Section 4 - Mineral Point Schools

Federalism and Public Policy
• When a government settles on a course of
action, it is called public policy.
• Federalism influences public policy in two
– It influences how and where policies are
– It places certain limits on policy making.
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Federalism and Public Policy (cont.)
• A sunset law is a provision in a law that
sets an automatic end date for the law.
• Lawmakers are forced to review the need
for continuing law beyond that date.
• Sunshine laws prohibit public officials
from holding closed meetings.
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Federalism and Political Parties
• Federalism makes it possible for different
political parties to be victorious in state,
local, and federal elections.
• This lessens the risk of one party having a
monopoly of political power.
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Political Participation
• Federalism provides for political participation
of citizens by allowing them to:
– run for local office,
– lobby the state government, and
– campaign for a candidate for national
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Political Participation (cont.)
• American federalism gives citizens many
points of access to government leaders
and increases their opportunities for
influencing public policy.
• Americans have the chance to vote often
for governors, state lawmakers and many
other state and local officials.
• Americans may work with special-interest
groups to influence national policies and
state and local government agencies.
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Political Participation (cont.)
• Federalism provides an increased chance
that one’s political participation will have
some practical impact on policy.
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Federalism’s Bureaucrats
• The great increase in federal programs in the
mid-1930s called for a large bureaucracy, or
organization of government administrators, to
carry out legislation.
• The increase in federal programs has
changed how state and federal officials
relate to one another.
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Differences Among the States
• Federalism allows for real economic and
political differences among the states
because it permits each state considerable
freedom in arranging its own internal affairs.
• Because states create different economic
and political environments, Americans can
choose among a range of conditions under
which they want to live.
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The Direction of Federalism
• Since the founding of the country, there has
always been a debate about what the proper
division of powers between the national
government and the states should be.
• The general tendency over the years has
been in favor of the national government,
but the power balance is constantly
evolving in response to new issues.
• Because of the relatively even distribution
of party seats in recent Congresses,
legislation has reflected both positions.
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