Alexander Offers Amendment to Prevent Unfunded Federal Mandate on Local Communities

Opposes “Laws that Would Impose New York or New Jersey’s Labor Laws on Tennessee”

Posted on December 7, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today filed an amendment to S. 3991, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, in anticipation of a Senate vote tomorrow on whether to bring the bill to the floor for debate. The amendment would allow states and towns to opt out of the bill’s federal mandates if they would result in an increase in the community’s taxes, cut into existing public services, or compromise public safety.

“I am opposed to any new unfunded mandates on states and local communities, and especially laws that would impose New York or New Jersey’s labor laws on Tennessee, which is exactly what this bill does. My amendment would allow states like Tennessee – which rejected proposals like this every year I was governor and nearly every year since – and local governments to opt out if they decide this law would make them raise taxes, cut services, or otherwise compromise public safety.”

Alexander, a two-term governor of Tennessee and a longtime opponent of unfunded federal mandates, offered a resolution that the Senate Republican Conference recently adopted opposing any new unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments. The full text of the resolution is below:

“Resolved, the Senate Republican Conference believes that Congress should not create new federal unfunded mandates on state and local governments. In furtherance of this goal, it is the policy of the Conference to:

  1. Support an amendment to the Budget Act or the annual budget resolution creating a point of order against federal unfunded mandates on state and local governments, which point of order may be waived by a vote of three-fifths of senators duly chosen and sworn.
  2. Ask the Ranking Republican Member of the Budget Committee to undertake a review of federal unfunded mandates on state and local governments and, where appropriate, recommend the repeal or amendment of those mandates.”

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