Empower States to Safely Open the Economy

To: President Donald J. Trump and State Leaders

From: American Legislative Exchange Council and Partners

2900 Crystal Drive, 6th Floor, Arlington, VA 22202


Empower States to Safely Open the Economy

To save our country, the undersigned organizations, policy leaders and elected officials are calling for the U.S. economy to be reopened in a safe manner. In mid-March, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5%, and the economy was strong. Now, millions of Americans are out of work. State and local governments should begin to reopen their economies to allow business owners, who operate on thin profit margins, to begin the economic recovery. It is possible and preferable for employers to implement best practices to protect the health of their customers and employees – without micromanagement from the government.

As the economy reopens, the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility must be restored. This includes stopping trillions of dollars of new federal spending, which adds to our national debt – now exceeding $24 trillion.

The key to rapidly rebuild the economy is the proven formula of tax relief, deregulation and lawsuit reform. This formula will unlock the potential of entrepreneurs, businesses and employees. The creativity and tenacity of private sector entrepreneurs and innovators – not the government – is the key to bringing our economy back to full health.

Additionally, federalism – the proper balance of power between states and the federal government – must be preserved. A heavy-handed approach by Washington would inhibit the ability of states to deal with the pandemic. Thankfully, the Trump Administration has shared that disaster response is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. The federal government can be helpful by sharing expertise and developing guidelines to safely reopen the economy, just as the Trump Administration has done with its “Opening Up America Again” plan.

To protect Americans’ civil liberties, state and local governments must ensure that any government orders or restrictions are narrowly tailored to address specific risks.

Sadly, even when complying with social distancing orders and finding creative ways to continue operations, Americans are still being arrested, fined or harassed by some authorities even for attending church services. Additionally, federal, state and local governments should not surveil or use geolocation data to track Americans’ movements. Any coronavirus testing programs must strictly adhere to constitutional protections.

To save our country and protect the American people, we are calling for the economy to be safely reopened. In doing so, we have a duty to restore principles of limited government while remaining vigilant against threats to our constitutional rights. As we utilize best practices to protect the health of all Americans, we can bring the economy back to life through a free market approach that gets big government out of the way and, most importantly, Americans back to work.




Speaker Philip Gunn-MS

Representative Sharon Jackson-AK

Senator David Wilson-AK

Representative Mike Holmes-AL

Representative Arnold Mooney-AL

Representative David Faulkner-AL

Senator Arthur Orr-AL

Senator Dan Roberts-AL

Senator Missy Irvin-AR

Representative John Allen-AZ

Representative Walter Blackman-AZ

Representative Ben Toma-AZ

Senate President Karen Fann-AZ

Senator Nancy Barto-AZ

Senator Vince Leach-AZ

Senator Rick Gray-AZ

Representative David Livingston-AZ

Representative Becky Nutt-AZ

Representative Frank Carroll-AZ

Representative Leonard Biasiucci-AZ

Supervisor Kirk Uhler-CA

Representative Lori Saine-CO

Representative Perry Will-CO

Representative Rod Pelton-CO

Representative Kim Ransom-CO

Representative Rod Bockenfeld-CO

Senator Kevin Lundberg-CO (ret.)

Senator Vicki Marble-CO

Representative Angus Walker-FL

Representative Michael La Rosa-FL

Representative Walter Hill-FL

Representative Spencer Roach-FL

Councilwoman Leslie McPherson-GA

Senator Cecil Staton-GA (ret.)

Senator Bruce Thompson-GA

Speaker Linda Upmeyer-IA

Representative John Wills-IA

Representative Sage Dixon-ID

Senator Steve Vick-ID

Representative David Abbott-IN

Representative Dave Frizzell-IN (ret.)

Representative David Wolkins-IN

Senator James Buck-IN

Senator Victoria Spartz-IN

Representative Dennis Zent-IN

Senator Linda Rogers-IN

Representative Christopher Croft-KS

Representative Susan Humphries-KS

Representative Alicia Straub-KS

Representative Kyle Hoffman-KS

Representative Michael Capps-KS

Senate President Susan Wagle-KS

Representative Stephen Owens-KS

Senator Ty Masterson-KS

Representative John Barker-KS

Representative Kimberly Moser-KY

Representative Diane St. Onge-KY (ret.)

Representative Rick Edmonds-LA

Senator Robert Mills-LA

Representative Ray Garofalo-LA

Delegate Haven Shoemaker-MD

Delegate Susan Krebs-MD

Delegate Trent Kittleman-MD

Delegate April Rose-MD

Senator Justin Ready-MD

Senator Michael Hough-MD

Delegate Kathryn Szeliga-MD

Senator Andrew Serafini-MD

Commissioner Andre Cushing-ME

Representative Trey Stewart-ME

Senate President Pro Tempore Aric Nesbitt-MI

Representative Phil Green-MI

Representative Brandt Iden-MI

Representative Matt Hall-MI

Representative Steven Johnson-MI

Senator Dan Lauwers-MI

Representative Matt Maddock-MI

Senator Dan Hall-MN

Senator Rich Draheim-MN

Representative James Murphy-MO

Representative Sonya Anderson-MO

Representative John Simmons-MO

Representative Justin Hill-MO

Representative Dan Stacy-MO

Senator Ed Emery-MO

Representative Ben Baker-MO

Representative Price Wallace-MS

Representative Steve Hopkins-MS

Representative Jeffrey Guice-MS

Representative Randal Rushing-MS

Representative Jill Ford-MS

Senator Josh Harkins-MS

Senator Kathy Chism-MS

Senator Michael McLendon-MS

Representative Lee Yancey-MS

Representative Russell Newman-MS

Representative Rebecca Currie-MS

Representative Jerry Turner-MS

Senator Joel Carter-MS

Representative Jason Saine-NC

Representative Keith Kidwell-NC

Representative Steve Jarvis-NC

Senator Warren Daniel-NC

Representative Dennis Riddell-NC

Representative Jeffrey McNeely-NC

Representative Craig Headland-ND

Representative Bernie Satrom-ND

Representative Kim Koppelman-ND

Senator Curt Friesen-NE

Senator David Abbot-NE

Senator Lou Linehan-NE

Senator John Arch-NE

Senator Robert Clements-NE

Senator John Lowe-NE

Senator Steve Halloran-NE

Representative Dan Davis-NH

Representative Pamela Tucker-NH (ret.)

Representative Raymond Howard-NH

Representative Jordan Ulery-NH

Representative Linda Camarota-NH

Representative Paul Somero-NH

Representative Bob Greene-NH

Representative Kevin Weyler-NH

Representative Rodney Montoya-NM

Representative James Townsend-NM

Representative Yvette Herrell-NM (ret.)

Assemblyman Christopher Friend-NY

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne-NY

City Councilman Charles Tassell-OH

Representative Bill Dean-OH

Representative William Seitz-OH

Senator Bill Coley-OH

Representative Tammy Townley-OK

Representative Mark Lepak-OK

Representative Denise Crosswhite Hader-OK

Representative Kevin McDugle-OK

Senator Julie Daniels-OK

Senator Dennis Linthicum-OR

Representative Barb Gleim-PA

Representative Francis Ryan-PA

Representative Greg Rothman-PA

Representative Paul Schemel-PA

Representative Daryl Metcalfe-PA

Representative Ryan Warner-PA

Representative Dawn Keefer-PA

Representative Seth Grove-PA

Representative Cris Dush-PA

Representative Eric Nelson-PA

Representative Mike Puskaric-PA

Senator Elaine Morgan-RI

Representative Garry Smith-SC

Representative Alan Clemmons-SC

Representative Bill Taylor-SC

Representative Carl Perry-SD

Senator Allan Novstrup-SD

Senator Jim Stalzer-SD

Speaker Steven Haugaard-SD

Representative Tony Randolph-SD

Representative Chris Johnson-SD

Representative Susan Lynn-TN

Representative Phil King-TX

Representative James White-TX

Representative Tan Parker-TX

Representative Stephen Handy-UT

Representative Kay Christofferson-UT

Senate President Stuart Adams-UT

Representative Kim Coleman-UT

Councilman Jon Russell-VA

Delegate Kathy Byron-VA

Representative Mary Dye-WA

Senator Mike Padden-WA

Representative John Nygren-WI

Representative Tyler Vorpagel-WI

Delegate Eric Porterfield-WV

Senator Patricia Rucker-WV

Delegate Joshua Higginbotham-WV

Representative Richard Tass-WY

Representative Dan Laursen-WY

Senator Eli Bebout-WY

Senator Bo Biteman-WY


Adam Brandon-FreedomWorks

Katie Buchmann

Carol Davis-T.OL. Signs & Graphics

Sherri Francescon-Council for National Policy

Merlin Guilbeau-Electronic Security Association

Joel Heaton-Electronic Security Association

Talmadge Heflin-Texas Public Policy Foundation

Ron Hooper-U.S. Term Limits

Gordon Isbell-Leidos

John Kay-Pelican Institute

Kent Lawrence

Stuart MacPhail

Virginia MacPhail

Jenny Beth Martin-Tea Party Patriots

James Martin-60 Plus

Sal Anuzis-60 Plus

Tom McCabe-Freedom Foundation

Steve Moore-Economist

Richard Norman

Sal Nuzzo-James Madison Institute

Barry Poulson-University of Colorado

Alan Smith-R Street Institute

Carla Sonntag-New Mexico Business Coaltion

Angelina Spencer-Empowerment Enterprises, Inc.

Clay Stubbs

David Trabert-Kansas Policy Institute

Kerry Welsh

Timothy Jones-First Rule

Carl Bearden-United for Missouri’s Future


Updated: 05/06/2020