State And Local Government
Powers not granted to the Federal government are reserved for States and the people, which are divided between State and local governments.
Most Americans have more frequent contact with their State and local governments than with the Federal Government. Police departments, libraries, and schoolsnot to mention drivers licenses and parking ticketsusually fall under the oversight of State and local governments. Each state has its own written constitution, and these documents are often far more elaborate than their Federal counterpart. The Alabama Constitution, for example, contains 310,296 wordsmore than 40 times as many as the U.S. Constitution.
All State governments are modeled after the Federal Government and consist of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The U.S. Constitution mandates that all States uphold a republican form of government, although the three-branch structure is not required.
Uncover: Native American Tribal Governments
There are 573 federally recognized Indian Tribal Nations in the United States today229 are located in Alaska the rest are in 35 other states. Taken as a whole, the land of American Indian nations would be the countrys fourth largest state.
Each tribal nation is recognized as a sovereign entity by the United States Constitution, Article 1/Section 8:
The Congress shall have the power to . . . regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.
The Supreme Court reaffirmed that principle in its decision in Worcester v. Georgia when it declared Indian Nations had always been considered as distinct, independent political communities, retaining their original natural rights, as the undisputed possessors of the soil The very term ‘nation,’ so generally applied to them, means ‘a people distinct from others.’
Each tribal nation has its own government with the power to pass laws, operate police departments and courts, provide education and other social services, and build roads, bridges, and other public facilities .
Sequoyah, the Native American State That Almost Existed
Learn more at Remembering the State That Never Was, from Oklahoma Center for the Humanities .
The Difference Between National State And Local Law
by Dysart Willis | Aug 1, 2019
Between local laws, state laws, federal laws, and the courts that dictate them, the U.S. judicial system can be a complicated one. The sheer number of laws that help run our country can be overwhelming, especially if you find yourself facing prosecution for violating one.
Each state is a sovereign entity, but we are all part of one nation, so in the United States Constitution, the founders of our country classified laws by jurisdiction in an effort to limit the powers of both federal and state authorities. For this reason, jurisdictional powers exist to help define who or what body of government can make and enforce a law.
There are certain rights that are given to each individual state to determine for its residents and visitors and others that are handled at a national level. This means that laws may differ from state to state, which is why it is important to find a certified attorney in the state in which you are charged one not certified there may not be familiar with that states particular nuances.
There are some scenarios in which both federal and state courts have jurisdiction. In these instances, the parties involved may choose whether they want to go to state or federal court.
Don’t Miss: Government Jobs That Pay For Graduate School
The Relationship Between Local And State Governments
What is the relationship between local and state governments? Is it the same as the relationship between the federal and state governments? You’ll find that it isn’t. Why not and how so? Keep reading and you’ll find your answer.
When we look at the relationship between the federal government and the state governments, we have a system known as federalism, in which the central national government does not hold all power, but shares power with sovereign states. This power to the states was expressly granted by the tenth amendment, the last of the Bill of Rights, which states The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People. In other words, the federal government shares sovereignty with states, allowing the states the freedom to create their own sovereign laws based on their own needs and wants. Once again, this is known as federalism.
Because local governments are merely extension of state powers, rather than autonomous entities that are reserved powers not granted to the state, such as the federalist model between our national government and state governments, this means that the type and level of function given to local governments differs by state, since each state determines the type and amount of powers they want to give to their local government entities.
*NOTE – Dillon’s Rule:
State Vs Federal Government
So, whats the difference between state and federal governments? The Constitution, as written by The Founding Fathers, balances power between the federal government and the state governments. This is to ensure that power is shared between the state and national governments. While both are composed of three branches their differences can be seen in the power they exercise as granted by the Constitution.
State governments have jurisdiction over matters that affect their respective states. These would include establishing local governments, issuing licenses , regulating state commerce, conducting elections and more. On the other hand, the federal government exercises its power over matters of national concern. These would include declaring war, printing money, negotiating with foreign governments and regulating both interstate and international commerce.
State governments can also exercise powers not granted to the federal government, and can wield powers that are within the boundaries of the Constitution.
Recommended Reading: Which Government Health Insurance Company Is Best
B Units Of Government
While most of us are aware that there is one national government and there are fifty state governments, we often lose sight of the fact that there are other units of government that serve our everyday needs. In fact, in the U.S. there are 90,056 units of government beyond the national government and the fifty state governments. Each of these units of government offers some degree of opportunity for citizens to make their priorities known and to make demands upon government. The existence of such a multitude of governmental bodies provides Americans with myriad opportunities to become involved in the political process and to make a difference in the quality of life in their respective communities.
Beyond the prominent national and state governments of which most of us are well aware, there are several additional important types of government that are prominent: counties, municipalities, townships, school districts, and special purpose districts. As of 2012, there are 3,031 counties in the U.S. Some states have very few counties Delaware contains only three while some states have many counties for example, Texas has 254. The number of local governments has increased by 0.6 percent between the 2007 and 2012 Census of Governments, while the overall number of governments has decreased by 22.9 percent from 116,807 in the 1952 Census of Governments. According to the 2012 Census of Governments by the U.S. Census Bureau:
The Division Of Powers
- Explain the concept of federalism
- Discuss the constitutional logic of federalism
- Identify the powers and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments
Modern democracies divide governmental power in two general ways some, like the United States, use a combination of both structures. The first and more common mechanism shares power among three branches of governmentthe legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. The second, federalism, apportions power between two levels of government: national and subnational. In the United States, the term federal government refers to the government at the national level, while the term states means governments at the subnational level.
Don’t Miss: Government Grants For Higher Education
The Role Of Governments In Public Health: An Overview And Legal Framework
Governments at every levelâfederal, tribal, state, and localâplay important roles in protecting, preserving, and promoting the public’s health and safety . In the United States, the government’s responsibility for the health of its citizens stems, in part, from the nature of democracy itself. Health officials are either directly elected or appointed by democratically elected officials. To the extent, therefore, that citizens place a high priority on health, these elected officials are held accountable to ensure that the government is able to monitor the population’s health and intervene when necessary through laws, policies, regulations, and expenditure of the resources necessary for the health and safety of the public.
Modern public health agencies wield considerable power to make rules to control private behavior, interpret statutes and regulations, and adjudicate disputes about whether an individual or a company has conformed to health and safety standards. In the area of health and safety , public health agencies are expected to have the expertise and long-range perspective necessary to assemble the facts about health risks and to devise solutions.
Role Of State And Local Governments In Assuring Population Health
States and their local subdivisions retain the primary responsibility for health under the U.S. Constitution. To fulfill this responsibility, state and local public health authorities engage in a variety of activities, including monitoring the burden of injury and disease in the population through surveillance systems identifying individuals and groups that have conditions of public health importance with testing, reporting, and partner notification providing a broad array of prevention services such as counseling and education and helping assure access to high-quality health care services for poor and vulnerable populations. State and local governments also engage in a broad array of regulatory activities. They seek to ensure that businesses conduct themselves in ways that are safe and sanitary and that individuals do not engage in unduly risky behavior or pose a danger to others , and they oversee the quality of health care provided in the public and private sectors.
Also Check: Government Policies To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Federal Courts And Laws
Federal laws are applicable to every person in the United States citizen and visitor alike. These national laws are made and upheld by the United States Congress, our federal legislature.
Federal courts can only try types of cases that are listed in the federal statutes and affect the country as a whole. They mostly only hear cases regarding Constitutional violations or violations of federal laws, cases between states, cases in which the United States is a party involved, and copyright, bankruptcy, patent and maritime law cases.
Typically if federal and state laws overlap, the case in question will go to state court, depending on the seriousness of the crime. In certain circumstances, individuals can be prosecuted in both state and federal court without it being considered Double Jeopardy.
Fact : States Differ In Their Use Of Cost
The wide range of state and local government activities discussed in facts 1 and 2 serves as a reminder of the economic importance of making sound policy at the state and local levels. Cost-benefit analysisan analytical technique that calculates the net impact of a proposal in monetary termsis an important contributor to evidence-based policymaking. Nevertheless, the technique is used only sporadically at the state and local levels.
Figure 3 shows the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiatives assessment of states implementation of cost-benefit analysis across various policy areas: behavioral health, child welfare, criminal justice, and juvenile justice. Notably, Washington, New Mexico, and Colorado are states that use cost-benefit analysis in at least three policy areas, whereas California and Georgia are among the large group of states that do not use it at all.
One example of states implementing cost-benefit analysis is Floridas Program Accountability Measures initiative, a legislatively required evaluation program, which assesses the costs and benefits of its juvenile justice programs and helps determine which programs are working and warrant additional funding . Another example comes from Colorados Department of Regulatory Agencies, which is responsible for conducting cost-benefit analyses of existing and proposed regulations .
In facts 4 and 5, we present two policy areas that illustrate the need for evidence-based policymaking at the state and local levels.
Read Also: Us 10 Year Government Bond Yield
Time Zones And Daylight Saving Time
For the first half of United States history, time was measured locally by the position of the sun in the sky. Clocks in one town were not the same as in other towns .
United States Time ZonesCredit: United States Department of the Interior/Public Domain
The rise of the railroads forced a change in how time was measured and communicated. Trains needed to run on fixed schedules so engineers would know where other trains were on the same tracks. At 12 noon on , major railroads in the U.S. and Canada began operating based on agreed upon time zones that established a standard time across the country, varying by one hour per time zone from coast to coast. Interestingly, time zones did not become a federal law until the passage of the Standard Time Act of 1918. With that legislation, the regulation of time zones became a function of the federal government and not a matter of state or local control.
With time zones came the concept of Daylight Saving Time which was instituted and repealed more than once between 1918 and 1966. There was federally-mandated daylight saving time for 7 months in 1918 and 1919 and again during World War II. There was no federal law about time between 1945 and 1966.
For more, read Who Really Benefits from Daylight Saving? New York Public Radio.
State And Local Governments
Governors. Mayors. State Representatives. City Council members. Sheriffs.
Beneath the layer of the national government lies a complex web of state and local officials and institutions. The nation’s founders concern over tyranny transcended their separation of power among the three branches of government. Power is also divided by level, with each layer performing its designated responsibility. States and communities would even have the freedom to design their own institutions and create their own offices. This creates a multitude of “laboratories” where government leaders at any level could see which systems were successful and which were problematic.
You May Like: Practice Test For Government Jobs
State Courts And Laws
Every state has its own laws and court systems. Commonwealths and territories also have their own laws and court systems.
Most cases involving individual citizens for example, robbery and family law are handled in state courts. State laws are always applicable within that state, which means that if you are just visiting or driving through, you will be under that states law while within state borders.
North Carolinas state laws can be found in detail here: .
Investigate: The Powers Of State And National Government And The Tensions Between Them
The functions of state and national government in the United States are based on the principle of . A power is the legal right of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of a government to take action.
In this country, state and national governments have specific and separate powers. The national government can do things that the states cannot and the states can do things that the national government cannot. The list below compares the powers of national and state governments.
- National Government Powers:
- Sign treaties with foreign nations.
- Regulate interstate and international commerce.
- Make post offices and stamps.
- Make laws to support the Constitution.
However, there are some powers that both governments share concurrently, such as:
- Creating courts
- Spending money to better the people
- Condemning private property with reason
You May Like: What Are Some Government Jobs
Federalism The Relationship Between Federal And State Government
In the United States, the government operates under a principle called federalism. Two separate governments, federal and state, regulate citizens.
The federal government has limited power over all fifty states. State governments have the power to regulate within their state boundaries. State powers are also limited in the sense that states cannot make laws that conflict with the laws of the federal government.
A system of government in which the people are regulated by both federal and state governments.
F Models Of Federalism
Political scientists have developed a number of ways to describe and study federalism. In their highly regarded synthesis of prior research in this area published as an article in Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Donald Rosenthal and James Hoefler11 identify a condensed list of models of American federalism featuring the following core concepts:
- dual federalism
Also Check: What Is Data Governance Framework
Types Of Local Governments
Local governments are generally organized into four types:
The organization of state and local governments varies widely across the United States. They have common specific features, but their organizations differ. Regardless of their design, state and local governments often have a far greater impact on people’s lives than the federal government. Marriage, birth, and death certificates. School policies. Driving age and qualifications for licensure. Laws regarding theft, rape, and murder, as well as the primary responsibility of protecting citizens from criminals. These critical issues and many others are not decided by distant Washington authorities, but by state and local officials.
Financing The Public Health Infrastructure
State and local governments traditionally have had financial responsibility for basic governmental public health services, such as workforce training, the development of information systems and the organizational capacity to conduct disease surveillance and prevention programs, the management of public health laboratories, the implementation of population-based prevention and health education programs, and other protections such as water and air quality management, waste disposal, and pest control. Yet the federal government also has a financial responsibility for assuring the capacity of the public health infrastructure at the state and local levels. Unlike the areas of medical care and biomedical research, however, the federal government has never made a similar level of investment in the public health infrastructure, such as the clinical laboratories, surveillance systems, or environmental monitoring systems needed to monitor health and health threats at the state and community levels. In the past, in response to perceptions of great national need, substantial federal investments played a crucial role in the development of the hospital industry and of the biomedical research capacity as well as the expansions of medical schools. What a national government pays for is a critical statement about priorities.
Recommended Reading: How To Sign Up For A Free Government Phone