State Legislation Facilitative of Federal Action

Published date01 January 1940
Date01 January 1940
Subject MatterArticles
State Legislation Facilitative of Federal Action
By V. O. KEY, JR.
traditional theory of federalism
complete systematization of the field of
.1 postulates a division of legislative
Federal leadership in state legislation
powers between central and constituent
need not be attempted, but the scope of
governments and presumes that the leg-
the inquiry may be roughly marked out
islative body of each unit will perform
by differentiation from certain other
its lawmaking functions relatively inde-
phases of Federal influence on state
pendently. In several articles Professor
legislative action. Through grants-in-aid
W. Brooke Graves has shown that agen-
to the states, legislatures are brought to
cies of the Federal Government have
enact laws meeting Federal requirements,
come in recent
such statutes
years to exercise influence
lay the legal ground-
work for
over the state legislatures.’
a continuing financial and ad-
Graves has been primarily concerned
ministrative relationship between the
with the fact of Federal influence---a
Federal Government and the state itself.
matter of great significance in the evolu-
The Bureau of Narcotics seeks to bring
tion of federalism-rather than with the
about passage of the Uniform Narcotics
differentiation of situations in which that
Act, but this relationship is in its essence
influence occurs. It is proposed here to
the same as that of a nonofficial pressure
carry the study a step farther by ana-
agency promoting legislation. In other
lyzing one type of Federal relationship
instances Federal agencies are interested
to state lawmaking.
in state action to the end that the state
This discussion is concerned with the
will exercise powers parallel to the juris-
enactment of state legislation, under
dictional area occupied by the Federal
varying degrees of Federal persuasion, to
agency. The National Labor Relations
facilitate direct Federal administrative
Board, for example, has looked with fa-
action affecting individuals, corporations,
vor on the adoption of state labor rela-
or political subdivisions of the state. A
tions acts on the order of the national
"Stroke Oar," 7 (1934) State Government
In the type of situation under exam-
259-62; "Federal Leadership in State Legis-
lation," 10 (1935-36) Temple Law Quarterly
ination, state legislation, generally in the
385-405; "The Future of the American States,"
fields of private and municipal corpora-
30 (1936) American Political Science Review
tion law, is sought to facilitate direct
24-50; "Influence of Congressional Legislation
Federal action
affecting individual or
Legislation in the States," 23 (1938) Iowa
Law Review 519-38. Jane Perry Clark has
corporate subjects of state law. State
called attention to the interdependent charac-
legislation may be essential for the con-
ter of certain types of Federal and state legis-
duct of the Federal activity, or it may
See The Rise of a New Federalism
merely simplify Federal action. It may
(1938), Chap. V. Similar relationships were
earlier noted
be related to Federal administrative ac-
by W. Beard, "Government by
Special Consent," 25 (1931) American Politi-
tion directly, or only indirectly. It may
cal Science Review 61-68. Since the present
be enacted by the state legislature to
analysis was outlined there has appeared an
meet a condition
precedent to the enjoy-
study of the interest of government
ment of Federal services
corporations in the passage of state facilitative
by the citizens
legislation. See Ruth Weintraub, Government
of the state, or it may be induced
Corporations and State Law (New York: Co-
through advice or by confronting the
lumbia University Press, 1939), Chap. V, "The
legislature with the findings of re-
Legislates in Favor of the Government

latures in session in 1935, save one,
enacted the necessary legislation. After
Illustrative of the type of state legis-
the session of 1937, &dquo;practically every
lation under consideration is that en-
principal lending institution in every
acted to facilitate the mortgage insur-
State of the Union&dquo; was able to &dquo;make
ance operations of the Federal Housing
or purchase any mortgage insured under
Administration. The program, inaugu-
the provisions&dquo; of the National Housing
rated in 1934, contemplated a system of
Act.’ In addition to this enabling legis-
mutual insurance of mortgages covering
lation, the Federal Housing Administra-
home loans made by banks, insurance
tion has been interested in legislation
companies, and other lending institu-
making insured mortgages eligible as col-
tions. The policy was adopted of insur-
lateral for the deposit ot public funds
ing mortgages covering a high percentage
and eligible for the investment of public
of the value of property offered as se-
moneys or institutional funds, exempting
curity, in order that the impositions on
insured mortgages from the operation of
borrowers in connection with second and
mortgage moratoria, and in other ways
third mortgages might be avoided. It
increasing the desirability of insured
was also made a policy to insure mort-
mortgages as investments. During the
gages evidencing long-term loans to be
sessions of 1937 a total of 105 laws was
amortized by frequent payments, on...

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