Scope and Content
Title: Inventory of the Records of the Commission on State Mandates
Collection number: R138
Commission on State Mandates
8 cubic feet
California State Archives
Abstract: The records of the Commission on State Mandates document the hearings and applications surrounding claims for reimbursement
by local agencies and school districts due to increased costs mandated by the state.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility
for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives
[Identification of item], Commission on State Mandates Records, R138.[Series Number], [box and folder number], California
State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.
Acquisition and Custodial History
Records were received in a series of transfers.
The Commission on State Mandates determines if local agencies and school districts are entitled to reimbursement due to increased
costs mandated by the state. Reimbursement can occur when the state legislature passes a law or when the Governor or a state
agency issues an executive order or regulation to constitute new programs or a higher level of service. The concept originated
with the Property Tax Relief Act of 1972 (SB90, Statutes of 1972, Chapter 1406) with the primary purpose of state reimbursement,
limiting the ability of local agencies and school districts to levy taxes. At the time of creation, the Legislature authorized
the State Board of Control to hear and decide claims requesting reimbursement for increased costs on state ordered mandates.
Since 1972, the process of determining reimbursement has evolved. In 1979 Proposition 4 was approved by voters, adding Article
XIII B, section 6 to the California Constitution, superseding SB90. The Article imposed appropriation limits on the tax proceeds
of both state and local agencies. Adding Section 6 required that the state provide a subvention of funds to reimburse the
costs, with certain exceptions. With the implementation of Section 6, the Legislature enacted Government Code Section 17500
et seq. under Statutes of 1984, Chapter 1459, creating the Commission on State Mandates, relieving the State Board of Control.
The creation of the Commission allowed for a more effective system of possible reimbursement, providing an objective forum
in determining whether a statute or executive order constitutes reimbursement for a state mandated program. In 1993, the Commission
was given an added duty with SB1033 (Statutes 1993, Chapter 72), in reviewing county applications to find significant financial
distress. In 1995, SB11 (Statutes 1995, Chapter 945) added statutory changes which set timelines for the Commission to complete
all actions on a test claim. The bill was revised in the urgency bill AB1963 (Statutes 1998, Chapter 681) effective September
The mandate determination process in establishing possible reimbursement begins with a statute or executive order, a test
claim, the development of parameters and guidelines that describe the activities and costs that are eligible for reimbursement,
a statewide cost estimate, and a final step for claiming instructions. When the test claim process is complete a reimbursement
claim can be filed with the State Controller. A possible amendment to the parameter and guidelines can be amended, a filing
of an incorrect reduction claim after review, and lastly the Commission conducts a fair and impartial hearing to determine
the entitlement for reimbursement of increased costs mandated by the state.
The Commission was composed of five members in 1984: The State Controller, State Treasurer, Director of the Department of
Finance, Director of the Office of Planning and Research, and a Public Member with experience in Public Finance. Effective
in 1997 two local elected official positions were added to the members of the Commission. The Governor may appoint a governing
board member of a school district, a city council member, or a member of a county or city and county board of supervision
to the elected official positions. The public members and the two elected officials are subject to Senate confirmation and
serve a term of four years, subject to reappointment.
Scope and Content
The records of the Commission on State Mandates document the hearings and applications surrounding claims for reimbursement
by local agencies and school districts due to increased costs mandated by the state. The record group contains 8 cubic feet
of textual records covering the period 1973-2003 and includes Rulemaking Files, Meeting Files, Closed/Inactive Test Claims,
Closed/Inactive Incorrect Reduction Claims, and Closed/Inactive Reimbursement Claims. The Test Claims, Incorrect Reduction
Claims, and Reimbursement Claims highlight the Commission on State Mandates and its predecessor, the State Board of Control's,
undertaking in determining possible reimbursement increase mandates.
The bulk of the records of the Commission on State Mandates describe the process of determining a possible reimbursement to
local agencies and school districts. The records consist of correspondence, test claim hearings, minutes, budget and financial
records, parameters and guidelines regarding the hearing process, and conducted research and analyses between parties surrounding
the test claim.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
California. Commission on State Mandates