Under state law, if the legislature or a state agency require a local government to take on a new direct service or cost, the legislature is generally required to provide funding for the municipality to implement the new requirement. If the state does not provide local governments proper funding to meet the requirements of the new law or regulation, it may be considered an unfunded mandate.
If a local government thinks a law or regulation may be in violation of the law, it can ask for a determination from the Office of the State Auditor's (OSA) Division of Local Mandates (DLM).
Requests for mandate determinations can come from elected municipal leaders, appointed managers, school or educational collaborative officials, state lawmakers, or legislative committees.
If the OSA determines a law or regulation is an unfunded mandate, a local government can use that determination to seek funding or an exemption from complying with the law or regulation.