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Senator Tom Berryhill

Another Voice: Fund Election Mandates to Ensure Fair Elections Statewide

During the budget process the Legislature, famous for passing the buck—or the bill in this case—reviews mandates it has placed on local agencies. By law, Sacramento is required to fund any mandate it imposes on local agencies but when the state’s coffers run dry the Legislature routinely suspends or repeals specific mandates and uses the money for something else. The state currently owes about $1.8 billion to local governments for state mandated programs.

This is not fair to local governments which are then are left with some tough choices. Do they suspend programs on which constituents have come to rely or just cobble together some dollars and run the program on a string?