Ending Unfunded Mandates – Once And For All

April 1, 2017

By Rep. DeWayne Burns

I’m a small government conservative. At its heart, that means I believe every decision that can be made at the local level should be made at the local level, and that it is up to the folks in each individual community to decide for themselves what is worthy of their time, talents and tax dollars. That is why I recently filed House Joint Resolution 73, which proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution restricting the legislature’s ability to impose mandates on counties and municipalities without also providing adequate funding to comply with those mandates.

Unfunded mandates are effectively tax increases handed down by the legislature on local families and property owners. They may be unintentional when a bill is originally passed, but often they end up forcing counties or cities to raise taxes to finance the policy. This practice must be stopped, because it is fundamentally unfair and runs counter to everything we stand for as conservative Republicans.

But I’m not naïve. I understand that there are instances when the legislature must step in and dictate a state-wide policy. I do believe, however, that when those instances occur, they should be properly funded. Anything less is just passing the buck to our county commissioners and city councils.

If you agree that the practice of unfunded mandates should be ended, once and for all, please contact your State Representative and State Senator today, and encourage them to co-author HJR 73.

Rep. DeWayne Burns has represented District 58 in the Texas House since 2015 and serves on the House Committees on Natural Resources, Homeland Security & Public Safety, and Rules & Resolutions. House District 58 includes Bosque and Johnson Counties.


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