April 29, 2014
As reported by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on April 10, 2014
S. 1937 would require states to develop contingency plans to address events that could disrupt voting in federal elections. The bill would authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance for states to develop such plans. CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would not have a significant cost. Enacting S. 1937 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
Under S. 1937, each state must file a contingency plan (or a statement of compliance) with the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) beginning in November 2014. Plans would be reviewed and updated prior to each regularly scheduled federal election thereafter. The bill also would authorize FEMA to provide financial assistance for states to develop contingency plans through existing grant programs.
CBO estimates that implementing S. 1937 would not have a significant cost because any administrative expenses incurred by the EAC to help states develop the contingency plans would probably be less than $500,000 over the next five years. Furthermore, under current law, drafting of emergency plans is an allowable expense under FEMA’s Emergency Management Performance Grant program. CBO estimates that implementing S. 1937 would not significantly increase that program’s expenditures.
CBO has not reviewed S. 1937 for intergovernmental or private-sector mandates. Section 4 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act excludes from the application of that act any legislative provisions that would enforce the constitutional rights of individuals. CBO has determined the legislation falls within that exclusion because it would protect the voting rights of individuals.