1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Gunn
Senate Concurrent Resolution 540
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING CONGRESS TO CONSIDER VARIOUS POSITIVE REFORMS CONCERNING THE USE OF FEDERAL MANDATES AND THEIR EFFECT ON INDIVIDUAL STATES, INCLUDING MISSISSIPPI.
WHEREAS, federal aid to state and local government has been declining since the late 1970's; and
WHEREAS, regulatory requirements imposed by Congress have continued unabated or have actually increased during this period; and
WHEREAS, many state leaders perceive that they have often been viewed by Congress as special interest groups rather than as important components within the structure of federalism; and
WHEREAS, many state leaders are concerned that the federal government is relying increasingly on inflexible regulatory requirements for programs with little or no allowance for state and local oversight; and
WHEREAS, state officials responsible for these programs increasingly cite negative factors such as increased cost; difficult, vague, confusing or overly detailed federal record-keeping requirements; and insufficient state discretion in seeking national goals in attempting to carry out federal mandates; and
WHEREAS, state officials generally support the overall goals of federal mandates; and
WHEREAS, legal research has shown that few federal mandates are likely to be overturned by the United States Supreme Court:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MISSISSIPPI STATE SENATE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby memorialize the U.S. Congress to consider reducing the burden of federal mandates by providing additional funding to state and local governments, modifying applicable federal statutes to permit greater regulatory flexibility, and abandoning or relaxing requirements for statutes which have not proven to advance federal policy goals.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the U.S. Congress increase its communication with state leaders during its deliberations on federal laws which affect state and local governments; that the U.S. Congress enact federal laws with the goal of uniformity of result in mind, while leaving states free to achieve those outcomes by whatever method they deem most appropriate and reasonable; that the U.S. Congress take federal, state and local costs of policy implementation into consideration before enacting laws containing federal mandates to state and local governments, and further assume a substantial share of mandate costs as an incentive to avoid overly burdensome mandates and to aid in seeking the least costly alternative; and that in taking all public sector costs into consideration, as required in the federal Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, the U.S. Congress should refrain from exercising its prerogative to disregard its own reform measure.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislatures of every state of the nation are hereby urged to join in this recommendation to the U.S. Congress.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be officially transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to each member of the Mississippi congressional delegation, and to each of the Legislatures of the several states of the Union.