The House of Representatives voted recently to eliminate funding for the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, a move that has state and local government agencies concerned about losing. their link to the federal government,
The commission, created in 1959 to research intergovernmental finances, comprises state and local representatives and federal officials.
"This came absolutely out of left field," said Frank Shafroth, the director of policy and federal relations for the National League of Cities.
The proposal was part of the 1994 Treasury-postal appropriations bill proposed by Rep. Joel Hefley R-Colo., which passed on a voice vote. Because the plan was part of another bill, it did not receive any hearings, Shafroth said. He said the proposal to eliminate funding for the commission was unexpected and had not been put forward before.
Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Christopher Bond, R-Mo.,may try to restore the funding when the bill reaches the Senate, according to the latest edition of Nation's Cities Weekly, the official publication of the National League of Cities.
State and local agencies are hoping a compromise can be reached and that the commission will get enough funding to operate in 1994, said Jim Martin, director of the office of state and federal affairs for the National Governors' Association.
Last year, the commission received a $1.8 million appropriation. Martin said the National Governors' Association hopes the commission will be funded at about $1.4 million.