Posts Tagged ‘unfunded mandate’
January 27th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
New Fed Food Regs Leave Schools with $1.7 Billion in Unfunded Mandates

My apologies for gorging on the disastrous impact of meddlesome food czars, but the news is even worse than kids throwing away uneaten salads and smuggling in junk food to curb their hunger pangs.  According to the Federal Register, the Agricultural Department’s new calorie caps on federally subsidized breakfasts and lunches will hit local school districts with an additional $1.7 billion in mandated, uncompensated spending over the next five years.

The reason is twofold.  First, the new regulations require schools to spend money on higher priced foods like whole grains and fresh produce to stay below the calorie cap.  Second, the feds are only contributing an average funding increase of 6 cents per meal – an amount that falls far short of the estimated 10 cents increase for each lunch and 27 cents increase for each breakfast that will result from the new rules.  Thus, a $1.7 billion deficit gets passed onto cash-strapped school districts.

Whatever one thinks about the propriety of trying to force kids to eat healthier foods at school – and there are compelling reasons to consider some of the proposals – no can argue that yet another underfunded mandate is a serious long-term solution to this problem.

November 12th, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Will ObamaCare Force States to Drop Medicaid?

On today’s Foundry blog at the Heritage Foundation there is a crisp analysis of the cost-cutting decisions being weighed by states threatened with billions in rising health care costs under ObamaCare.  With a massive, mandatory expansion of Medicaid rolls beginning in 2014, state budget writers are seriously considering dropping out of the Medicaid program in order to avoid bankrupting their treasuries.

Granted, it’s outrageous that the liberal elites running Washington, D.C. are forcing state governments to spend more of their taxpayers’ money on health care.  After all, the States didn’t get to vote on ObamaCare.  But too often in this debate there’s a simple – though difficult – solution that up until now hasn’t been mentioned.

Opt out.  The only way the federal government can dictate spending and policy decisions to the states is if the states agree to the terms.  Those terms are buried in the fine print of federal programs that condition receipt of federal money on compliance with federal policies.  Like dramatically increasing Medicaid rolls.

Though opting out of Medicaid will be difficult because it also means losing the matching funds that come with it, the renewed control over a state’s budget should give state legislators much more room to maneuver during this era of dwindling tax receipts.  Governments, like individuals, need options.  Opting out of Medicaid is an important first step to regaining state sovereignty.