Interstate compact

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In the United States of America, an interstate compact is an agreement between two or more states. Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution provides that "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress... enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State." Consent can be obtained in one of three ways. First, there can be a model compact and Congress can grant automatic approval for any state wishing to join it, such as the Driver License Compact. Second, states can submit a compact to Congress prior to entering into the compact. Third, states can agree to a compact then submit it to Congress for approval, which, if it does so, causes it to come into effect. Not all compacts between states require explicit Congressional approval - the Supreme Court ruled in Virginia v. Tennessee that only those agreements which would increase the power of states at the expense of the federal government required it.

Frequently, these agreements create a new governmental agency which is responsible for administering or improving some shared resource such as a seaport or public transportation infrastructure. In some cases, a compact serves simply as a coordination mechanism between independent authorities in the member states.

Such compacts are distinct from Uniform Acts, which are model statutes produced by non-governmental bodies of legal experts to be passed by state legislatures independently.

Treaties between the states, ratified under the Articles of Confederation during the period after American independence in 1776 until the current U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789, are grandfathered and treated as interstate compacts. This includes agreements like the Treaty of Beaufort, which set the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina in 1787, and is still in effect.

Operating agencies created by interstate compact[edit]

Non-operating interstate compacts[edit]

See also[edit]