SALT LAKE CITY – With the passage of HB 131, the Constitutional and Federalism Defense Act, Utah has taken a firm stance against the central government’s assault on states’ rights.
“[If] we want to be a sovereign we have to act like one,” said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, committee co-chair.
The bill, signed by Gov. Herbert on March 26, dissolved the Federalism Subcommittee and created the Commission on Federalism to address matters of Utah’s sovereignty. When Washington forgets its place, the committee will look into where the line has been crossed and report their findings to the state legislature.
“We’re not always going to agree on where the line is, and that’s OK. The discussion is worth having,” said Rep. Brian King, committee house member.
Testifying before the commission, Rep. Rob Bishop, Dist. 1, of the Utah House 10th Amendment Task Force stated, “The constitution was supposed to be a document that was empowering; so that if it was not listed there as a power of Congress, a power of the government, they didn’t have it. Everything else was reserved to the states.” [emphasis added] He went on to define our federation as it was enacted and to contrast these charters with current practices in Washington.
The seven-member commission had their first meeting July 2 and will convene bimonthly, or as needed.
Committee chairs: SP Niederhauser [Dist. 9] and HS Lockhart [Dist. 64]
Senate members: Sen. Madsen [Dist. 13] and Sen. Mayne [Dist. 5]
House members: Rep. Ivory [Dist. 47], Rep. King [Dist. 28], and Rep. Wilcox [Dist. 7]
[Recommended] Click here to listen to Rep. Bishop’s testimony in full.