Letter: Iowa Speaker Linda Upmeyer Praises Federalism
Dear ALEC Members and Friends,
It is my pleasure to introduce the ALEC Center to Restore the Balance of Government. Federalism is a particular passion of mine, and I have long believed that many of the best answers for our country’s challenges come from America’s fifty laboratories of democracy. State and local legislators working with people in the community to come up with solutions that are right for each individual state, city or town results in genuine accountability to hardworking taxpayers. The ALEC Center to Restore the Balance of Government will provide guidance on setting priorities as well as the tools lawmakers need to champion policies that lead to state control over state issues.
Launched in mid-2015 at a reception attended by likeminded state and federal lawmakers, the Center hit the ground running and has not stopped! In the past six months, ALEC has hosted keynote speakers and held panel discussions on federalism issues, ranging from the convening of an Article V convention for proposing amendments to the state sovereignty aspects of off-reservation Indian gaming. Model policies addressing topics as varied as proposing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution to transferring stewardship of select portions of the federal estate to state control have been considered and been added to the ALEC’ model policy portfolio. ALEC staffers have published articles and white papers both internally and in national news outlets on a wide variety of federalism topics, and ALEC federalism experts have been interviewed by media outlets across the country. Bringing together state and federal leaders with strong backgrounds on state sovereignty issues was a Center goal, and to this end, the Center organized conference calls with Members of Congress for our membership to facilitate an exchange of ideas between state and federal lawmakers on federalism issues.
2016 will be even busier! The Center’s activities attracted positive attention leading to invitations this year to present testimony on federalism topics in state and federal legislative chambers. Federal lawmakers have reached out to the Center in an effort to address our members directly so in concert with the ALEC Congressional Caucus, we anticipate having monthly calls with Members of Congress on issues being debated in Congress that have a direct impact on the states. Plans for a federalism briefing on the Hill as well as a December fly-in for ALEC leadership are also in the works. I am always mindful that this Center is for you, Members and Friends of ALEC. So I welcome your thoughts on how the Center to Restore the Balance of Government can better meet your needs and help you to realize the principles embodied in the Tenth Amendment.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (IA)
ALEC Center to Restore the Balance of Government