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Partisan polarization characterizes the current period of coercive federalism, shaping state-federal relations in often conflictual ways. Major clashes have occurred over health care, immigration, education, environmental protection, voting rights and numerous cultural issues such as abortion. State-federal disputes over health care and immigration have, moreover, generated two U.S. Supreme Court contests that could mark a pivotal advance or rollback of federal power over the states. At the same time, austerity and scrambles for tax revenue continue to characterize intergovernmental fiscal relations, while social welfare spending drives state budgets and squeezes funding for nonwelfare functions and for local governments.

Chapter 3 of the 2012 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

Chapter 5 of the 2012 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

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