federal department or agency of approval of a state plan or application for federal funds, the state agency shall notify the secretary of administration and finance and the comptroller promptly of the amount, duration, payment schedule and other attendant financial terms and conditions. Such notification shall be for the purposes of appropriate recording. The comptroller shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means within 15 days after the last day of each quarter of the fiscal year detailing, by agency, the status of federal funds applied for, received and expended.

(c) Under section 6 the budget director shall include all federal grants received or anticipated by state agencies as a part of the budget.

(d) No state agency shall establish new, or expand existing programs involving federal or other non-state monies beyond the scope of those already established, recognized and approved by the general court, until the program and the projected or actual availability of money is submitted to the budget director for recommendation to the general court under section 6. No state agency may make expenditures from any federal grant unless such expenditures are made under specific appropriations of the general court and allotment thereof, said allotment to be made by the comptroller upon receipt of federal grant funds.

Under section 2C, all such expenditures shall be charged to the General Federal Grants Fund. Notwithstanding the amount of the appropriation for a specific federal grant, the amount so expended from such federal grant shall not exceed the amount actually received and deposited in the General Federal Grants Fund for such federal grant. To the extent not precluded by the terms and conditions under which federal monies are made available by the United States government, a state agency shall use federal grants under any policies or priorities established by the general court for the activity being assisted.

(e) If federal grant monies become available to the state for expenditure, under subsection (a), and the availability of such monies could not reasonably have been anticipated and included in the budget approved by the general court for the fiscal year in question, the treasurer may accept such monies on behalf of the state and the department head may make expenditures of such monies as are authorized by federal and state law. Upon application for, and receipt of, such monies, the department head shall submit to the house and senate committees on ways and means a statement:

(1) describing the proposed federal expenditures in the same manner as described in the budget document; and

(2) explaining why the availability of such federal grants and the necessity of their expenditure could not have been anticipated in time for such expenditures to have been approved as part of the budget enacted for that particular fiscal year.

(f) Each spending agency in receipt of federal grant monies shall at the commencement of each fiscal year, and not later than July 31, and any agency which has not previously been in receipt of a federal grant shall, upon notification of grant approval, authorize the comptroller upon the comptroller's receipt of notice of a federal grant award to initiate such procedures as are established by the secretary of administration and finance to transfer from the federal grant account to the General Fund for the costs of fringe benefits, indirect costs and space use charges related to each federal grant received by that spending agency. Upon approval by the secretary, and subject to regulations established by the secretary, the amount of indirect costs, either in whole or in part, charged to a federal grant may be utilized to comply with federal requirements for in kind contributions. The costs of fringe benefits shall, in all cases, be recovered in cash. The comptroller shall not allow expenditures for the payment of salaries to be made from any federal grant account for which the comptroller has not been authorized to charge the full amount of fringe benefits to the account. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, this paragraph shall apply to all state agencies; provided, however, that any institution of higher learning shall be exempt from those charges associated with indirect costs, as described in the following paragraph.

(g) Any portion of a federal grant received by an institution of higher learning which, according to the conditions of said federal grant, is to be paid for or to cover any overhead expenses, indirect costs, supporting services or facilities, or for any purpose other than the direct object of the grant, may be transferred in whole or in part to separate accounts and expended without appropriation for the support of a computer or computers, of another research grant, or of publishing programs under the exclusive control of such institution, or for faculty research or research and scholarly work under the supervision of members of the faculty of such institution.

(h) No individual, corporation or other organization utilizing grants shall be permitted to occupy or use land, buildings, equipment or facilities of the commonwealth or use the services of any officer or employee of the commonwealth during his regular working hours unless there is a written agreement, approved by the secretary, between said individual, corporation or other organization and said officer or employee, that the commonwealth will be reimbursed for such occupancy or use; provided, however, that upon recommendation of any department, institution, board, commission, agency or employee setting forth good and sufficient reasons, this requirement may be waived in whole or in part by the secretary on a particular project or projects. All such reimbursements shall be paid into the state treasury. Notice of such waiver shall be filed with the state auditor.

(i) Federal grants shall not be used to supplement the regular salary or compensation of any officer or employee of the commonwealth for services performed during the officer or employee's regular working hours.

(j) The following are excluded from subsections (a), (d) and (e):

(1) federal grant funds coming to institutions of higher education, including research grants;

(2) research grants to individuals, agencies or institutions not exceeding $50,000 in annual amount and not creating new, or expanding existing, programs or commitments of state resources;

(3) any federal grant funds not exceeding $5,000 in annual amount; and

(4) federal grant funds made available to the state for costs and damages resulting from natural disasters, civil disobedience or other occurrences of sufficient severity to have occasioned the declaration by the governor of a state of emergency.