Celebrating 'An Historic Moment in Intergovernmental Relations.'(a White House Ceremony Is Held for President Clinton's Signing of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995)(cover Story)
Larmouth, Mary-Margaret, Nation's Cities Weekly
Before a jubilant crowd of state and local leaders assembled from across the nation, President Clinton signed the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 into law in a ceremony held in the Rose Garden of the White House. As the long-awaited moment approached, sunshine broke from behind a wall of clouds, the Rose Garden was flooded with light, and clear sides graced the ceremony--an appropriate atmosphere for the signing of legislation that for the first time holds Congress accountable for the mandates it imposes on state and local governments and aims to prevent future unfunded mandates.
In his speech before the signing, President Clinton explained that he views the mandates bill as recognition of a renewed intergovernmental partnership. "This bill is another acknowledgement that Washington doesn't necessarily have all the answers, that we have to continue to push decision-making down to the local level, and we shouldn't make the work of governing at the local level any harder than the circumstances of the time already ensure it will be."
President Clinton also related the problems he had dealing with unfunded mandates when he served as Governor of Arkansas. "I witnessed the growth of many of the unfair burdens that unfunded mandates impose. …