State and Federal Mandates on Local Governments
In response to increasing interest in the effect of mandates on localities, the 1993 General Assembly enacted legislation directing the Commission on Local Government to compile and annually update a catalog of state and federal mandates imposed on the commonwealth’s local governments, including, where available, a summary of the fiscal impact of any new mandates. In order to annually update the catalog, the commission examines all legislation passed during the General Assembly session, surveys executive branch agencies and contacts local government associations for information on new mandates and mandates not previously identified.
Further, in order to examine the fiscal, as well as other impacts of existing mandates on localities, all state executive branch agencies are required to review mandates that they administer on local governments, and to report which, if any, might be altered or eliminated without interruption of local service delivery or undue threat to the health, safety and welfare of citizens of the commonwealth. The commission is responsible for coordinating the scheduling of the assessments and for notifying the governor and the General Assembly when an agency assessment recommends the alteration or elimination of a mandate.
In 2011, a five-member task force was appointed to identify mandates imposed on localities that are overly burdensome or unnecessary and recommend appropriate changes, providing relief to local governments.