Texas Policy Paper
In every level of government, there is always a federal problem that is a problem to them. The government will adopt policies and reforms to rectify the problem, but it has never been easy Tribunals and Presidentially appointed boards have been formed in most cases to find the causes and the best methods to stop the problems, but they have never been successful. Rather, so much money has been spent on the research and paying the individuals in such groups whose results has never been implemented. The United States federal government and the Texas government too have a lingering problem on their hands. The issues are numerous, and they vary in dimension and consequences. In this paper, the problem of unfunded mandates both in Texas and the United States as a country will be discussed in details.
Every time the state and the federal governments are asked to do something, start a program, an initiative, provide social amenities, or meet an urgent requirement in the states, it becomes a mandate. However, over and over the again, the governments have been unable to fund these activities entirely. As such, they become unfunded mandates. In some situations, however, it is the stakeholders in the mentioned activities who fail to fully utilize the resources allocated to them to implement the activities to completions entirely. Rather, they end up diverting some of the resources to fund other activities. In other cases, the project may take too long to the effect that the allocated amount of money and the resources become inadequate and the government is forced to abort such an operation (Rutledge, 56). However, in most cases, these activities are usually crucial for the welfare and development of the citizens and leaving them unfinished have significant consequences. It also shows to the people that the government in ineffective in the plans it adopts (Rutledge, 59). What then are the unfunded mandates and how do the United States government and the Taxes government addressing the problem? In this essay, various policies that the two states have adopted to solve the problem of unfunded mandates are discussed.
Texas Public Policy Issues
Reasons for Initiating Legal Options
Legal options provide the best way to address the issue of unfunded mandates. The governments can adopt laws and policies that are binding to all people, regardless of one's office in the country or state so that if they fail to fund a project or government fully, then they are to be held accountable. What then are the benefits of initiating legal options?
First, they ensure accountability and transparency. It the responsibility of every government to make sure that all the funds allocated for a particular project are not diverted somewhere else or not misused. All the funds should be used to completion for that particular project until it is done and the objective for its implementations achieved. Policies that outline the expenditure procedure for every fund allocated will ensure accountability and transparency.
Secondly, the systems will provide equitable resource allocation. The US and the Texas government, through the policies, can allocate the available resources equally to all their projects to make sure that none of them is given more or less than the required, but is provided according to the project requisition. In so doing, the governments ensure that there is maximum utilization of the available resources and that all the mandates are fully funded.
Next, through the policy, it is easy for the United States and Texas government to evaluate and monitor all their mandates. Evaluation and monitoring allow the two states to ensure that all the project requirements and resources management are according to the contract and there are no wastages.
Last, the policies help protect the states from premature breach of contract by the contracting companies. Usually, most companies after realizing that the project will take more time and resources than they had earlier on scheduled, decide to terminate the project and leave it unfinished. It is a long process and expensive to involve another contracting firm, and as such, the government may opt to exit the project incomplete. However, with the establishment of the laws, contracting companies are forced to ensure that they do not terminate their contracts until the whole project is done. By doing this, then a few of their mandates are left unfinished.
Texas Government Policy and Politics
The state government of Texas has enacted policies that it uses to address the issue of unfinished mandates. The first policy is compliance with the state’s auditing and accounting measures on resources and funding that the state government issues. This system ensures that there is no misappropriation and misuse of public funds and resources. All the financial statement for all the mandates are submitted the financial and auditing department of the state for verification and approval (Hackler, 57)
The second policy is an increment of expiry dates for the available mandates to allow for the state government to acquire all the resources and funds that would enable it to complete the programs and open them for the people to use (Hackler, 58). Lastly is the establishment of durational objectives that the state government has to achieve. There are state laws and regulations that have been put to ensure that the contractors are forced to meet the targets for every mandate that they are assigned.
There are three policies that the government of United States has adopted to help in addressing the issues. First is legislative reform and accountability that is aimed at ensuring the Congress amends its budget allocation to States government. The amendments increase the amount allocated to every state for developmental and recreational programs. Secondly, there is the policy of regulatory reforms and accountability that requires that federal agencies are prohibited by the constitution to conduct any assessment on states mandates. This means gives freedom to the various states to allocate their resources and funds regarding priority and have limited interference from the central government. Lastly, the review of the all the federal mandates. The policy requires that the government study and calculate the costs of all national mandates and their impacts to the economic state of the country. They then submit the report the congress which would then determine if the mandates are worth investing in by the government before the report is submitted to the president for approval (King, 34).
Pros of the Policies
i. Ensures accountability and transparency in government departments regarding expenditure and utility of the resources
ii. Equitable distribution of resources encourages uniform development initiatives in all the states.
iii. An increased number of finished mandates create job opportunities and employment to many people.
iv. Economic status of the country and that of the states grows when there are enough jobs to the people.
Cons of the Policies
i. Time wastage- for any program to be initiated, a lot of individuals and departments have to be involved which may take quite a long time.
ii. Costly- the implementation of the policies is expensive
iii. Long procedure in decision-making- for any program to be initiated, a lot of people and departments have to be involved which may take quite a long time.
For efficient completion of the unfinished mandates, I strongly recommend a unified strategy where the central government of the United States and the government of Texas establish one single body that is charged with the responsibility of financing and monitoring all the projects. The board will be composed of representatives from the two governments, and its top priority will complete all the unfinished within the stipulated period.
While it is the expectation of the people that the leaders they elected to office should maintain a balanced and unified budget of all the states mandates, it is not usually the case because of the variations in the economic states. It is very expensive to cover for unfinished mandates, and the federal laws and regulations do not make it anyhow easy. Nevertheless, according to the White House’ Department of Management and Budget reports it is estimated that unfinished mandates and other federal regulations cost more than $50 billion every single year. To verify this, the council of state governments established a federalism project under the headship of Senator Gary Stevens who was keen to note that unfunded mandates create a lot of social and economic problems to the states. The policies adopted may, therefore, provide the best methods to reduce the rate of unfinished mandates and to pass initiatives that can help the governments to realize capital from other sources that will allow them to fund all the unfinished mandates to completion. Again, it is expected that the individuals in office should make it their initiative to complete the mandates that are in progress before they begin another one. This will allow then to ensure that the available resources are used to maximum and that all projects are completed within a stipulated time frame.
Hackler, Chris. "Finishing the Texas advance directives law." The American Journal of Bioethics 15.8 (2015): 58-60.
King, Christopher T. "The state at work: the" Workforce Investment Act of 1998" and what it means for Texas." (2012).
Rutledge, Thomas E., and Tara McGuire. "Conflicting Views as to the Unfinished Business Doctrine." Texas Journal of Business Law 46.2 (2015).
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