Idaho Governor Butch Otter

It’s been another exciting week for local decision-making. Did you catch the latest news? Federalism in Action has you covered with the top 3 stories from across the nation that best exemplify local people making local decisions. If you’re new: Each Friday we share these highlights, so you can stay up-to-date with the best examples of federalism in action. Find this week’s top 3 stories below and click here to read last week’s post.

FOR INSPIRATION: Idaho Governor Takes an Important Step to Prepare for Federal Cutbacks

Idaho Governor Butch Otter recently signed an Executive Order that calls for an audit of all federal funds coming into the state. State officials must develop a risk assessment so lawmakers can be ready for the next federal budget crisis. This is an important step for Idaho, a state that receives over 34 percent of its general revenue from the federal government. To learn more about how federal dependence leaves states unprepared to deal with federal financial crises, read the full report from the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

FOR MOTIVATION: Local Decisions in the Medicaid Debate

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court made a very important ruling for federalism: Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act was optional. As a result, roughly half of the states accepted federal money to expand the program and half opted out. Just this week, neighboring states Wisconsin and Michigan rolled out their very different new Medicaid plans. Wisconsin did not accept federal matching funds and instead developed their own state-based plan, while Michigan chose to expand Medicaid through Obamacare. In developing a unique approach, Wisconsin was able to offer more coverage to the poorest residents without expanding their reliance on federal Medicaid funding.

FOR FUN: Opening Day Across the Nation

This week marked the beginning of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, and fans nationwide played hooky from work to show up at their local ballparks on Opening Day. While Americans are united in their love of baseball, team preferences are quite different across the country. Facebook compiled a map to show where fans of the 30 different teams are most concentrated. This is yet another great example highlighting local diversity across the nation. 

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