1. The Role of Washington
The United States Constitution specifically delegates to the states any powers that are not enumerated to Washington. In practice, however, Washington has a vast number of tools it uses to influence state policy, often involving granting â€“ or withholding â€“ funding to the states for a variety of initiatives. Citing the text, provide a two to three paragraph response about your views of Federalism today. Do you believe that Washington has taken the lead in policy creation and implementation? Do you think that states are, in practice, beholden to Washington because of the funding that they depend upon from the central government? Or, on the contrary, do you think that the states maintain a great deal of power and autonomy in our Federalism system? Provide examples, when relevant, to support your analysis.
2. States as Policy Laboratories
It has often been noted by scholars that the fifty states are policy laboratories that craft and implement public policies that are very specific and relevant to their state populations. In many cases, these experiments sometimes rise to the level of becoming a national policy because Congress will use them as model legislation. Describe any specific policies within your state that have been crafted in response to unique circumstances in your state. For example, Louisiana has fashioned many new policies involving emergency responsiveness since Hurricane Katrina, and California has many unique policies concerning the environment that are not found in other states. Provide a brief review of one policy in your state that you find interesting.