Former National Association of Counties executive director John Thomas noted in the early 1990s: “County governments live and die at the state legislature. What Congress does to us is irrelevant in many ways.” 1 Thomas’s comments could be echoed by representatives of municipalities, school districts, and other governments who, like officials representing particular types of local government and particular occupational groups such as teachers and police officers, have to keep track not only of what the legislature is doing but of a wide array of other activity on the state level involving governors, administrators, judges, and voters. Here, we look at individual local governments acting on their own to influence state policy on particular matters affecting them, and through associations pursuing broader goals relating to the welfare of their particular type of local government on such matters as authority and finances.