BOS 2009


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 » State Constitutions

Chapter 2 » Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

Chapter 3 » State Legislative Branch

Chapter 4 » State Executive Branch

Chapter 5 » State Judicial Branch

Chapter 6 » Elections

Chapter 7 » State Finance

Chapter 8 » State Management, Administration, and Demographics

Chapter 9 » Selected State Policies and Programs

Chapter 10 » State Pages

As the chief legal officers of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, attorneys general serve as counselors to state government agencies and legislatures, and as representatives of the public interest. In many areas traditionally considered the exclusive responsibility of the federal government, attorneys general now share enforcement authority and enjoy cooperative working relationships with their federal counterparts, particularly in the areas of antitrust, bankruptcy, consumer protection, criminal law, cybercrime and the environment.

Each state provides its governor with an office staff dedicated to supporting the governor and to assisting the governor in the leadership and management of state government.

Democrats have been on a roll in legislative elections and increased their numbers again in 2008. Buoyed by the strong campaign of President Barack Obama in many key states, Democratic gains last year leave them at their best political position in legislatures in well over a decade. Democrats control 24 legislatures, Republicans control 14 and 8 are divided between the two parties.

CSG’s Interbranch Working Group grew out of the realization that many state issues require the input and perspective of the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government. By bringing officials together from all three branches to help solve complex public problems, it has become the catalyst to share best practices and identify and monitor divisive issues across the states.

Congress first enacted statutes preempting regulatory powers of states and their political subdivisions in 1790, but the impact of subsequent preemption acts with a few exceptions was relatively minor until 1965 when a sharp increase in such statutes occurred and many statutes involved fields traditionally regulated by the states. Most preemption statutes involve civil rights, commerce, communications, environmental protection, finance, health, telecommunications and transportation. This article focuses principally upon the preemption bills signed into law by President George W. Bush.