The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local governments for certain state mandates. The process for determining the existence of state mandates and providing local government reimbursements, however, has significant shortcomings. The administration’s proposal to reform this mandate process provides a good starting point for discussion. In this analysis, we review the administration’s proposal and offer the Legislature a similar, but more extensive, proposal that includes (1) simplifying the process for local governments to file reimbursement claims by placing greater emphasis on unit cost methodologies, (2) allowing mandate payment methodologies to be developed through negotiations between local government and the Department of Finance, and (3) establishing an alternate process to provide early settlement of mandate disputes and bypass the commission entirely.
[PDF] Analysis of the 2008-09 Budget Bill, General Government ChapterHandout Mar 14, 2007
[PDF] Improving the Mandate ProcessReport May 24, 2004
An Assessment: Governor's Local Government Proposal