Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Government Groups Attack Unfunded Mandates

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Government Groups Attack Unfunded Mandates

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Congress' attitude that it can pass the bills and then pass the buck has got to stop, Shawnee Mayor Pierre F. Taron said Wednesday at a State Capitol pow wow against federal government mandates.

"If you're going to say it, you ought to pay it," Taron added.

A collection of local government groups held a joint news conference to mark "National Unfunded Mandates Day." They were on the warpath about mandates _ federal government requirements of cities or local governments that cost the cities a lot of money to comply with.

"Federal mandates are nothing short of a hidden tax," said Bill Moyer, executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League.

State Sen. Kevin Easley, D-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Larry Adair, D-Stilwell, have introduced a resolution asking Congress to endorse efforts by the National League of Cities and other groups to "fully inform citizens about the impact of unfunded federal mandates on their personal finances."

Oklahoma City spent $1.39 million in the fiscal year ended June 30 on mandates for underground storage tanks, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Americans With Disabilities Act, according to a Price Waterhouse survey for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Some of the most onerous federal mandates pointed out by the Oklahoma Municipal League were: Design, monitoring and financial assurance criteria in solid waste landfill rules and regulations. "Many Oklahoma cities and towns have been forced to shut down landfills and seek alternative sold waste management routes," according to league background material. Requirement by the Clean Water Act to develop a process to identify and regulate stormwater runoff. This cost Weatherford $50,000 last year, and the city had to hire two additional employees to meet monitoring requirements.

Oklahoma City budgeted $419,000 for compliance in its current fiscal year budget, and that's expected to increase. …

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