Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NLC Report Assesses Mandate Strategies

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NLC Report Assesses Mandate Strategies

Article excerpt

A new NLC report assesses the effectiveness of tactics aimed at stopping or funding state madates on cities and towns. "State Mandates" describes experiences in each stte with fiscal notes and reimbursement requirements.

The report is based on a cooperative effort among state municipal leagues, the National League of Cities and the author, Janet Kelly. "State Mandates," the first comprehensive treatment of anti-mandates strategies from a multi-state perspective, offers useful approaches to dealing with the problem of unfunded and underfunded state mandates to local governments.

State municipal leagues have been trying to stop state mandates or at least reduce their negative effects on local governments. Because state governments have responded inconsistently, the leagues decided to examine their own experiences with mandates. This examination has provided an opportunity for the leagues to learn from the patterns of their activities coupled with an analysis of state government behavior.

After an explanatory segment on mandates, the book enters into an extensive examination of fiscal not requirements and reimbursement legislation. The focus is on understanding the potentials and pitfalls of fiscal notes and reimbursement bills, as these are the two most widely used strategies for coping with the problems of mandates.

"Mandate," a broadly defined and frequently misunderstood term is explained in the book as state action that either limits or place additional expenditure requirements on local governments. …

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