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"Mad" about Mandates: The Issue of Who Should Pay for What Resurfaces in the 1990s

Susan A. MacManus
Publius
Vol. 21, No. 3, The State of American Federalism, 1990-1991 (Summer, 1991), pp. 59-75
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330514
Page Count: 17
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"Mad" about Mandates: The Issue of Who Should Pay for What Resurfaces in the 1990s
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Abstract

In 1990, constitutional amendment proposals were put before the voters in Florida and Wisconsin (nonbinding) to limit unfunded state mandates. This brought the number of states with constitutionally based mandate-reimbursement requirements to fifteen. Voter support was garnered by attributing local property-tax increases and loss of local control over spending priorities to unfunded state mandates. The Florida and Wisconsin efforts came close on the heels of state mandate studies by the U.S. General Accounting Office, National Conference of State Legislatures, Urban Institute, and U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Fifty-two hypotheses are generated from these studies and the Florida and Wisconsin cases to help structure future research. As the mandate limitation movement spreads, larger data bases will be available with which to test these propositions. In the states that already have limits on unfunded state mandates, research will shift to the policy consequences of these restrictions.

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