Trends in State-Local Relations

A survey of municipal leagues and county associations in 41 states reveals several state legislatures initiated actions to assist general purpose local governments by broadening their discretionary authority and establishing special assistance programs. Nevertheless, more than one-half of the respondents reported the legislatures had imposed additional mandates since  1990 and one-third reported the imposition of additional restraints. Only two respondents indicated court decisions generally favored local governments, six reported narrow interpretation of local powers and the remaining respondents reported mixed decisions.

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About the Author
Joseph F. Zimmerman is a professor of political science in Rockefeller College of the State University of New York in Albany. He is the author of numerous books including Federal Preemption: The Silent Revolution (1991), Contemporary American Federalism: The Growth of National Power (1992), State-Local Relations (1995), Interstate Relations: The Neglected Dimension of Federalism (1996), Interstate Cooperation: Compacts and Agreements (2002), and Interstate Economic Relations (2004).