Exit Viewer

Governing the States and the Nation: The Intergovernmental Policy Influence of the Na ...

Chapter 1:  Governors and the National Governors Association (NGA)
image Next
Governing the States and the Nation:

leadership, state politics, and contemporary American federalism.

—Grady 1987, 315


Working at the nexus between the federal and state governments, the governor serves at a critical junction in the American federal system of government. As Dennis Grady noted, in this role, governors are not only involved in typical state-level matters, but they are also expected to implement many federal policies that seem to be ever growing in number and size. Programs such as Medicare and Medicaid require governors to disperse significant amounts of federal funds within their own states, and other federal dollar streams (such as those that support Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) also depend upon the ability of governors to administer federal programs as required by law. The recent adoption of federal policies such as No Child Left Behind further obligates governors to commit time and resources to overseeing state activities to ensure that they are implemented according to federal standards and serves as a reminder that governors will continue to be asked to assist the federal government in its many pursuits well into the foreseeable future. Because many of the federal programs and policies directly affect their ability to fulfill their constitutional duties, governors commonly strive to shape many of the federal policies that they are responsible for implementing in their states. From the efforts they put forth in developing experimental policies at the state level to their endeavors in actively lobbying the federal government on various issues, it is clear that governors do not passively accept policy outcomes or simply take orders from the federal government. Rather, they increasingly tend to