New Fiscal Year Brings More Research Funding for Nevada Road Safety

Federal Government Money Outlays

 

While most of us measure a year from January to December – a calendar year, as it is known – many businesses and government agencies use a fiscal year to map out their annual efforts. One common fiscal year used by businesses is to measure from July to June, while many other organizations model themselves on the federal government’s fiscal year: October to September. This federal timetable is important for many reasons, including its relevance for funding to prevent Nevada car accidents. As discussed below, the goings-on of the federal government have an indirect but important impact on preventing automobile crashes in Nevada.

Some History Behind Today’s Federal Fiscal Calendar

It is a little-known fact that the federal government did not always measure a year from October 1 to September 30, as it does today. For the first half century of the nation’s history, the federal government prepared its budget based on the same calendar year that most of us know and use today. [1] Congress began passing budgets that ran from January until December, but as factionalism emerged (quickly and enduringly, as modern political observers have no doubt noticed!) the budgetary process was used as a negotiating tool. (Again, this may sound all-too familiar to astute observers.)

Passage of the next year’s budget began to creep closer and closer to the end of the calendar year, potentially forcing the federal government to cease operations and compelling leaders to implement “continuing resolutions” to keep the wheels turning. [2] A continuing resolution – yet another inside-the-Beltway term that has become part of the national common parlance over the last decade of persistent budget showdowns – provides authorization for “Federal agencies and programs to continue in operation until the regular appropriations acts are enacted.” [3] These measures are tantamount to budgetary cease-fires – they buy both sides time to continue negotiating while maintaining the status quo. It is as though the competing sides are in a race, and they agree to hop onto a treadmill for a time.

In 1842, then-President Tyler signed into law legislation that changed the federal calendar again – it would now run from July to June, as is popular among many businesses today. This remained in effect until 1977, when Congress adopted October 1 as the start of the federal fiscal year. [4] Today many major companies – founded after 1842 but before 1977 – retain the July 1 to June 30 fiscal year, and as a consequence many other, smaller businesses do as well in order to conform. The July to June approach is also common for school districts, since the summer vacation is a natural period of “dead time” during which a break in the fiscal year is convenient.

Fall is Full of Federal Funds

Since the federal fiscal year begins on October 1, new programs and grants almost invariably begin on that date as well. At this time of year, nonprofit organizations and state and local government agencies throughout Nevada are receiving the latest round of federal resources. Federal funding of highway safety in Nevada includes grants for:

  • Physical infrastructure such as installing rumble strips and clearing debris from roadsides
  • Improvements to the visibility of signage
  • Support for alternative forms of transportation other than automobiles
  • Research into the causes and effects of car crashes
  • Investments in enhanced safety measures
  • Support for local governments to streamline grant implementation
  • Enhanced law enforcement resources [5]

According to a statement issued last fall by the director of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), which is based in the state capital of Carson City, Nevada received more than $30 million in additional federal funds for shovel-ready projects. The so-called August Redistribution is a time when agencies that provide federal highway funds take stock of their budgets and their grantees’ performance; if funds appear likely to go unutilized during the current fiscal year – which would end on September 30 – the agencies re-route those resources to deserving grantees. The grantees must have projects that are ready to implement so they can get underway during the then-ending fiscal year. [6]

According to one NDOT official, Nevada’s efforts to take advantage of the August Redistribution have netted the state more than $220 million. Those funds may be nabbed by fast-thinking bureaucrats in Carson City, but they are deployed to prevent serious car accident injuries in the population centers of Las Vegas and Reno-Sparks as well as in small communities throughout the state like Elko, Mesquite, and Pahrump. [7]

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek the medical care necessary to improve the likelihood of a full and speedy recovery. Following a doctor’s advice is the best roadmap available, as a trained medical professional will have the best insight into what treatments are likely to yield significant benefits. And just as you would follow a doctor’s professional advice, so too should you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for guidance in identifying your legal rights, devising a litigation strategy, and ultimately pursuing and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

[1] https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

[2] https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20030613_98-325_5b64ce8900c9fd0a6d0c59bbffdb8a6d0d735d8e.pdf

[3] https://www.senate.gov/reference/glossary_term/continuing_resolution.htm#targetText=continuing%20resolution%2Fcontinuing%20appropriations%20%2D%20Legislation,regular%20appropriations%20acts%20are%20enacted

[4] https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20030613_98-325_5b64ce8900c9fd0a6d0c59bbffdb8a6d0d735d8e.pdf

[5] https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/local_rural/training/fhwasa14087/local_funding.pdf

[6] https://www.nevadadot.com/Home/Components/News/News/3942/395?cftype=News

[7] https://www.nevadadot.com/Home/Components/News/News/3942/395?cftype=News

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