The Weakening of the States

Publication Date: November 2009

Publisher: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Author(s): Richard P. Nathan

Research Area: Government

Keywords: Federalism; American Government

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The role of the states in American government is weakening, according to this report released at the Institute's first national conference on states' long-term budget gaps. There are three main causes: The Great Recession has strained states' finances, while increasing the need for services. Medicaid continues to put pressure on states' finances. And the information revolution has de-emphasized states by creating the false impression that more domestic government can be micromanaged from Washington.