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Administrative Agency

State And Local Administrative Agencies

State and local administrative agencies often mirror federal agencies. Thus, the individual states have agencies that control transportation, public health, public assistance, education, natural resources, labor, law enforcement, agriculture, commerce, and revenue. Any regulation established by such an agency that conflicts with a federal regulation will not be legally valid, but this fact does not keep state agencies from developing regulations that differ from those promulgated by their federal counterparts. In the spirit of administrative agency, state and local governments also create agencies that help address compelling, peculiarly local concerns.

Just like federal agencies, state and local administrative agencies are often empowered to hold hearings. These hearings are conducted by their administrative boards, which are obligated to represent the public interest. By contrast, courts must remain impartial to the two parties before them. A PAROLE board, for example, holds informal hearings during which prisoners are allowed to offer evidence of their suitability for early release from incarceration. The strict rules observed in a courtroom do not apply to these hearings, and the board's decisions must account for the public interest as well as the rights of the prisoners.

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