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Fifteen years ago the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations was established to oversee the constantly changing and increasingly complex relations among the three layers of our Federal system. As a permanent organization whose members represent the Congress, the Executive Branch, Governors, State legislators, county officials, mayors and private citizens, the ACIR is a unique hybrid, with a broad, bipartisan perspective on intergovernmental relations.
Attempting to define and articulate new directions in those relations since 1959 has been no easy task. As new and explosive social issues have emerged, the complex web of Federal-State-local relations has been subjected to new strains and new challenges. Successive national administrations each sought to leave their own imprint on our domestic fabric under different labels: Cooperative Federalism, Creative Federalism, New Federalism. During all this time, the ACIR has sought to avoid labels while fulfilling its basic mandate as spelled out in Public Law 86–380:
1. To '...; together representatives of the Federal, State and local governments for the consideration of common problems.
2. To provide a forum for discussing the administration and coordination of Federal grant and other programs requiring intergovernmental cooperation.
3. To give critical attention to the conditions and controls involved in the administration of Federal grant programs.
4. To make available technical assistance to the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government in the review of o ed legislation to determine its overall effect on the Federal system.
5. To encourage discussion and o an early stage of emerging public problems that are likely to require intergovernmental cooperation.
6. To recommend, within the framework of the Constitution, the most desirable allocation of governmental functions, responsibilities, and revenues among the several levels of government.
7. To recommend methods of coordinating and simplifying tax laws and administrative practices to achieve a more orderly and less competitive fiscal relationship between the levels of government and to reduce the burden of compliance for taxpayers.
The Fifteen-Year Report of the ACIR summarizes an impressive record of activities. In numerous, well-documented reports, the ACIR has frequently pointed the way to more rational approaches to intergovernmental cooperation. Because it is merely an advisory body which must rely on others to implement its recommendations, the Advisory Commission does not have--nor should it have-high political visibility. Its strength lies in its reputation for thoroughness and nonpartisanship and in its proven ability to assemble vast bodies of factual information, define salient intergovernmental issues, and recommend appropriate policy decisions. Perhaps its most outstanding achievement in this respect is the general revenue sharing program, first recommended and vigorously supported by the ACIR nearly a
As chairman of the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations and as a charter member of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, I am pleased to submit this report.
EDMUND S. MUSKIE,
United States Senator.
Attachment B- Víembers of the Advisory Commission on Inter-
governmental Relations, 1959–74.
Attachment (-State contribution to ACIR by fiscal year