Unfunded Federal Mandates Term Paper by Nicky

Unfunded Federal Mandates
A discussion of unfunded federal mandates and their implications for intergovernmental policy.
# 148892 | 1,763 words | 6 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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The paper explains that unfunded federal mandates occur when the federal government requires state or local governments to meet certain requirements, institute certain programs or fulfill certain obligations without providing the state or local governments with the means to satisfy these mandates. The paper looks at the history of unfunded mandates and discusses the two principal actors involved; the givers and receivers or creators and receptors. The paper looks a how the public is affected by the continued passage of unfunded mandates and argues that in order to eliminate the problems associated with unfunded mandates, it will be more necessary to implement further legislation akin to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, but with more scrutiny. The paper concludes by examining the consequences unfunded federal mandates have for intergovernmental relations.

A History of the Issue
A Description of the Actors Involved
The People Affected By The Policy Issue
How the Issue Will Be Resolved

From the Paper:

"Unfunded mandates have occurred for many decades. Thompson and Green (1998) call the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "one of the earliest 'unfunded mandates" (p. 386), while the Texas Association of Counties (n.d.) gives what it calls a "glaring example" of an unfunded mandate from 1985. This mandate, which was "mostly unfunded," required counties and public hospitals to pay the bills of indigent patients with a maximum payout of $30,000. Thus, this suggests that unfunded mandates have a long history of use in the American government, occurring at both the state and federal level. In the 1990s, states began to fight federal mandates through the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act. The act, which was passed in 1995, was "intended to focus more attention on the costs of mandates imposed by the federal government on other levels of government or the private sector" ("History and Evaluation," 2004, para. 1). Thus, the primary goal of this act was to require the federal government to consider the financial consequences for smaller governments before passing bills that left these smaller governments financially responsible. Some evidence suggests that the bill has been relatively successful since the act's implementation. More information has been provided to legislatures regarding the financial consequences of unfunded mandates, and some bills have even been revised to reduce the impact on lower governments' finances before being passed ("History and Evaluation," 2004, para. 37)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alternative Energy Foundation. (2009, February 23). Rising Federal Mandate for Ethanol Likely to Increase Gasoline Prices. Retrieved June 8, 2009, from the Alterative Energy Foundation. Web Site: http://www.alternativeenergyfoundation.org/releases/2009/rising-federal-mandate-ethanol-increase-gasoline-prices/
  • "Examples of Unfunded Mandates from Past Legislative Sessions." (n.d.). Retrieved June 8, 2009, from the Texas Association of Counties. Web Site: http://www.county.org/resources/legis/documents/UFM_ex-previous_leg.rtf
  • "History and evaluation of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act." (2004, September 1). Retrieved June 8, 2009, from the Goliath Database. Web Site: http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-894082/History-and-evaluation-of-the.html
  • McIlroy, M. (2005, March 31). Local Governments Struggle With Unfunded Federal Mandates. Retrieved June 8, 2009, from WTOP. Web Site: http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=441088&nid=25
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (2008, April). Mandate Monitory. Retrieved June 8, 2009, from the National Conference of State Legislatures' Standing Committee on Budgets and Review. Web Site: http://www.ncsl.org/StateFederalCommittees/BudgetsRevenue/MandateMonitorOverview/tabid/15850/Default.aspx

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Unfunded Federal Mandates (2011, November 12) Retrieved February 26, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/unfunded-federal-mandates-148892/

MLA Format

"Unfunded Federal Mandates" 12 November 2011. Web. 26 February. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/unfunded-federal-mandates-148892/>