Colorado House votes Unanimously to Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Farming Ban

DENVER, Col. (May 6, 2013) – The Colorado state house today voted to approve SB13-241, a bill that would legalize the farming and production of “industrial hemp” within the state.  If signed into law, the bill would effectively nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on hemp production in Colorado.  The House voted unanimously on a slightly amended version of a bill already approved by the State Senate, 34-1.  The legislation will now go back to the Senate, which is widely expected to send the legislation to Governor Hickenlooper for a signature.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to ban the production of this industrial plant, but has persisted in preventing its domestic production.  The result?  Products with hemp that are readily available at your local grocery store must be imported from another country – resulting in higher costs for you and fewer farming jobs in America.  The United States is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp, which is used in food products, clothing, oil and much more.  The top exporters are China and Canada.

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service.  Recent congressional research indicates that the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products. The same research found that America imports over $400 million worth of hemp from other countries.  At this time of economic difficulty, 13-241 would not only expand freedom and support the Constitution, it would also be a great jobs bill.

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Texas House votes to Nullify New Federal Gun Control Measures, 100-47

AUSTIN, Tex. (May 6, 2013) – Today, the Texas State House approved a bill that could mark the beginning of the end of any new federal gun control measures within the boundaries of the State.  House Bill 1076 (HB1076), by Representative Steve Toth, was approved on 3rd reading by a vote of 100-47 (roll call here).

If passed into law, HB1076 would require that the state refuse to enforce any federal gun control measures enacted on or after January 1, 2013.    It reads, in part:

An entity described by Subsection (a) may not adopt a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces, or by consistent action allows the enforcement of, a federal statute, order, rule or regulation enacted on or after January 1, 2013 that purports to regulate a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction or other regulation, such as capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.

This would make a HUGE dent in any new federal effort to further restrict the right to keep and bear arms in Texas.As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). And in those limited situations where enforcement does occur, Rosa Parks has taught us all the power of “NO!”   Quite simply, the federal government absolutely cannot enforce gun control in Texas without the help of Texas.

Weighing in on the bill, Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin noted, “Passage of HB1076 would mark the beginning of the end of new federal gun control measures in Texas.”

Another bill based on the same principles, HB928, was passed on a 2nd Reading in the House today.  Like HB1076, 928 would also require the entire state to stand down on enforcement of federal gun control measures, but doesn’t have a time stamp.  In other words – all federal gun control measures currently on the books would be included along with any new ones, as covered by HB1076.  The bill will require a 3rd and final reading and vote in the coming days before being moved to the Senate for concurrence.

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Louisiana: Act NOW to Help Nullify Federal Gun Control

Louisiana House Bill 5, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, passed out of the House with a vote of 67-25. This bill is in the Senate and will have a Judiciary C committee hearing and likely vote on Tuesday, 05-07-13

HB5 will prohibit the enforcement of any federal law in the state of Louisiana which attempts to either ban the ownership or possession of semi-auto firearms (including magazines and accessories), or impose registration requirements for such firearms.

Your action is needed right now to help this bill move to the full Senate.  Please take the following steps right now, not tomorrow.  When contacting Senators, make CALLS, don’t send emails.  Contact them over night and leave a message if needed.  Only email if you get a full voice mail box.

ACTION ITEMS for HB5

1. Contact the Committee Chairman. Thank him for scheduling the hearing.  Politely request that he vote YES on HB5.

Bob Kestelka (318) 362-3474 kostelka@legis.la.gov

2. Contact all the other members of the Committee. Strongly, but respectfully, let each of them know you want them to vote YES on HB5!

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Oregon Study Throws a Stop Sign in Front of ObamaCare’s Medicaid Expansion

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

Today, the nation’s top health economists released a study that throws a huge “STOP” sign in front of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, or OHIE, may be the most important study ever conducted on health insurance. Oregon officials randomly assigned thousands of low-income Medicaid applicants – basically, the most vulnerable portion of the group that would receive coverage under ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion – either to receive Medicaid coverage, or nothing. Health economists then compared the people who got Medicaid to the people who didn’t. The OHIE is the only randomized, controlled study ever conducted on the effects of having health insurance versus no health insurance. Randomized, controlled studies are the gold standard of such research.

Consistent with lackluster results from the first year, the OHIE’s second-year results found no evidence that Medicaid improves the physical health of enrollees. There were some modest improvements in depression and financial strain–but it is likely those gains could be achieved at a much lower cost than through an extremely expensive program like Medicaid. Here are the study’s results and conclusions:

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