NACo to Congress: Solve the Problem of Unfunded Mandates Once and For All

The National Association of Counties is wasting no time in seeing that the 115th U.S. Congress make good on its stated desire to solve the problem of unfunded mandates. In a letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who heads the House Oversight Committee, NACo expressed appreciation for the prioritization of this issue and urged action sooner rather than later.

“In recent years, under both federal and state rules, county responsibilities have expanded, without additional funding to meet these new requirements, creating unfunded mandates for our counties,” the letter reads. “This leaves counties in a precarious position.”

“When the cost of unfunded mandates outweighs available funds,” NACo adds, “counties often have to make difficult budget choices on these services—for example, do we cut hours at local libraries, delay road and bridge maintenance projects or even cut back on police or fire services?”

NACo’s letter lists a number of specific mandates that are burdening the 3,069 counties it represents. These include Medicaid requirements, health care requirements for jail inmates, and the EPA Clean Air Act rules. Going forward, NACo would like to see greater engagement with state and local governments before Congress considers rules that directly affect them.

Read the entire letter here.