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Unfunded mandates, budget deficit again dominate FAIR priorities.

Mandates and future priorities for American Cities dominated the agenda for NLC's FAIR Steering Committee during its meeting May 29-30 in Columbus, Ohio.

Meeting under the leadership of Chair Anthony Capizzi, commissioner, Dayton, Ohio the committee received a briefing on the mandate cost study which has been completed by the city of Columbus.

The Columbus study estimates that just the requirements of 14 federal environmental mandates will consume one fifth of the city's budget within a few years. This study has recently been presented to the Environmental Protection Agency (see The Weekly, May 25, 1992)

In preparing input for the NLC Board of Directors regarding issues which will be important to the cities over the next four years, the committee selected the following top priority issues: control of the federal budget, unfunded federal mandates, public safety, a restructuring or reformulation of public education, personal/family values and inner city economic problems.

In addition to this "short list" a longer list will also be presented to the Board.

Recommendations were developed for the CED Committee regarding free trade agreements and treatment of federal property under local zoning and planning ordinances. A resolution will be proposed to the Board of Directors recommending that any changes in governmental accounting rules not be effective until all related financial reporting issues are resolved.

The subcommittees on health care financing, fiscal disparities, and insurance identified issues and began crafting work products which will be completed at the fall meeting. The mandates and tax policy subcommittee discussed strategies that may be employed to more effectively make the mandates argument at the federal level and selected the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act as the mandates requiring revisions by the federal government.

In another action the Committee will be submitting a request that NLC's Board convene a working session prior to the Congress of Cities to deal with the fact that many communities of all sizes are dealing with underlying problems similar to those in Los Angeles and to seek the views of elected local officials particularly those that represent neighborhoods dealing daily with these problems.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities' Steering Committee on Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations
Author:Peterson, Doug
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jun 8, 1992
Words:352
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