State Capital Budget and Federal Budget Earmarks: A Tale of Two Funding Sources

State of Ohio capital budget community projects and federal budget earmarks may appear to be similar funding sources but there are clear similarities and differences. 

Ohio capital budget community projects and federal budget earmarks are both similar and different—and not just based upon which city provides the funding.  On the same side, both involve legislative acts and lobbying, both are often locally driven with the support of local legislators being essential, and both involve lobbying that requires relationships with legislators but also often with an understanding of the complex legislative and executive agency rules that impact the likely success of the funding request, both tend to fund projects from $50,000 up to $5,000,000, both tend to fund public sector or not-for-profit entities’ projects and these projects tend to be higher profile community projects that the local community supports. 

On the different side,  state capital budget community projects must be capital in nature based upon complex state of Ohio rules and be bondable or connected to a state government agency but federal budget earmarks must comply with an even more complex set of rules established primarily by the U.S. House of Representatives that can make little sense to the casual observer, state capital budget requests while requested by local legislators are really decided upon by Statehouse leadership including the Governor, President of the Ohio Senate and Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives but federal budget earmarks can be completely driven by an aggressive member of the Congress who understands the appropriations process and works with other members to gain support for their earmark requests, state capital budget requests are very likely to happen in even numbers years but federal budget earmarks are at the discretion of Washington D.C. chaos that no one seems to control, and state capital budget community projects and federal budget earmarks both involve community projects but the different rules they operate by may mean it is very difficult to fund the same project from both funding sources. 

The time to get organized for the state of Ohio capital budget community project and federal budget earmarks is now. While the legislative debate in the Ohio Statehouse and the Congress is likely to take place next year, the fourth quarter of 2023 is the time to prepare project financing requests for these two important legislative processes.  The Montrose Group has nearly 30 years of experience in advocating for the state of Ohio’s capital budget community projects and federal budget earmarks. Please contact Dave Robinson at if you need assistance with either of these funding sources.