The Future of Federalism: State/Federal Relations in an Era of Austerity

CSG Growth and Prosperity: Virtual Summit of the States 2.0

The Future of Federalism: State/Federal Relations in an Era of Austerity
April 14, 2011

The balance between state and federal power has not, in recent memory, been under more scrutiny from leaders on both sides of the equation. Stimulus dollars, health care reform, education funding, unemployment insurance, Medicaid and transportation strategy are but a few critical issues that continue to drive the state/federal dialogue. In normal times, these conversations are challenging. In our current period of economic hardship with state budgets continuing to experience significant gaps, the relationship can be adversarial with decisions having real and immediate impacts on citizens, jobs and services. Talk with national experts and federal representatives about key policy programs and learn about the likely future of state/federal relations.

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Speakers:

James F. Blumstein, professor of constitutional law, health law and policy, director of Vanderbilt University's Health Policy Center 

Jim Blumstein ranks among the nation’s most prominent scholars of health law, voting rights, and law and medicine. The director of Vanderbilt’s Health Policy Center, Blumstein has served as the principal investigator on numerous grants concerning managed care, hospital management and medical malpractice. His peers recognized his leadership in health law and policy by electing Blumstein to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. He has been the Olin Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, an adjunct professor at Dartmouth Medical School, and a visiting professor at Duke Law School and at Duke’s Institute of Policy Sciences and Public Affairs. He served as former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s counsel on TennCare reform and participated actively in a number of Supreme Court cases, arguing three.

Professor Roderick (Rick) Hills, William T. Comfort III professor of law, New York University School of Law 

Professor Roderick Hills teaches and writes in a variety of public law areas–constitutional law (with an emphasis on doctrines governing federalism), local government law, land-use regulation, jurisdiction and conflicts of law, and education law. His interest in these topics springs from their common focus on the problems and promise of decentralization. The United States has one of the most decentralized systems of regulation in the world, placing enormous power over land, schools, assistance to the needy (among many other topics) under the control of subnational governments, ranging from school districts to states. How these governments interact with each other and with higher levels of government poses complex legal questions. As a matter of policy, decentralization is said to have some characteristic virtues (for instance, efficient representation of local preferences) and vices (for instance, promotion of class and race segregation). Hills’ work explores our decentralized legal regime with an eye toward evaluating how well it balances these costs and benefits. Hills’ recent work has focused the virtues and vices of decentralization in the federal control of non-federal corruption, the states’ regulation of local government and the comparative advantages of federal and state politics in providing efficient, non-uniform policymaking for non-uniform communities.


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