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In fiscal year (FY) 2025, the Senate will accept requests for earmarks, formally called congressionally directed spending (CDS). Earmarks allow Members of Congress to request that federal funds be set aside for specific projects in their states. This is an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations to apply for funding for projects that would benefit from a one-time allocation of funds. To get an idea of projects that may qualify, you can view the projects that Senator Schatz requested in FY 2023 here.

Congressionally Directed Spending projects are subject to the following general conditions (in addition to those imposed by each committee):

  • Applicants must be nonprofit entities or state, local, or tribal governments.
  • Funding is limited; not all eligible requests will be funded and funded projects can only count on one year of funding.
  • Projects must fall under eligible accounts (more below).
  • Funded projects are subject to Government Accountability Office audits.

Applications must include:

  • The total project costs, the funds requested as an earmark, and the source(s) of the balance of the funding needed;
  • How the requested funding will be spent, as specifically as possible;
  • An argument for how the request will positively impact Hawai‘i, including metrics for outcomes that would be improved if your project is implemented;
  • Demonstrated support from relevant stakeholders;
  • Evidence that the requesting organization has the capacity to take on this project; and
  • Information about project partners (e.g., suppliers, contractors, partnering organizations)

Process and Accounts

The Senate Appropriations Committee only allows earmarks from certain federal funding accounts, so projects must fit into an eligible account to qualify. Please note that accounts are subject to change and are not guaranteed to be consistent every year. You can view a list of FY 23 accounts and account-specific requirements here.

While the appropriations process can vary every year, below is a general timeline for CDS requests that requestors should follow:

  • October through December:
    • Develop a project idea.
    • Reach out to Senator Schatz’s legislative staff to work through the idea.
  • January through February:
    • Draft and submit your CDS request.
  • March through September:
    • Senator Schatz will review and submit requests to the Appropriations Committee.
    • Each Subcommittee will review requests and determine which to include in the Subcommittee’s appropriations bill.
    • The final appropriations bill will have to pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and be signed by the president.

If you have questions about a potential request, or if you have never submitted a CDS request before, we strongly recommend that you speak to a member of Senator Schatz’s legislative staff before beginning. Please see this list to reach the relevant staffer or contact to be connected with the appropriate legislative staffer.