CAN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS GET ALONG?
The Center for Ethics in Public Life at UMSL, in conjunction with the Municipal League and the Institute for Public Policy at the Truman School of Public Affairs, was excited to sponsor a workshop on how modern Federalism impacts local policy decisions and the University of Missouri – Columbia campus. The one day conference featured panel discussions on three important local policy issues: environmental regulations, rural economic development, and police conduct review boards, as well as informative key note presentations. Speakers and panelists included state and federal officials as well as municipal and community leaders.
Intergovernmental relations grow ever more important in a society and economy that is increasingly interdependent. Federal resources and mandates implemented and allocated at the state level, state policies with profound consequences at the local level, and local events which demand national attention and policy solutions at every level, require that all of these governmental levels coordinate to ever-higher degrees. In a society which so deeply values autonomy this demand for inter-governmental coordination can sometimes generate more heat than light, but given its necessity, we must ask: how do we do it well?
This conference sought to address these issues by answering the following sorts of questions in the context of a variety of issues: How do we balance local accountability and adaptability against the consistency and efficiency of state and national policy? When formulating and implementing policy across levels of governance what sorts of practices have shown themselves to lead to positive outcomes? How can local officials and administrators foster good relationships with state and national agencies? How can state and national agencies foster good relationships with local government? What are some success stories, and some cautionary tales, we can all learn from?