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Top 3 Local: Not So Fast!

On October 25, 2013

Don’t miss the latest installment of Federalism in Action’s Top 3 Local weekly blog post. If you’re new here, every Friday, we find the 3 top stories highlighting local people making local decisions across the nation. We find the best examples of “Federalism in Action,” so you can stay informed.

Check out this week’s Top 3 Local stories below, and you can click here to read last week’s highlights. Do you have a story to include in the next edition? Email us at FIA@statebudgetsolutions.org!

FOR FUN: Kids Eat Local

October is Farm to School Month, and kids nationwide have the opportunity to connect and experience the local food right in their own communities. This national awareness month aims to help improve childhood nutrition, support local farms, boost local economies, and educate families on the advantages of eating local. Check out some of the creative ways schools and communities are “keeping it local.”

FOR INSPIRATION: Virginia Leaders Don’t Back Down

As Virginia continues to push for Medicaid reform through its Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, some state policy leaders are not backing down easily. The “Medicaid Reform Team,” comprised of policy experts including SBS Editor and Counsel Joe Luppino-Esposito, advocated for state-based reform of Medicaid to help the truly needy citizens at a hearing in Richmond this week, They argued that a federally mandated expansion of a broken program will only reduce quality of care for those who need it most. The team also questioned the likelihood of the federal government’s “promise” to help fund the program.

As evidenced by the recent federal shutdown, states cannot reasonably rely on the federal government to hold up their end of the bargain. When the well-being of the most vulnerable population is at stake, states should focus on making decisions close to home, not looking to Washington for help.

FOR MOTIVATION: States not off the Hook Yet

Over the last few weeks, Federalism In Action discussed the federal government shutdown’s impact on states, particularly those in the West. The closing of national parks crippled the economies of Western states, and the White House eventually relented to allow the states to utilize state funds to manage and run the parks during the shutdown. This week, the parks are open for business with federal dollars, but the looming question still remains: will Washington repay the six states that used their own funds to reopen the parks?

According to a Washington Post article this week, states will have to lobby Congress in order to receive repayment. This complicated funding relationship further highlights the growing problems in the “governing partnership” between Washington and the states. Despite its fiscal problems, the federal government still has not relaxed its grip.

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