The American States and Local Governments: Foundation Stones of IGR

1) Identify and briefly discuss a public policy issue where a state or states have taken the lead and solved a problem or acted because the federal government failed to act This public policy can be one discussed in your readings or can come from outside of the readings.

2) The reading on immigration policy provides an interesting analysis of state legislation regarding three aspects of immigration: employment law, immigration law enforcement, and identification and licensing. From the authors analysis, are states engaging in policy innovation and acting as “laboratories of democracy” or are they largely passing state laws that conform with national immigration policy? Explain your answer by using specific examples from the reading.

3) From Stephens and Wikstrom (Chapter 8), what are the causes of state centralization?

4) From Meek and Thurmaier (Chapter 2), what is the future of state and local relationships?

5) Local governments are the most constrained level of government in our federal system. They are considered “creatures of the state” because most states place many restrictions on the powers of cities and counties. Both the federal government and state government place mandates on cities and counties, especially via grants. Your readings point to many challenges and problems currently facing local governments. From the readings, identify three challenges facing cities and/or counties. What might be the possible solution to these challenges?




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