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UMRA was introduced on January 4, 1995, in the Senate by Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho as S. 1 to the Committees on the Budget and Governmental Affairs. It passed the full Senate on the 27th by a vote of 86 to 10; an identical version passed the House on February 1. It was signed into law by president Bill Clinton on March 22.
The four titles of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act are:
Title I: Legislative Accountability and Reform. Any bill passed by committee must be submitted to the director of the Congressional Budget Office so that any federal mandates may be identified. No bill which contains any such mandate imposing a direct cost of more than fifty million dollars on a state, local or tribal government or a cost of more than one hundred million dollars on the private sector may be sent to the full chamber without a corresponding appropriation.
Title II: Regulatory Accountability and Reform. Federal agencies must assess the cost of all new regulations to state, local and tribal governments and the private sector before issuing them. Where such costs exceed one hundred million dollars, the issuing agency must consult with the affected governments and make sure that no less burdensome alternative exists.
Title III: Review of Federal Mandates. The U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations was directed to review the role of mandates in relations between the federal government and state, local and tribal governments and to recommend to Congress and to the president opportunities to simplify or eliminate federal mandates.
Title IV: Judicial Review. Federal courts may compel agencies to comply with their responsibilities under Title II.
- Dilger, Robert Jay (April 17, 2018). Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues (PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 20 April 2018.