Key Points
  • Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides for the states to call an Amendments Convention when the federal government exceeds its constitutional authority. Amendments to limit the government’s power, including a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, would help to check federal overreach.
  • More than 50 percent of territory from Colorado westward is managed by the federal government despite evidence that the states would serve as superior environmental and economic stewards of the land. Western states that petition for control of select federal lands within their borders should receive it as control over the land inside its boundaries is state sovereignty at its most basic. National parks and monuments, military installations, Congressionally-designated wilderness areas and tribal lands would be excluded from transfers.
  • Unfunded federal mandates are inconsistent with federalism, which was based on cooperation, not compulsion and the regulations that often accompany unfunded mandates impose obligations on state governments resulting in unsustainable costs and inefficiencies.

Genuine accountability to hardworking taxpayers results when state and local legislators work with members of the community to determine a plan of action that is right for each individual state, city or town. Real solutions to America’s challenges can be found in the states – America’s fifty laboratories of democracy – not in one-size fits all federal government policies that disregard regional differences and local community needs. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution encapsulates these ideas and serves as the Constitutional linchpin for federalism, one of ALEC’s three guiding principles.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

America has drifted away from our Founding Fathers’ vision and has concentrated more power with national government structures. The amassing of power with the federal government has led to overregulation and redundant bureaucracy hindering economic growth and free markets; a ballooning national debt that threatens U.S. security and federal mismanagement of this nation’s most precious resource – the lands within America’s borders. The solution to restoring the balance between the federal and state and local governments is to return control over matters that more appropriately and constitutionally rest with the states and municipalities back to them. There are some obvious examples of federal overreach where reform is needed.

Publications

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Model Policies

  • Resolution Reaffirming Tenth Amendment Rights Final

    WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically provides that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment was part of …

  • ALEC Model Resolution on Continuing Education on Federalism Final

    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of [INSERT STATE] that a course on federalism is required as a condition of continued employment for every employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state of [INSERT STATE] whose job description requires that the employee be a …

  • Memorial in Support of the Federal Land Freedom Act Final

    WHEREAS, the federal government exerts control over more than 50 percent of the U.S. land mass in the 12 continental states from Colorado westward including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming compared to an average federal control of only four percent in …

  • Catastrophic Wildfire and Public Nuisance Amendments Final

    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of [INSERT STATE]: (1) “Catastrophic public nuisance” means a condition on state or federal land where natural resources and biota have been managed or neglected to such an extent as to cause: (a) the threat of a catastrophic wildfire …

  • Constitutional Amendment Requiring State Approval for Increases in Federal Debt Final

    Whereas, Article V of the Constitution of the United States provides authority for a  Convention to be called by the Congress of the United States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution upon application of two-thirds of the Legislatures of the several states (“amendments convention”), and, Whereas, the …

  • Eminent Domain Authority for Federal Lands Act Final

    Section 1. The following shall be enacted as Section _______ of the eminent domain provisions of the State Code: Other Property which may be taken – State as plaintiff. (1)   Subject to Subsection (2), property which may be taken under this part includes property possessed by the federal government unless …

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Task Forces

Federalism and International Relations

State legislators and their constituents are stakeholders in many of the most important national and international issues of the day.

Press Releases

  • ALEC Urges President and Federal Government to Consult with States on Energy Resources and Public Lands image

    ALEC Urges President and Federal Government to Consult with States on Energy Resources and Public Lands

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kaitlyn Buss Phone: 202-742-8526 Email: [email protected]  ALEC Urges President and Federal Government to Consult with States on Energy Resources and Public Lands …

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