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.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

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.

Mar 8, 2018

Feb 20, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Feb 5, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 23, 2018

Jan 17, 2018

Jan 16, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here