The Law Preventing Congress from Sending States the Coronavirus Bill

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) protects states from having to fund federal laws. Prior to its passage, Congress passed bills without worrying about how to fund them, leaving states, cities, and counties to pay for federal mandates. Though UMRA has not been foolproof, 185 unfunded mandates were passed in 1993 before the law was passed and only 15 laws that violate UMRA limits were enacted between 1996 and 2018. Congress is not required to fund the whole bill, which means localities can still be required to pay significant amounts for federally mandated laws.

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