Legislation mandating that

Public individuals or organizations can also be required to fulfill public mandates.Beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the United States federal government has designed laws that require state and local government spending to promote national goals.The Act was written to amend UMRA by having the CBO compare the authorized level of funding in legislation to the costs of carrying out any changes.It was done by also amending the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

A 1993 study conducted by Price Waterhouse, sponsored by the National Association of Counties, determined that in fiscal year 1993 counties in the US spent .8 billion for twelve unfunded federal mandates.

Vertically applied mandates are directed by a level of government at a single department or program.

Conversely, horizontally applied, or "crosscutting," mandates refer to mandates that affect various departments or programs.

If students did not show improvement from year to year on these tests, their schools were asked to work to improve the quality of the education by hiring highly qualified teachers and by tutoring struggling students. Duncan, the plaintiffs alleged that the school district need not comply with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 because the federal government did not provide them sufficient funding; the court concluded that insufficient federal funds were not a valid reason to not comply with a federal mandate.

The official legislation summarizes the bill as being: "An Act: To curb the practice of imposing unfunded Federal mandates on States and local governments; [...] and to ensure that the Federal Government pays the costs incurred by those governments in complying with certain requirements under Federal statutes and regulations, and for other purposes." It also allowed the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the cost of mandates to SLTGs and to the private sector, and allows federal agencies issuing mandates to estimate the costs of mandates to the entities that said mandates regulate.

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