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 quite recent. Prior to 1961, the government barely imposed any regulations 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 types of regulatory techniques have been used several times to structure public policy and the local and state governments’ operation techniques. The regulatory techniques that can be currently utilized include direct orders, cross-cutting regulations, cross-over sanctions, and partial preemptions. The only type of regulatory technique that had been applied prior to 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 federal water standards, there was an influx in all types of regulatory techniques.
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 as part of 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 is discriminated against on the basis of their 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 has a negative effect on 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 their laws.
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 policies are considered superior.
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).
Please also describe the different types of regulations and mandates, as well as a description of how intergovernmental relations tends to work between federal, state, and local government agencies after federal regulations or mandate go into use.
Please make sure essay will pass turnitin plagiarism site!
BOOK: American Intergovernmental Relations. By: G. Ross Stephens and Nelson Wikstrom
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