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

  • A Resolution for Government Services to be Compared to Private Sector Services for Federal and State Grant Money Final

    Whereas, federal and state grants are a crucial part of funding for public works and community development infrastructure projects and, Whereas, federal and state grants are used to help defray costs to local taxpayers and, Whereas, federal and state grants are still taxpayer money and Whereas, federal and state grant …

  • Statement of Principles to Inform Emergency Management Acts Final

    Section 1. Preamble: WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed flaws in and weaknesses of the emergency management policies in place in many states in the United States; and WHEREAS, one of the most significant flaws inherent in many state emergency management laws is a reduction of, to the point of …

  • Act to Prohibit Confucius Institutes in Public Institutions of Higher Education Final

    The [INSERT LEGISLATIVE BODY] enacts:   SECTION 1. [INSERT RELEVANT SECTION OF STATUTE REGARDING HIGHER EDUCATION] is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:   “The [Board of Governors or INSERT RELEVANT HIGHER EDUCATION GOVERNING BODY] shall adopt a policy prohibiting any constituent institution from hosting a Confucius Institute, …

  • Resolution Protecting the Basis of Federalism Final

    WHEREAS the framers of the Constitution of the United States sought to create a “more perfect union” of many sovereign states and cede a miniscule amount of their power to a national government that would achieve such an objective; and WHEREAS President Abraham Lincoln opined in 1859, “We the People …

  • Resolution Urging Negotiation of a Bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom Final

    Whereas, the United Kingdom separated from the European Union on January 31, 2020, thus gaining the right to determine its own trade policies; and Whereas, the United States and the United Kingdom have strong historic, cultural, and economic bonds; and Whereas, the United States and the United Kingdom have an …

  • Concurrent Resolution Supporting the Re-Empowerment of the States Amendment Final

    Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of ____________, the Governor concurring therein:   WHEREAS, the people of the United States, through their elected state delegates, established the Constitution of the United States, which created the federal government and defined its limited powers;   WHEREAS, the powers delegated …

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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

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