It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the latest installment of Federalism in Action’s Top 3 Local weekly blog post. Are you new here? Every Friday, we find the 3 top stories highlighting local people making local decisions across the nation. We find the best examples of “Federalism in Action,” so you can stay informed.
You’ll find this week’s Top 3 Local stories below, and you can click here to read last week’s highlights. Do you have a story to include in the next edition? Email us at FIA@statebudgetsolutions.org!
FOR FUN: Celebration in Boston
On Wednesday night, Boston residents flooded the streets to celebrate one of the most storied baseball programs in America winning its third World Series title in a decade. It was the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox won the Championship at Fenway Park, and there was no shortage of local pride on display. In true Boston fashion, thousands of citizens celebrated late into the night in the streets with fireworks lighting the sky overhead. After a tumultuous year with tragic bombing at last spring’s Boston Marathon, the city desperately needed something to celebrate.
FOR EXTRA FUN: Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls Go Local!
Last night, America observed its scariest holiday, and, as always, there was a distinctly local feel to the festivities. Instead of being told how to celebrate, local communities set their own traditions. Cities and towns often choose their own unique way to partake in Halloween activities, with local festivals, special town events, official trick-or-treating times, and even postponing when weather does not cooperate. Halloween, at least for the time being, is perhaps one of the more clear examples of “keeping government local.”
FOR MOTIVATION: Beware of Washington’s Funding Scheme
Next year, Missouri will pay less for its share of Medicaid, but that is not necessarily a good thing. The federal government will increase its percentage of the state’s Medicaid reimbursement, most likely as a result of Missouri’s struggling economy. The funding for the program is based on a complex formula known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, or FMAP, that often leaves states in the lurch and relying on Washington to tell them how much they owe. For Missouri, the reduction of state funds needed for Medicaid is welcome news; but the news might not be so bright if the economy in the Show-Me State improves. Just like we saw earlier this year in Nebraska, Washington can take funds away just as easily as it can give them. As many states prepare for Medicaid expansion, they would do well to find ways to evaluate their reliance on federal dollars and get their spending in order.
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