Substance Abuse and Mental Health:
Hold-harmless Provisions Prevent More Equitable Distribution of Federal Assistance Among States
T-HRD-90-3: Published: Oct 30, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1989.
- Full Report:
GAO discussed the formula used to allocate federal aid under the alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health services block grant, focusing on the hold-harmless provision, which froze state shares of a portion of the grant at their 1984 levels. GAO noted that: (1) the hold-harmless provision has led to states receiving unequal funding on a per-person-at-risk basis; (2) Congress passed 1988 legislation to phase out the hold-harmless provision by fiscal year 1993; and (3) under the new formula, states with low financing capacities would receive greater funding, and state allocations would generally be more equitable and need-based.