Governments as Interest Groups: Intergovernmental Lobbying and the Federal System

Synopsis

State and local governments emerged as important interest groups in the 1960s, as that decade witnessed a rapid expansion of federal social programs administered at the state and local levels. The 1970s and 1980s were distinguished by attempts to give states and localities more responsibility over such programs. The present day is marked by an even more purposeful return of responsibility and policymaking to state and local governments, both because of severe deficits at the federal level and an ideological shift toward federalism. This work examines the impact state and local governments have had and can have on the federal government, asserting that they can be important factors in the creation of policy. The author looks at the intergovernmental lobbying tactics--successful and unsuccessful--of five states and local lobbying groups: the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the NationalGovernor's,Association. Her study will be of interest to scholars and policy-makers at the local, state, and federal government levels.