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Mandates in Florida: Myths , Trends, and Facts. Jaclyn A. Bunch LeRoy Collins Fellow Doctoral Candidate March 21 st , 2012. What is a Mandate.

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Mandates in florida myths trends and facts

Mandates in Florida: Myths, Trends, and Facts

Jaclyn A. Bunch

LeRoy Collins Fellow

Doctoral Candidate

March 21st, 2012


Mandates in florida myths trends and facts

What is a Mandate

  • Legal order, constitutional provision, statutory provision, or administrative regulation, that requires a local government to undertake a specified activity or to provide a service that meets minimum standards (Zimmerman, 1978)

  • Imposition of a requirement by one level of government that other units of government perform a particular service or perform it in a particular way(Fix and Kenyon, 1990 p.7)

  • Any legal provision, order, or regulation with the intent to change the activities of a lower tiered government


Disadvantages of mandates

Disadvantages of Mandates

  • Costs

    • Little incentive for higher tiered governments to control the costs placed upon localities

    • Attribution of blame would be difficult to ascribe

    • A single state mandate may not add significantly to municipal expenditures, but a series of mandates may have a burdensome cumulative effect

  • Preemptions

    • Reduce the governments' discretionary authority

    • May make municipalities less responsive to the needs of citizens


Advantages of mandates

Advantages of Mandates

  • Shown to have a measurable and positive effect in enhancing plan quality for growth management and other adopted comprehensive plans

  • Mandates can be effective and aid in development of outcomes when there is goal congruence or saliency and importance within the community in support of the changes


Mandates in florida myths trends and facts

Data

  • Reports on mandates and measures affecting local government as supplied by the Legislative Committee of Intergovernmental Relations (LCIR)

  • Full reports from 1992 to 2006

  • Analyzed by:

    • Issue addressed

    • Substantial impact

    • Estimated fiscal cost

    • Purpose


Issue addressed

Issue Addressed

  • Analyzed by:

    • Governmental service

    • Judicial

    • Personnel

    • Public safety

    • Physical environment

    • Transportation

    • Community development

    • Human services

    • Culture and recreation

    • Debt services

    • Operating expenses

    • Revenue


Substantial impact

Substantial Impact

  • Analyzed by:

    • Disadvantageous to the locality

      • required more work or more time dedicated to a project or program on behalf of the locality

      • Ex: Requires participation in a pilot program

    • Advantageous to the locality

      • required less work or less time dedicated to a project or program on behalf of locality

      • Ex: Exemptions from work

    • No Impact

      • should neither benefit nor harm the locality in a manner of work or time

      • Ex: The law was merely definitional


Estimated fiscal cost

Estimated Fiscal Cost

  • Estimated cost of the mandate as determined by the LCIR and documented in the report

  • Also recoded as either a gain, loss, or neutral expense to the locality.


Purpose

Purpose

  • Categorized as follows:

    • Restricts local activities

      • limit revenue or preempt a previously held power

    • Promotes state priority

      • state amends, revises, or creates a state program

    • Coordination

      • any mandate which regarded cooperation or coordination between the state and localities, localities and other localities, or developers

    • Accountability to the state

      • specifically mentioned a state office or program and the requirements a locality must fulfill to that office or program

    • Accountability to the public

      • require procedures which were accountable to taxpayers


Florida in national context

Florida in National Context

Effective July 1, 1978, any laws passed by the Florida Legislature that mandate a municipality or county to perform an activity or provide a service or facility that would require additional local expenditures must include an estimate of the total cost and provide a means for financing it.

However a survey by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in 1989 cited Florida as one of several states who felt the provisions against mandates had little impact.

In 1990, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that protects local governments against the imposition of unfunded mandates. The amendment permits local governments to ignore a state law requiring them to spend funds unless: 1) the law was passed by two-thirds vote of both houses and 2) the legislature has declared the legislation fulfills an important state interest. If these two requirements are not met, the state must appropriate sufficient funds to pay for the mandate or provide a new local funding source


Florida in national context1

Florida in National Context

  •  Alaska: Acts necessitating appropriations by a local government do not become effective unless approved by a voter referendum (Art 2, Sec19)

  • California: Several propositions have required the state to reimburse local government for all costs attributed to state mandates

  • Hawaii: Constitutional amendment in1978 requires the state to share in the cost of any new mandates

  •  Louisiana: Certain categories of mandates require local government approval or funding by the state (such as employee benefits)

  • Maine: State must reimburse localities for at least 50% of property tax revenue loss

  • Pennsylvania: State required to reimburse lost revenue to local government due to exemptions or special tax provisions enacted by the legislature (if they were caused by age, disability, infirmity, or poverty)


Three myths

Three Myths

  • Mandates have been increasing over time

    • Overall

    • Categorical

  • Mandates largely go unfunded

  • Mandates negate local authority with increasing accountability to the state

    • Distribution of purpose

    • Trends within accountability to the state category


Myth one mandates have been increasing

Myth One:Mandates have been increasing

  • Increasing Mandates?

    • Overall

    • Categorical

      • Disadvantaging

      • Restrictive


Mandate frequency over time 1992 2006

Mandate Frequency over Time 1992-2006


Disadvantaging mandates frequency

Disadvantaging Mandates Frequency


Disadvantaging mandates

Disadvantaging Mandates


Restrictive mandates

Restrictive Mandates


Myth two mandates largely go unfunded

Myth two: Mandates largely go unfunded

  • Rely on LCIR estimates as there is not an independent source

  • Real costs are rarely analyzed and compiled

  • Real costs are not updates or submitted yearly


Estimated cost of impact 1992 2006

Estimated Cost of Impact 1992-2006


Myth three mandates negate local authority

Myth Three: Mandates negate local authority

  • Reduce the governments' discretionary authority

  • May make municipalities less responsive to the needs of citizens

  • Category of interest: Accountability to the state


Accountability to the state over time

Accountability to the State Over Time


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Myth One: Mandates have been increasing over time

    • Data ranging from 1992-2006 in the state of Florida does not conform to this myth.

    • There is no apparent trend and if one was to utilize the data to make any claim it would be that mandates have been decreasing in frequency since 1998.


Conclusions1

Conclusions

  • Myth Two: Mandates largely go unfunded

    • The results are inconclusive from the data provided from legislative mandate summaries.

    • It would appear from these summaries that most legislation is fiscally neutral


Conclusions2

Conclusions

  • Myth Two: Mandates largely go unfunded (Continued)

  • Real costs vary across localities, even very similar localities, as existing capacity and previous policy choices affect the cost of the new mandate.

  • Real costs vary over time as other factors that impact the mandate change (e.g., population trends, technology, inflation, and even other mandates).

  • Preliminary estimates of mandate costs often fail to converge with actual cost data because the implementing regulations are not known at the time of the mandate's passage, or other simplifying assumptions necessary to prepare cost estimates are violated by the reality of implementation.


Conclusions3

Conclusions

  • Myth Three: Mandates negate local authority with increasing accountability to the state

    • While substantially low in number mandates that require reporting or other forms of accountability to the state seemed to be inconsistent and then been increasing steadily since the turn of the century.

    • Extending the period of analysis to see if this trend maintains would be of interest


Recommendations

Recommendations

Florida needs to reinstitute an independent group to recognize and estimate the cost of statutory mandates on local governments.

Florida statute needs to better define key words in the constitutional amendment including terms such as “insignificant fiscal impact”.

The independent commission should produce an annual report which includes the cost of individual mandates in addition to an aggregate cost across all mandates.

In recognition of the cumulative effect of the mandates, and the difficulty of estimating real costs, the independent commission should conduct analysis of a sample of local government, each fiscal year, to determine the actual fiscal impact of continual mandates.


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