Online forums frequented by grassroots activists are abuzz these days regarding the grassroots political movement in the states to reaffirm that our states are sovereign entities while rebuking the federal government’s over-involvement in key areas of our lives as well as mandates pushed onto the states by the federal government.
In 2009, there has already been a move among legislators in more than 25 states to push for some type of state sovereignty resolution.
Oklahoma’s sovereignty bill, which passed their House last session but got stalled in the Senate, came out of the House with near unanimous support. In the House, longtime champion of the RLC Charles Key is the author of the legislation and second-term incumbent Jason Murphey is a vocal advocate for the bill. Murphey was endorsed by the RLC in 2006 and 2008. The Senate bill is being championed by Sen. Randy Brogdon, a great friend of the RLC. “What we are trying to do is to get the U.S. Congress out of the state’s business,” said Brogdon.
The bill is currently in the Senate. Without the RLC’s strong citizen legislators in Oklahoma, this bill would never have been drafted. Rep. Murphey recently penned an editorial published in The Edmond Sun explaining his state’s sovereignty bill and linking it specifically to the unfunded mandates and massive spending in Obama’s stimulus bill.
Similarly, in New Hampshire, Dan Itse, a favorite among RLC members in the Granite State, filed a bill to affirm sovereignty in the New Hampshire House. Itse was on Fox and Friends and Glenn Beck recently to promote the bill, citing No Child Left Behind and the PATRIOT Act as examples of the federal government over-stepping its boundaries.
In Pennsylvania, Rep. Sam Rohrer, who the RLC endorsed in 2008, has been fighting against REAL ID since it passed Congress. Rohrer cites the following examples of state sovereignty erosion:
- By collecting taxes from state residents and then using that money to compel sovereign state governments –- through the use of “strings” attached to federal funding – to implement programs and provide services in accordance with the desires of federal authorities;
- By pushing states toward financial distress by providing financial incentives to implement programs and services without supplying adequate federal funding.
- By enacting national laws that go far beyond the federal powers enumerated in the U.S. Constitution; and
- By potentially providing federal funds to fill state budget deficits, which were created, in part, through over-spending prompted by federal financial incentives to create new programs.
In Montana, the state sovereignty resolution was introduced by (among others) RLC-endorsed first-year legislators Wendy Warburton (left) and Gerry Bennett. Aubyn Curtiss, who endorsed Ron Paul for President, is the Senate sponsor of the legislation.
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, and Maine may see similar measures introduced this session.