WASHINGTON -- State and local governments want both a short- and long-term solution to the problem of unfunded federal mandates -- preferably a federal law and a constitutional amendment, lobbyists said yesterday.

After Congress convenes in January, states and localities hope to get the long-term part of their wish in the form of a constitutional amendment that the Senate Judiciary Committee is drafting. The amendment would bar Congress from imposing costly new requirements on state and local governments without providing the funds to pay for them, a Republican staff member said.

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