(RepublicanReport.com) – There’s a clear distinction between the federal and state powers, and the framers of the US Constitution set it up this way for a reason. The federal government’s powers are spelled out, for the most part, and they’re there to be a guiding force for the nation as a whole. However, the Founding Fathers wanted a separation, so they delegated and reserved powers to state governments in the 10th Amendment. While some powers, known as concurrent powers, are shared by both state and federal governments, there are others strictly limited to the states.
The 10th Amendment
The 10th Amendment gives powers not granted to the federal government to the states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
It was set in place in 1791 as a safeguard when states feared the national government’s power would expand.
Several powers run concurrently between state and national government, such as:
- Making and enforcing laws
- Collecting taxes
- Establishing courts
- Building roads
- Borrowing money
State Governments Model Federal
The states’ governments are set up just like the federal with three branches — executive, legislative, and judicial — that keep the system of checks and balances in effect.
When it comes to localities, they’re broken into two tiers: counties and municipalities, each with its own responsibilities.
State governments take care of the citizens as a whole, where municipalities are centralized on individual elements such as parks and recreation, police and fire, emergency medical services, transportation, and public works, to name a few.
State Government Responsibilities
When it comes to powers the states have, citizens’ needs come first. States are responsible for setting up local governments, such as county and municipal governments, as spelled out above.
States carry out elections for its government officials, including senators, representatives, mayors, judges, and governors.
They also issue drivers, hunting, and fishing licenses based on criteria set forth by the state. Additionally, states regulate intrastate businesses — business that takes place within its own boundaries.
As seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, individual states take public measures regarding health and safety. Governors may declare states of emergency and mask mandates — though this proved to be a controversial issue.
With the separation of powers, the citizens may rest assured the national government won’t force the entire nation to abide by a set of guidelines that may not relate to them. After all, the needs of citizens in a city versus rural areas differ greatly.
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