It’s finally Friday! Before you head out for the weekend, make sure to check out the latest Top 3 Local blog post. Each Friday, Federalism in Action finds the 3 top stories highlighting local people making local decisions. We summarize the best examples of “Federalism in Action” from around the country so you can stay in the know.

You can read this week’s Top 3 Local stories below, and you can click here to read last week’s post. Do you have a story to include in the next installment? Email us at!

FOR FUN: America’s Fastest Growing Cities

Governing magazine recently published data from the U.S. Census Bureau showing population growth in America’s cities. Where does your city fall on the list? The recent numbers show that cities overall are growing. Factors contributing to the largest growth include robust energy sectors, enviable retirement locations, and attractions for young people.

FOR MOTIVATION: EPA’s Regulations Are Increasing

A recent study showed that, under the current administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has executed more Clean Air Act federal implementation plans than the previous three administrations combined (and then multiplied by 10!). Click here to see the full chart. As noted by scholars from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the EPA’s enabling acts outlined a system of cooperative federalism, where the states and the federal government would share responsibility. That is far from the case today, with federal overreach restricting state control.

FOR INSPIRATION: School Opts out of Federal Program for More Flexibility 

Much attention this week has centered around the debate over federal funding and local control in school lunch programs. You can read more on our Federalism 101 blog here. One school district in Illinois is taking matters into its own hands. The school board determined the $900,000 it receives from the feds for the free and reduced lunch program is not worth the extra costs associated with federal compliance. Once it opts out, the school district must scramble to find the necessary funds to provide assistance to the most needy students. But this time, the district can do so without federal overreach.

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