Mandate: a federal order imposed upon states. Examples: Americans with Disabilities Act.
Various environmental acts, e.g., Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Purposes: to meet a goal of the federal government
Mandates and Their Impact upon the states
Financial burdens, esp. with unfunded mandates, e.g., ADA has imposed large costs upon states as they make "reasonable accommodations" for the disabled.

State complaints about federal heavy-handedness, e.g., if a state does not devise a plan and pay for the requirements of the Clean Air Act of 1990, the federal government will impose its own plan upon the state.

State complaints about federal blackmail, e.g., if a state doesn't comply with the Clean Air Act standards, federal funds can be withheld in other programs.
Republican Response to Mandates:
*Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (part of Contract w/America) restricted future unfunded mandates
*Required CBO to analyze impact of unfunded mandates on states.
*Requires separate congressional vote on bills that impose unfunded mandates.
B. This is another example of the Devolution Revolution associated with the 104th Congress.