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.


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Model Policies

  • Executive Review Process Amendments Final

    Be it enacted by the State Legislature: Section 1. (1) The [Constitutional Defense Council, the State Attorney General, the Governor or other relevant entity] shall review certain executive orders by the President of the United States that are not affirmed by a vote of the United States Congress and signed…

  • An Act to Facilitate the Disclosure of Foreign Grants or Gifts Received by State Agencies Final

    Model Policy Section I. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the “Public Transparency on Foreign Grants and Gifts Act.” Section II. Preamble. WHEREAS, globalization has increased the number of interactions between foreign governments and state agencies; and WHEREAS, these interactions often involve highly sensitive technological research initiatives…

  • Resolutions Urging US Universities to Relocate Chinese Language Programs from Mainland China to Taiwan Final

    Model Policy WHEREAS, students benefit enormously from overseas educational programs that promote cultural and language learning and these benefits are typically realized by the students’ home countries; and WHEREAS, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is an American top three trading partner and is a global economic and strategic power;…

  • No Runaway Article V Conventions Act Final

    Model Policy “Article V Conventions” mean either a “Convention for proposing Amendments” or a “State Ratification Convention” as expressly provided in Article V of the Constitution of the United States of America; and “Article V Application” means a [Joint, Concurrent] resolution passed by the State Legislature of this state requiring…

  • Model Application under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to Propose an Amendment to Require the Supreme Court of the United States to Be Composed of Nine Justices Final

    Section 1. The legislature of [INSERT STATE NAME] hereby makes an application to Congress, as provided by Article V of the Constitution of the United States of America, to call a convention limited to proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America to require that the…

  • Emergency Power Limitation Act Final

    Therefore, be it enacted: Section 1. Nothing in this act grants additional emergency powers to the governor or any other official. Section 2. State and local officials may issue nonbinding recommendations and guidelines, and they may help coordinate public and private action to prevent or respond to an emergency. Section…

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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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