Walden Mandate Laws and Governments that Impose Them Discussion

In Week 1, you compared different levels of government in the United States and explored how expenditures and revenues relate to the functions of each level. This week, you take this theme a few steps further by exploring the fiscal relationship among the different levels of government, which includes such things as transfers of revenue in the form of grants, superior government mandates on lower levels of government, and debates regarding which level of government should provide a public service.

Often, the national government creates programs that require state and local government funding in the form of unfunded mandates. This week, you consider the complex financial relationships between national, state, and local governments.

Mikesell, J. L. (2018).
Fiscal administration: Analysis and applications for the public sector (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

  • Chapter 14, “Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations: Diversity and Coordination” (pp. 643-671)

Gillette, C. P. (2012). Fiscal federalism as a constraint on states.
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 35(1), 101–114.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Jost, K. (2010). States and federalism.
CQ Researcher,
20(36), 845–868.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Sorens, J. (2011). The institutions of fiscal federalism.
Publius: The Journal of Federalism,
41(2), 207–231.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Urban Institute. (2010). States and the Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from

Note: Read this example of states’ roles in implementing the Affordable Health Care Act.

Library of Congress. (n.d.). Retrieved from

EveryCRSReport.com (n.d.). Retrieved from

Note: Although CRS does not generally provide its reports online to the public, there are some sites such as this that compile substantial numbers of those reports, including very recent materials, and make them available to the public.

The Pew Charitable Trusts. (2012). Fiscal federalism initiative. Retrieved from

U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. (2014).
USA.gov. Retrieved from

Note: Use this site for congressional and general federal research and general federal government searches.

The White House (n.d.). The legistlative branch. Retrieved from

Discussion: Mandate Laws and the Governments That Impose Them

In the United States, one of the chief manifestations of fiscal federalism is the creation of federal mandates, which are orders from the federal government requiring state and local governments to implement policies or regulations. Examples of federal mandates include the Affordable Health Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and the Real ID Act, which requires states to incorporate security features into driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995, with certain threshold requirements, discourages the federal government from placing new mandates on state and local governments without providing the necessary funding and requires cost estimates of new mandates. However, federal mandates still affect the budget and financial situations of public organizations by, for example, restricting fiscal autonomy and excessive costs.

In this Discussion, you identify a mandate law and analyze the impact of the law on the fiscal and budgetary operations of public organizations. Review the Learning Resources for this week. The Urban Institute has a number of articles that discuss the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act on the states. Then, select a law made by a superior level government that imposes mandates on lower levels of government, and reflect on intergovernmental finance and fiscal relations in public organizations.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post an example of mandate law that has had a significant impact on state or local governments. First, describe the mandate law you selected. Next, describe the effects of the mandate law, such as the ACA, on the fiscal and budgetary operations of the state or local governments. In your analysis, specify whether the impact is positive or negative and explain why.

Be sure to support your posting and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.