State-Local Governmental Interactions

By Joseph F. Zimmerman

Subjects: Political Science
Paperback : 9781438441702, 272 pages, January 2013
Hardcover : 9781438441696, 272 pages, May 2012

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Table of contents

1. State Governments and Their Political Subdivisions
2. The State-Local Government Legal Relationship
3. State-Local Fiscal Relations
4. State-Mandated Local Government Expenditure Distortions
5. State Responses to Local Government Problems
6. The Federal Influence
7. A Partnership Approach

Examines the little-explored topic of relations between state governments and their respective local governments.


Relations between state governments and their respective local governments are of crucial importance, yet they have remained largely unexplored by scholars. This neglect is all the more surprising in light of the fact that most public services are provided directly to citizens by general-purpose local governments, who are themselves subject to varying degrees of control by their respective state governments.

In State-Local Governmental Interactions, Joseph F. Zimmerman builds on work conducted for the US Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations pertaining to local government discretionary authority, intergovernmental service agreements, state and federal mandates, and voluntary and state-mandated transfers of functional responsibility. He demonstrates that the degree of control states exercise over their political subdivisions varies greatly, from very tight control in Vermont to relatively little control in Maine. Particular emphasis is placed on the legal relationships between a state and its various types of political subdivisions. The volume concludes with recommendations for the establishment of a state-local governmental partnership.

Joseph F. Zimmerman is Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His many books include Regulating the Business of Insurance in a Federal System; Congress: Facilitator of State Action; The Government and Politics of New York State: Second Edition; and Horizontal Federalism: Interstate Relations, all published by SUNY Press.