Monday, February 28, 2011

States Righties

Some GOP-dominated states are telling the feds to butt out.

State legislatures, bolstered by the huge Republican freshman classes that were swept into power from New Hampshire to Montana last year, have intensified their attacks on federal authority in the name of states’ rights.

The efforts actually began before the election, in fights over the health care bill and gun regulation, but have spread to issues including the regulation of greenhouse gases, commerce and food safety.

“There is a lot more activity on a broader front,” said Karl Kurtz, a staff analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Fueled by the election results, more Republicans are pursuing their agenda.”

In Kentucky, the State Senate is expected to take up a bill this week declaring the state a “sanctuary” from meddling by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In Arizona, the State Senate approved a measure this month that would exempt all products made and consumed within its boundaries from federal interstate commerce laws.

The Montana Legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state to nullify federal laws that protect endangered species. And in Georgia, a bill that would override federal monetary regulations by requiring banks to accept payment in gold or silver has survived two readings in the State House of Representatives.

What most of these folks who are feeling like they can do everything for themselves are forgetting is just how much money they get from the federal government for everything from schools to paying for pot hole repair. It’s in the billions for each state every year. So if they want to truly be on their own and kick the feds out, first they need to give all that money back. Then we’ll talk.

(Here’s how one president dealt with it.)