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S.J.R. 25

             1     

FEDERAL LAW JOINT RESOLUTION

             2     
2011 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: John L. Valentine

             5     
House Sponsor: Lee B. Perry

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This joint resolution of the Legislature declares the need for a restoration of American
             10      federalism and a decentralization of government power and policymaking from the
             11      federal government to states, local communities, neighborhoods, families, and
             12      individual citizens.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This resolution:
             15          .    recognizes that government should be held accountable to the people and return to
             16      them control over their lives while making it better able to help solve their problems
             17      and serve the common good;
             18          .    recognizes the historic and continuing importance of federalism and reaffirms the
             19      Legislature's commitment to safeguard and uphold constitutional government as
             20      defined by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution;
             21          .    declares that the current situation requires a restoration of American federalism and
             22      a decentralization of government power and policymaking from the federal
             23      government to states, local communities, neighborhoods, families, and individual
             24      citizens;
             25          .    declares that the best path to achieve the goal of real structural reform in
             26      government is through practical but significant policy reforms allowing the several
             27      states to prove the virtues of federalism and build a new nationwide consensus for


             28      decentralizing political power in the United States; and
             29          .    expresses support for and strongly urges Congress to pass the Repeal Amendment to
             30      the United States Constitution, which would allow the repeal of a federal action if
             31      approved by two-thirds of the states.
             32      Special Clauses:
             33          None
             34     
             35      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             36          WHEREAS, this country is a nation of states, and federalism is central to the structure
             37      of government and the very definition of American constitutionalism;
             38          WHEREAS, as James Madison eloquently noted in the Federalist Papers, "The powers
             39      delegated by the proposed Constitution of the Federal Government are few and defined," and
             40      that "Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite";
             41          WHEREAS, throughout American history and the laws of the United States, most
             42      powers of government, and as a result the decisions that affect citizens' day-to-day lives, were
             43      to rest with the states;
             44          WHEREAS, the relationship between the federal government, the several states, and
             45      the sovereign people is summed up most succinctly in the Tenth Amendment to the United
             46      States Constitution, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
             47      prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people";
             48          WHEREAS, the division of powers and functions between the federal government and
             49      the several states provides a double security check against abusive government by causing each
             50      level of government to check the other in the name of upholding the rights and protecting the
             51      liberties of the people of the United States;
             52          WHEREAS, in recognizing and protecting state autonomy and local self government,
             53      federalism has expanded liberty, accommodated a vast diversity of opinions, and fostered an
             54      extensive array of policy innovations in addressing and solving many of the nation's greatest
             55      challenges;
             56          WHEREAS, ever-increasing numbers of regulations and laws emanating from the
             57      federal government, occurring in stages over the whole course of the 20th Century but
             58      gathering particular momentum with the expansion of regulatory government in the 1960s,


             59      have centralized and bureaucratized political rule in the United States, thereby undermining the
             60      delicate balance of federalism and threatening self-government;
             61          WHEREAS, under the current administration, the ideology of big government has
             62      found a new voice and a new sponsor, and the results, from massive spending, to the takeover
             63      of whole industries, to new regulatory initiatives, and to the explosion of debt, have been
             64      especially threatening and destructive to the idea and structural integrity of federalism;
             65          WHEREAS, in an atmosphere where courts and the executive seem to be moving in the
             66      opposite direction, a new Congress must take upon itself the responsibility to limit the scope of
             67      federal powers and extend the ability of the several states to assert their legitimate powers; and
             68          WHEREAS, there are many policy areas that have been captured by the federal
             69      government but are better dealt with at the state and local levels of government, the devolution
             70      of which will provide for dynamism, opportunity, and creativity in solving problems and
             71      fostering prosperity in the United States:
             72          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
             73      recognizes that the cause of liberty demands that government be held accountable to the will of
             74      those being governed, bringing it closer to the people and returning to them control over their
             75      lives, creating an environment that will allow them to more easily solve their problems and
             76      serve the common good.
             77          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah recognizes the
             78      historic and continuing importance of federalism and reaffirms its commitment to safeguard
             79      and uphold constitutional government as defined by the Tenth Amendment to the United States
             80      Constitution.
             81          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah declares that
             82      the current situation requires, and the very future of freedom and limited government depends
             83      on, a restoration of American federalism and a real decentralization of government power and
             84      vast areas of policymaking from the federal government to states, local communities,
             85      neighborhoods, families, and individual citizens.
             86          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah declares that,
             87      while recognizing that the restoration of federalism will require a widespread and extensive
             88      restructuring of federal government operations and that not all or even most solutions come
             89      from the nation's capitol, the best path toward achieving the goal of real structural reform in


             90      government is through practical but significant policy reforms that will allow the several states
             91      to prove the virtues of federalism and build a new nationwide consensus for decentralizing
             92      political power in the United States.
             93          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah expresses its
             94      support for and strongly urges Congress to pass the Repeal Amendment to the United States
             95      Constitution, which would allow the repeal of federal action if approved by two-thirds of the
             96      states voting in favor of the repeal.
             97          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of
             98      the United States, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United
             99      States House of Representatives, and to the members of Utah's congressional delegation.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-11-11 11:43 AM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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