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.


+ All Federalism Publications

Model Policies

  • Resolution in Opposition to a Carbon Tax Sunset Review

    WHEREAS, affordable and abundant electricity is a strategic resource that is essential to modern life, America’s economic competitiveness. WHEREAS, the application of a carbon tax to gasoline and other transportation fuels will have a dramatic, immediate impact on transportation costs; and WHEREAS, a carbon tax, by design, will result in substantial, immediate …

  • Establishing an Economic Analysis Unit in the State Legislature Act Draft

    Section 1:  The Economic Analysis Unit The Economic Analysis Unit (EAU) is hereby created as an independent office within the state legislature. Section 2:  Staff The EAU shall be staffed with one economist who will serve as its Director and such other staff as the legislature shall provide by statute …

  • Resolution to Reduce the State’s Dependence on Federal Funds Sunset Review

    Resolution to Reduce the State’s Dependence on Federal Funds Summary Increasingly, states are relying to a greater degree on federal grants and subsidies to cover programs in the states’ budget.  Gridlock in Congress, however, has put the reliability of those funds in jeopardy, risking the possibility that states …

  • Draft Victims of Communism Memorial Day Resolution Draft

    WHEREAS, the year 2017 marked 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia resulting in the world’s first communist regime under Vladimir Lenin, which led to decades of oppression and violence under communist regimes throughout the world; and WHEREAS, based on the philosophy of Karl Marx, communism has proven incompatible …

  • Draft Executive Branch Transparency in Testimony Act Draft

    Section 1. Preamble: WHEREAS, the Framers established, and the States ratified, the United States Constitution for purposes of protecting our rights and ensuring that citizens direct the course of government; and WHEREAS, in order to preserve liberty, the constitutional structure rests on a system of dual sovereign governments; and WHEREAS, …

  • Draft Resolution Reaffirming the Right of State Legislatures to Determine Electoral Districts Draft

    WHEREAS, in chapter XI of the Second Treatise, Locke wrote; “The first and fundamental positive law of all commonwealths, is the establishing of the legislative power;” and WHEREAS, according to Article IV Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican …

+ All Federalism Model Policies

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

+ All Federalism Press Releases