1998 Regular Session
By: Representative Bowles
House Concurrent Resolution 20
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, state officials responsible for these programs increasingly cite negative factors such as increased cost; difficult, vague, confusing or overly detailed federal record-keeping requirements; 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 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby memorialize the United States 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; and
That the United States Congress increase its communications with state leaders during its deliberations on federal laws which affect state and local governments; and
That the United States 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; and
That the United States 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 United States 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 United States Congress.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED STILL, That a copy of this resolution shall 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, to each of the Legislatures of the several states of the Union and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.