Multilevel legislation in the Brazilian Federation: recent case law on decentralization and the emergence of conditioned federal funds transfers

One key aspect of Brazilian federalism is the shared legislative authority between the Union and the States on issues such as environment, health care and education. It adopts a general clause which commands: “In the concurrent areas of legislation, the authority of the Union shall be restricted to general norms”.
Our intervention is focused on the case law of the Brazilian Supreme Court about the extend of that “general norms” clause. In the Covid-19 crisis, several decisions were delivered on the topic, restricting federal authority specially on the health care policies.
As a response to the recent case law, a new trend in the federal legislation is emerging creating conditions to federal public funds transfers to States and Municipalities, related to legislation reforms according to federal standards of good governance and transparency. We will discuss how far these conditions can be constitutionally admissible and how States and Municipalities are complying with it.