The bill, introduced in the Senate in March, would require an update to guidance on state-federal cooperation that dates back to the 1960s.
Six leading state and local government associations are backing a bipartisan bill that would modernize how federal agencies can provide tech or other specialized services to state, local, tribal and territorial governments.
"This bill would take an important step toward remedying the lack of transparency and communication between federal agencies and states and localities when providing important services to them," they wrote in a May 9 letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The leaders of the United States Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, International City/County Management Association, Council of State Governments, National Conference of State Legislatures and National League of Cities want the committee to consider the bill this month.
The current guidance agencies follow when giving tech and specialized services across levels of government dates back to the 1960s. If passed into law, the new proposal would mandate an update to those instructions.
The bill would also require a strategic plan on intergovernmental cooperation from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, a point that the letter's authors say they'd be eager to contribute to.
"For many years, our organizations have advocated for federal agencies to engage in meaningful consultation with states and localities on agency proposals," the letter states. "As implementers of federal agency actions, states and localities are important stakeholders and must be able to weigh in on federal agency actions with state and local impact."
When Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) first introduced the proposal in March, they argued that the bill would not only help state and local governments give services more efficiently, but also provide cost savings by reducing duplication. Lawmakers also pointed to federal services that state and local governments administer and deliver, including unemployment insurance.
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