State Rep. Pam Staneski (Milford & Orange) hailed passage of her proposal which would create open-access portal in order to streamline the process of applying for these grants.
The legislation, HB 6941, An Act Concerning Streamlining the Grant Application Process for Municipalities would establish and maintain a single electronic portal available on the Internet and located on the state Office of Policy and Management’s Internet website for the purpose of posting all state funded municipal grant applications, to be called the Municipal Grant Portal.
The Municipal Grant Portal shall include, but not be limited to: (1) All state-funded municipal grant applications and municipal reimbursement request forms, (2) a searchable database for locating information regarding state-funded municipal grants, and (3) features to encourage the active recruitment and participation of municipalities in the state-funded municipal grant application process.
Rep. Staneski proposed this legislation after meeting with the Milford Economic and Community Development Director Julie Nash.
The City of Milford Grant Committee submitted testimony at the legislative public hearing in support of the proposal. The Grant Committee testified that a single electronic portal would be helpful to streamline each agency’s rules of compliance, access to grant information and common data requests.
“The current grant application process for municipalities in our state leads to a large amount of confusion among applicants and makes most of the process overly-complicated and hard to navigate. The best solution to this predicament, in my opinion, is the introduction of an open-access portal in order to streamline the process of applying for these grants and make them more accessible to municipalities,” Rep. Staneski said. “Many of the grants that municipalities are applying for actually require the same or similar data and streamlining the process of applying by consolidating all information into one location – an open-access portal would be tremendously helpful for those asking for grants. Ideally, this open-access portal would have a comprehensive list of all grants available to municipalities as well a well-outlined, uniformed process for compliance with each agency.
Staneski added that the portal would also help reduce any confusion or complexity by providing a delineation of all terms and conditions which would be crucial to municipalities understanding the plethora of grants they have available to them amongst sixty-eight different state agencies, as the current system provides no easy way to tell which agencies offer grants and what the grants consist of.
The legislature’s Planning and Development committee voted for unanimously and now moves to the House of Representatives for a full floor debate.