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The History of Regulations in Government

The History of Regulations in Government

The United States has one of the longest-living prototypes of federalism and state governments in the world, but the history of regulations in government is relatively recent. Before 1961, the government barely imposed any rules on the state and local governments. The turning point for regulatory federalism occurred in 1965 when Congress decided that all states must meet minimum national standards for water quality (Stephens & Wikstrom, 2007). After this, Congress started exercising its total and partial preemption powers to develop more national regulations. Since then, various regulatory techniques have been used several times to structure public policy and the local and state governments’ operation techniques. The regulatory methods that can be currently utilized include direct orders, cross-cutting regulations, cross-over sanctions, and partial preemptions. The only regulatory technique applied before 1961 was an executive order, with several being done between 1930 and 1940. Between 1940 and 1960, no federal regulations on state and local government existed. However, after the 1965 decision on national water standards, there was an influx in all regulatory techniques.

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A direct federal order, also called a mandate, is a regulation that must be complied with by any sub-national government under the threat of civil or legal sanctions. More than 200 federal mandates involve 170 federal laws, which have been implemented since the 1960s (Stephens & Wikstrom, 2007). An illustration of a federal mandate is the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, which prohibits the discrimination of employees in all states.

Cross-cutting requirements are regulations imposed on a plan to achieve national or broad economic policy goals. For instance, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 required that no employee be discriminated against based on race, national origin, or color. Since then, there have been various cross-cutting requirements to advance the agenda of this policy, such as the inclusion of gender, sexuality, and disability status.

Cross-over sanctions are sanctions applied in one government area to create an impact in another policy area. These sanctions exercise congressional power to impose sanctions on a program area that hurts another local or state program. For example, in the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, the government implemented a cross-over sanction by requiring that states comply with the federal billboard requirements for highways or lose 10% of their highway funding in the federal budget (Stephens & Wikstrom, 2007).

Regulations have also been imposed in America as a result of preemption. In areas where there is a conflict between state and federal laws, the Federal law is assumed to be superior to the state law. Congress preempts state law in such cases. Therefore, this gives the federal government the power to impose practices on the state governments when there is a collision in the statutes.

In conclusion, the states have increasingly been forced to adhere to federal policies over the years due to the different regulatory techniques discussed above. These interstate regulations have increased the federal government’s power to control the practices of the states (Lamaire, 2017). Even in cases where there is a clash between the state and federal policies, the national guidelines are considered superior.

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Lemaire, D. (2017). The stick: Regulation as a tool of government. In Carrots, Sticks and Sermons (pp. 59-76). Routledge.

Stephens, R. G., & Wikstrom, N. (2007). American Intergovernmental Relations. Oxford University Press.


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The History of Regulations in Government

Please write and submit an essay of 500-700 words describing the history of regulations in government (using chapter 6 in our text as a primary reference, but you are welcome to include other materials).

The History of Regulations in Government

The History of Regulations in Government

Please also describe the different types of regulations and mandates and how intergovernmental relations tend to work between federal, state, and local government agencies after federal law appointments go into use.

Please make sure the essay will pasTurnitinin the plagiarism site!

BOOK: American Intergovernmental Relations. By: G. Ross Stephens and Nelson Wikstrom

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