Document Type

Article

Publication Date

December 1977

Abstract

In 1972 Congress added General Revenue Sharing to the list of federal grant-in-aid programs for states and localities. President Nixon had recommended Revenue Sharing, as apart of his "New Federalism," because it would foster local autonomy by minimizing federal restrictions on the grants. When General Revenue Sharing was renewed in 1976, Congress made no changes in the formula, leading some commentators to minimize the significance of those changes which were made.

Professor Brown argues that the 1976 renewal amendments to the Revenue Sharing Act are an example of "interventionist federalism," a new form of federal influence over state and local governments. The federal government, while not specifying how Revenue Sharing funds must be spent, places on recipients strict conditions meant to promote such policies as non-discrimination and open access to state and local decision-making bodies. Thus the 1976 amendments, while enhancing local autonomy in spending decisions, enable the federal government to affect state administration in a potentially broader way than in the past.

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