An open letter to Rick Scott from the Florida Tenth Amendment Center:
 Don’t surrender to EPA over-reach.

Many Floridians who voted for you believe that Washington DC is out of control in its spending. Your 7-7-7 plan for Florida does a great job of pointing out that Tallahassee is likewise out of control in its spending.  We appreciate your willingness to have the difficult conversations, to not accept band-aid solutions, and to make tough choices. 

We’d like to congratulate you on the transparency of the work being done by your transition team and we’d like to applaud your commitment to refuse Federal money which has strings attached to permanently increase Florida’s spending. It seems that you are indeed ready to ‘get to work’ and we’re glad to see it.

But Floridians are looking to you for leadership not just to remedy Tallahassee’s issues but also to stand up to Washington where they have overstepped their constitutional authority. This brings us to one area in your 7-7-7 plan that we would like to provide some strong feedback: Environmental Protection.

On page 58 of your Regulatory Reform Transition Team Findings we observed the following objective.

Eliminate unnecessary additive state regulation to duplicative federal regulation.

Will Florida surrunder more rights to the EPA ?

From a purely financial standpoint, we understand the motivation to find savings wherever you can, but this is not an appropriate objective for many reasons.

1)      This objective would result in surrendering rights which are reserved to Florida and its people under the tenth amendment of the US constitution.

2)      It would establish an appeasement like precedent which would embolden further federal overreach and would predict and foretell a pattern of future surrender.

3)      The issue stated on page 58 (extensive federal regulation) captures the problem accurately but fails to note that the extensive federal regulation is without constitutional authority. Nowhere in the constitution is the Federal Government granted the power to regulate the environmental affairs of the states. 

4)      The proper remedy for Federal overreach is nullification of the unconstitutional law. It is a primary and critical job of the state of Florida to protect the rights of its citizens.

5)      Other states like Texas are dealing with similar issues and we have the momentum of the recent elections, the strength of the tea party movement, and frankly, the constitution is on our side. Now is the time to take a stand.

Where Federal regulation overlaps with State regulation, we should consult the enumerated powers. If the area in question is not delegated to the Federal Government, then we should pursue an objective of nullification and so defend the rights of Florida and its people. Retaining states rights and not allowing the Federal government to assume un-delegated powers is also consistent with the rest of your 7-7-7 plan for example see page 48 of the Regulatory Reform PDF where “decentralize decisions” is highlighted as an important guiding principle. 

“It is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected.” —Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” –Thomas Jefferson: National Bank Opinion, 1791.

“Whenever the Federal Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unaithoritative, void, and of no force.” Thomas Jefferson

For more information on the Tenth Amendment – click here:

For more information on Nullification – click here:

We encourage Floridians to add their voices to ours in asking the leadership in Tallahassee to be strong and stand up for Florida.

Jamie Davis is the Communications Director of the Florida Tenth Amendment Center and can be reached at

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