top of page

April 6-8, 2021

Functional Federalism  Academy

A Federalism Index Project Virtual Event

This event was sponsored and made possible by the Utah Federalism Commission 


April 6-8, 2021


We live in challenging times. The American economic recovery is fragile, with a decline in production and levels of unemployment not seen since the Great Depression. The nation is reeling from a deadly pandemic that has cost more than 400,000 lives. There is widespread concern about voting and elections in America, the basic system by which we the people select our leaders. And underlying all these challenges is a pervasive concern that the blessings of liberty and opportunities for advancement are not equally available to all regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Yet it is often said that every challenge is also an opportunity. In the depths of a Civil War that pitted brother against brother and claimed more than 600,000 lives, President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg foresaw a “new birth of liberty” emerging from the crisis. Struggling with our problems today, some have seen an opportunity to use the vast resources of the federal government to “build it back better”. This conference will address itself to how this might be done and, more particularly, to how state governments as well as the federal government might participate in that project. American federalism was a vital element in the success of our nation, and it can contribute to confronting the challenges we now face.

Audience and Speakers /

This conference is designed as a unique blend between a traditional academic conference and a workshop for practitioners and state leaders. The core audience for this event are policymakers and state leaders in the Intermountain West region. We are reaching out with personal invites to all members of the Utah State legislature, as well as representatives from a number of major state organizations working on federalism, decentralization, and interstate cooperation. This event is a hybrid online and in-person event. Participants who wish to join us in person are welcome to join us at Utah Valley University in Classroom Building 511. This space is available to the public. We follow standard university guidelines relating to COVID-19 and other health protocols. If you have any questions about in-person attendance, please email the CCS Events and Marketing program manager at

SCHEDULE: April 6th

9:00 AM: Conference Welcome

  • Scott Paul, Interim Director, CCS

9:10 AM: Federalism in Practice

  • Mark Rozell, "Combating a Pandemic: Is Federalism the Problem or Solution?"

10:30 AM: Voting and Elections

  • John Dinan, “Voting, Elections, and Federalism: The States’ Perspective”

  • Alan Tarr, “Voting, Elections, and Federalism: The Federal Government Perspective”

  • Moderator: Andrew Bibby, CCS

1:00 PM: Federalism in Practice

  • Akram Elias, "Federalism: America’s System for Competitiveness and Sustainability”

  • Moderator: Samuel Hill, CCS

2:30 PM: Federalism and the American Founding

  • Alan Guelzo, "The Founders’ Understanding of American Federalism”

3:30 PM: Ideologies of Federalism 

  • Alison LaCroix, “Ideologies of Federalism: A Historical Perspective”

  • Moderator: Kendra Savage, CCS

SCHEDULE: April 7th

9:00 AM: Federalism and the Constitution 2021

  • Jennifer Selin, "Summary of Challenges and Opportunities for States"

  • Ernest Young, "Federalism as a Constitutional Principle"

  • Moderator: Samuel Hill, CCS

11:00 AM: Fiscal Federalism and Economic Recovery

  • Brian Domitrovic, “Importance of States in Economic Recovery”

  • Erica Mackellar, "United States Fiscal Federalism”

  • Moderator:  Andrew Bibby, CCS

1:00 PM: CCS Federalism Index Project Update

  • Andrew Bibby, “Federalism Index 2.0: Updates and Projects for 2021”

  • Kendra Savage, “Mapping Federalism: State Organizations Around the World”

  • Samuel Hill, “Constitutional Knowledge: Foundation for the Republic”

2:00 PM: Education

  • Troy Smith, “Federalism, Education, and Civic Education”

  • Austin Reid, “The Role of Federalism in Addressing Education Challenges: Who is Responsible for Making College More Affordable?”

  • Kenneth Wong, “Federalism and Education Policy: Equity, Accountability, and Innovation"

3:30 PM: Energy Policy

  • Kristy Hartman, “State & Federal Policies in the Evolving Energy Sector"

  • Moderator:  Andrew Bibby, CCS

SCHEDULE: April 8th

9:00 AM:  Functional Federalism in Historical Perspective

  • Rob W. Bishop, Former Utah Congressman

  • Mike O. Leavitt, Former Utah Governor

  • Moderator: LaVarr Webb

11:00 AM: Roles and Resources for Effective Intergovernmental Relation

  • Stacy Householder, “NCSL and You: Strengthening the Legislative Institution”

  • Edgar Ruiz, “Strengthening the State–Federal Relationship: An Overview of Recent Regional Efforts”

  • Karla Jones, “A Coordinated State Response Is the Best Way to Address Federal Overreach-ALEC Can Help”

  • Gary R. Herbert, Former Utah Governor, "First Look to the States for Government Solutions"

  • Moderator: Samuel Hill, CCS

12:30 PM: Federalism in Practice 

  • John Kincaid, “Do We Need a New Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) or Something Similar to It?”

  • Moderator:  Andrew Bibby, CCS

3:00 PM: Functional Federalism: A Collaborative Framework

  • Scott K. Saiki, Hawaii State Representative

  • Keven J. Stratton, Utah State Representative

  • Karen Mayne, Utah State Senator

  • Moderator:  Ken Ivory


Videos of our previous conference are available to view at the link below.

bottom of page