Intergovernmental Relationships

To accomplish its policy priorities, the federal government often needs to elicit the cooperation of states and local governments, using various strategies. Block and categorical grants provide money to lower government levels to subsidize the cost of implementing policy programs fashioned in part by the federal government. This strategy gives state and local authorities some degree of flexibility and discretion as they coordinate with the federal government. On the other hand, mandate compels state and local governments to abide by federal laws and regulations or face penalties.