Home rule is a longstanding legal principle that gives us the power to decide which services we provide, the policies we implement, and the ways we solve problems locally. In 1953, the American Municipal Association (AMA) — which became the National League of Cities (NLC) in 1964 — published the last comprehensive proposed reform of home rule, sparking a wave of state constitutional change in the years that followed.

However, much has changed about the state-local relationship in the intervening six and a half decades. NLC partnered with the Local Solutions Support Center (LSSC) to release the first update in almost 70 years.

The Principles of Home Rule for the Twenty-First Century provide:

  • A history of home rule;
  • The current landscape of local decision-making;
  • Four principles of home rule that provide a new, affirmative vision for local governments; and 
  • Model state constitutional language and legal commentary to implement these principles across the nation

NLC and LSSC also created a toolkit which can be accessed here.