Legislation requiring the state to fully fund mandated programs received a Capitol hearing on Tuesday.
The bill would create a Joint Legislative Committee to review all state mandates in place on local governments. State Representative Roger Roth (R-Appleton), a sponsor of the measure, says the legislation directs officials to compile a list of every unfunded mandate from the state that's currently in place. Then a special committee would examine what the state can afford to fund. Those that can't be funded would be repealed completely.
Roth says state government needs stop creating programs without providing the funding needed to run them. The bill would prevent any future legislation including a mandate from being enforced, unless funding is provided as well.
Wisconsin Alliance of Cities executive director Ed Huck is applauding the bill. Huck says the growing pace of legislative mandates is crushing local governments. He says many will be forced to cut services if the state doesn't begin providing the funding it needs soon.
The bill is currently being considered by a legislative committee.