Many scholars and other observers have argued that state legislatures are ill-equipped to play a vital role in the federal system, and yet they must play such a role if pressing national problems are to be met. Government at all levels faces the difficulty of resolving such issues as air and water pollution, urban blight, traffic congestion, inadequate housing, unemployment and underemployment, racial unrest, educational and recreational deficiencies, and rising crime. National, state, and local governments are partners in the federal system. With this goal in mind, a novel idea in federal-state relations has been proposed. It concerns the use of cash grants by the federal government to state legislative instrumentalities. The broad objective of this aid is to stimulate the states to upgrade the research capabilities of their legislatures. This article's purpose is to discuss some of the deficiencies of state legislatures and some suggested approaches to eliminating or at least alleviating those deficiencies with federal assistance. The format for this study is as follows: (1) a discussion of the needs of state legislatures, (2) the federal aid concept, (3) alternative approaches to its implementation, (4) some political and practical issues, and finally, (5) some conclusions.
Walter J. Oleszek,
Federal Aid to State Legislatures: Problems and Potential,
50 Neb. L. Rev. 15
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol50/iss1/4