Unfunded Mandates - the Regulatory Problem
Zimmerman, Christopher, State Legislatures
Passage of the unfunded mandates act was hailed as victory for state and local governments. Now, however, it appears that federal agencies may be removing the bite from the law, tooth by tooth.
Each agency shall, unless otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector..."
- Title II, Sec. 201 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
Passage of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act in 1995 was hailed as an historic victory for state and local governments. No one claimed that it would halt the federal practice of imposing regulations without funding. But, by requiring an estimate of the cost to state and local governments to accompany legislation imposing new mandates, it would at least make it more difficult, forcing the issue into the open and making cost consideration part of the discussion when new laws are debated.
Concern over federal mandates was never limited to Congress. Frequently, battles won in the legislative struggle would be overturned by agency rules. Having dissuaded Congress from imposing a particular mandate (or imposing it in a certain way), state and local officials might find the same objectionable provision included later on by the agency issuing regulations for the new …
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Publication information: Article title: Unfunded Mandates - the Regulatory Problem. Contributors: Zimmerman, Christopher - Author. Magazine title: State Legislatures. Volume: 23. Issue: 8 Publication date: September 1997. Page number: 32+. © 2009 National Conference of State Legislatures. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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