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Bush Moves to Give States More Say

September 3, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The White House is moving to give states a greater say in public policy with an executiver order that essentially will reverse a Clinton-era policy of making it easier for federal officials to overrule state decisions.

The order expected later this year from President Bush will reflect ``a very different philosophy″ on upholding the rights of state and local agencies, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Sunday. He declined to disclose details.

``It will reflect that state and local governments are closer to the people and are often better able to solve problems than just the federal government,″ Fleischer said.

State officials have complained that the Bush White House was slow to fulfill its promises to shift more power to them.

The order would more-closely reflect President Reagan’s ``federalism″ policy, which encouraged a greater balance between federal and state control of public policy.

Bush is expected to take the extra step of creating an office or other mechanism to ensure federal agencies are not taking on duties that should belong to states and other local governments.

State officials from both major parties have complained about recent federal actions and policies, ranging from increased school testing standards to oil drilling.

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