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Per the course catalog: “In-depth analysis of the government processes and management of the American states with particular emphasis placed on their interaction.”

Per my vision: More often than not state governments make more decisions that affect the life of an average citizen than does the federal government. In addition many professions within a state are regulated by the state government from attorneys to funeral home operators. State legislatures are also responsible for determining the proper representation of the electorate at the federal, state, and local levels. On top of the federally mandated programs that state governments oversee state governments regulate spending over a wide variety of items from road construction to public universities. These are just a few of the many components of state government that will be examined in this course.

The role of state government’s has debatably grown in importance in recent years as the federal government has turned over more of the administrative responsibilities of many federal programs to state governmental institutions. This phenomenon defined as “devolution” by political scientists will be debated in this course along with many other facets of state and federal government policy making.

In addition to the constitutional setup of state government we will examine governmental options that are unique to the U.S. states. One such example that will be discussed is the initiative, referendum, and reform which have been increasingly used by business interests, interest groups and the electorate in general in certain states to transform the very nature of state government.