Local, State and Federal Partnerships

Local, State and Federal Partnerships
Local, State and Federal Partnerships

Local, State and Federal Partnerships

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Local, State and Federal Partnerships


Federal, state, and local partnerships are crucial to the implementation of many policy programs in the United States given that all these levels of government cover different administrative areas, which could not operate independently of the two. The federal government covers the whole nation and is most concerned with implementation of policies across the whole country. Some of its roles include the construction and maintenance of interstates highways and the national healthcare system. The state government has jurisdiction only over the individual state that it is responsible over and it executes all the administrative duties within a particular state in conjunction with the federal government (Ebel, Petersen, & Vu, 2013). Lastly, the local government, on the other hand, is usually responsible for a small administrative unit such as a county or a municipal and is usually in direct contact with the residents of a particular area. The local government is usually the most effective at reaching out and coordinating government programs with the local residents. For maximum efficiency, these three levels of government must work in partnership with each other in order to implement government programs in crucial areas such as education, healthcare, and trade facilitation among many other partnerships as explained below.

Federal/State Partnerships in the Support of Humanities Councils

The National Endowment for the Humanities is a federal agency that operates independently under the executive arm of government whose main function is to provide general operating support to the state humanities councils for over 56 jurisdictions (NEH, n.d). The NEH through the Federal/State partnerships office provides grants to most of the state humanities councils that are run by volunteer boards and also provide technical support on the ground in the implementation of most of the state humanities councils’ programs. The Federal/State partnership enables the NEH to achieve its two critical mandates of advancing knowledge and understanding of the humanities throughout the United States and of increasing public awareness, support, and access to the humanities. The partnership office gives grants to the state councils, consults with them onsite and reviews their work, offers the councils insurance and maintains a communication network across the humanities network. Through this partnership, people in most local areas of the state have been able to benefit from specific humanities programs that target them with content that is relevant and interesting to them. The impact of this partnership has been profound on local communities as they get access to humanities they could not access without the grants given through the partnership.

Federal and Local Partnerships Crucial to Public Safety and Justice

At a recent meeting organized by the National Association of Councils (NACo), the importance of federal and local council’s partnerships in terms of the implementation of justice and public safety programs was emphasized. Most of the councils represented reiterated the need for greater partnership with the federal government in the areas of administration of justice, especially in relation to the indigent defense system (Harris & Murray, 2011). Many county councils asked for more funding from the federal government so that they could deliver better services to their local communities, which especially relates to the rural communities that rely heavily on government programs. The Department of Justice was also put to task about how they could assist local councils in setting up demonstrations that would create rural public defender systems. Other issues that were covered included the steps that were to be taken for the implementation of bail reform, the issue of long-term communications infrastructure for disaster management and recovery, and the role of partnerships between governments in reducing prison populations. All the issues raised and discussed at the meeting highlighted the critical role that the federal government plays in the implementation of justice and public safety programs that affect local people especially in the rural areas.

State-Federal partnerships in healthcare

One of the major roles of the federal government is tom provide universal healthcare to all Americans and it cannot achieve this mandate without the full collaboration of state governments that are usually responsible for staff and provision of care. The most crucial role of the federal government in the healthcare industry is to provide health insurance to all Americans through programs such as Medicaid and other social safety programs. State governments play a crucial role in ensuring that everyone receives the appropriate medical coverage that they deserve under the health insurance programs funded by the federal government (Fisher, 2012). Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) there were several options that were created for both state-based and federal medical insurance programs with majority of the states opting out of the state-based insurance exchanges that place responsibility for the program directly on state governments. Many state are leaning towards the state-federal partnership option in the insurance exchanges program where most of the heavy lifting is left to the federal government as these partnerships do not require a 50-50 split in labor between the state and  the federal government. Observers and experts warn that these partnerships could cause major problems for the federal government.


In summary, the few topics do not come close to describing the full scale of federal, state, and local partnerships in the United States, as such partnerships exist in all government functions with only a few exceptions. It is important that these partnerships continue to be nurtured and refined so that they become more effective for the benefit of the local citizen who pays taxes and funds most government activities. Therefore, I believe that these partnerships are crucial to the welfare of all Americans.


NEH. (n.d). About the Federal/State Partnership. Retrieved from http://www.neh.gov/divisions/fedstate/about.

Ebel, R. D., Petersen, J. E., & Vu, H. T. (2013). The Great Recession: Impacts and Outlook for U.S. State and Local Finance. Municipal Finance Journal, 33/34(4/1), 33-77.

Harris, D.  & Murray, D. (2011, January 31). Federal, local partnerships crucial to justice, public safety. Retrieved from http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/Current%20Issue/1-31-11/Pages/Federal,localpartnershipscrucialtojustice,publicsafety.aspx.

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