Springfield, IL…. State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has filed legislation today to prevent the passage of frivolous unfunded mandates. House Bill 4642 states that the General Assembly shall not approve of any unfunded mandates during a year in which a general election takes place.
“What I’ve noticed during my short time in office is that we pass a lot of feel good legislation that sounds great on the surface and looks good to voters, but in reality creates unintended and troublesome consequences. My hope,” Rep. McDermed said, “is that this bill will prevent legislation that is more of a press piece than meaningful lawmaking.”
In their final report, the Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force pointed out an explosion of unfunded mandates in recent decades. They cited that since 1982, the state has imposed 266 new unfunded mandates on local governments, an average of rate of 8 new unfunded mandates per year. 145 new mandates have been imposed on schools since 1992; more than 6 new unfunded mandates per year. Unfunded mandates can often be unduly burdensome and come with a large price tag that is usually not felt by the General Assembly, but local governments and school boards.
“Many unfunded mandates are necessary,” Rep McDermed continued, “but by banning legislating them in an election year we can hopefully prevent those that are only designed to score political points. Given the fiscal condition Illinois is in, we need to be wary of creating any extra strain on our local units of government.”