Unfunded mandates reform act 1995
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Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (1995). Chris Greenwald.

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Unfunded mandates reform act 1995

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act(1995)

Chris Greenwald

What is it

  • “A bill to curb the practice of imposing unfunded Federal mandates on States and local governments; to strengthen the partnership between the Federal Government and State, local and tribal governments; to end the imposition, in the absence of full consideration by Congress, of Federal mandates on State, local, and tribal governments without adequate funding, in a manner that may displace other essential governmental priorities; and to ensure that the Federal Government pays the costs incurred by those governments in complying with certain requirements under Federal statutes and regulations; and for other purposes.”

    • Source: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s104-1

What is it?

What does this really mean

  • The federal government can not impose unfunded mandates on a state government, local government, or private sector without proper funding and “full consideration by Congress”. Full consideration means that Congress must look over the state budget and must make sure that the mandate won’t impede and stop higher priorities of that government/sector. If the government/sector receiving the mandate complies with the set federal regulations, the federal government must repay the money lost by this group. Any mandate that would cost the state or local government more that $50 million a year would have to be voted on by the legislatures of that state.

What does this really mean?

How does this help the people

  • Unfunded mandates require the government receiving the mandate to pay for any costs imposed by the mandate. This would most likely end up with a tax increase on the citizens of that state or municipality. With the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (UMRA), Congress must look over the state budget to see if the state can afford the costs imposed by the mandate. If the mandate runs over the budget, the federal government must pay for the extra costs. Simply, it reduces taxes for the people.

How does this help the people?

The vote

  • Debates over the UMRA were heated in both the House and Senate. Voting took fifteen days in the Senate, and eight days in the House. Democrats were against the UMRA in huge numbers in both sides of Congress. They argued that some “burdensome” federal requirements could be snuck through because they are not considered mandates. No Child Left Behind is one of these cases. Because of the Republican Revolution in 1994, however, the bill passed by a slight majority and was signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1995.

The Vote…



How has it worked

  • According to Dirk spending by the state government, local government, or private sector, taxes may increase for citizens across the nation (although very slightly). Many argue that this is unfair, as the mandate enforced may not even apply to their state. Kempthorne, one of the leading senators in the push for the UMRA, and washingtonpost.com, the UMRA “has been a success, and ‘it fundamentally changed the relationship’ between Washington and the other levels of government.” It has also changed the mindset of congress, according to the washingtonpost.com article. Now, Congress has become far more sensitive when dealing with the result of fiscal decisions made by themselves.

    • Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42186-2005Mar16.html

How has it worked?

My thoughts and opinions

  • I think the UMRA is a positive act because it does not require the states or municipalities to use huge sums of their money for something they may not even want. In my opinion, the UMRA is not even a huge financial burden on the federal government. They only have to pay the overrun of spending by the state in complying with the mandate. Congress also has time to review the state, local, or private sectors budgets to see if they can afford to have the mandate imposed. It was one of the select few good decisions Clinton made during his presidency...

My Thoughts and opinions