The Tennessee General Assembly is gearing up to conduct the legislative business of Tennesseans in 2011.  Here at the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, we have been preparing by reviewing Tenth Amendment Center model legislation and consulting with liberty leaders throughout the state to determine our top legislative priorities for the 2011 legislative session.  Below are our top six legislative priorities for Tennessee, along with links to download the model legislation.  We encourage you to download and print copies of each piece of legislation and share these with your legislators.  Urge them to sponsor, co-sponsor and support these bills in the Tennessee General Assembly this year.

Federal Health Care Nullification Act

The Federal Health Care Nullification Act nullifies Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed last year by the federal government in its entirety and declares the federal legislation null, void, and of no force in the state of Tennessee.  While bills that have been previously introduced to state that Tennesseans have a choice as to which health care plan they choose to participate – be it federal, private, or none at all – are very important, this bill goes further in challenging the constitutionality of the entire federal legislation.  The Tenth Amendment Center model legislation recognizes that the federal government has no constitutional authority to pass any laws related to health care or health insurance period.  The bill will impose criminal penalties on any federal and state officials who try to enforce the federal health care law.  This exact model bill has been introduced in Texas and several other states, and we are expecting as many as 10 states to introduce this exact bill this year.  We hope Tennessee will join these other states in introducing the Federal Health Care Nullification Act.  (Click here to download.)

Intrastate Commerce Act

The Intrastate Commerce Act is modeled after the Firearms Freedom Act passed in 2009, but take it several steps further to include everything grown, manufactured, or made in the state of Tennessee – not just firearms.  Any product grown, made, or manufactured in Tennessee; sold in Tennessee; and consumed or retained in Tennessee is exempt from federal regulations.  This bill will do wonders for small businesses and farms that only do business locally or in the state of Tennessee in protecting them from onerous federal regulations.  Additionally, the Intrastate Commerce Act will also nullify the provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, as long as the food is grown, sold, and consumed in the state of Tennessee. This bill imposes criminal penalties on any federal or state officials who try to enforce federal law to the contrary.  (Click here to download.)

Freedom from Registration Act

The Freedom from Registration Act will prohibit any federal firearm registration schemes in the state of Tennessee and impose criminal penalties on any federal or state officials who attempt to perform any such registration.  (Click here to download.)

Constitutional Tender Act

The Constitutional Tender Act requires any debts paid by or to the state to be paid in gold or silver coin (per Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution), or bank accounts backed by gold or silver coin.  This will build a reserve of gold and silver for Tennessee to protect against the devaluation of the dollar.  In addition, consumers would have added benefit as their bank accounts that are converted from federal reserve notes to gold and silver coin will retain their value against inflation much better than a typical bank account.  For great information about this model legislation, click here to view a video of Bill Greene testifying about the bill before a committee of the state legislature in Georgia.  (Click here to download.)

Uniform Enumerated Powers Act

The Uniform Enumerated Powers Act states that “Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. If Congress shall fail or refuse to comply with this section, such Act, or any portion of such Act, shall be unauthoritative, void, and of no effect in the State of Tennessee.” If Congress won’t cite chapter and verse of the Constitution on each law it passes, Tennessee won’t obey it.  (Click here to download.)

Environmental Protection Act

The Environmental Protection Act would require some modification for Tennessee, but the goal is to require state approval for any cap and trade or other environmental scheme passed by the federal government.  Most likely the best course would be to go along the lines of the bill Rep. Susan Lynn tried to pass last year and require approval of the state legislature for any cap and trade or other environmental regulations/laws passed down from the federal government.  The federal government has no constitutional authority to do anything related to the environment, and this bill is an effective means to combat its constant overreach in this area.  Again, criminal penalties are imposed for any federal or state official who attempts to enforce federal laws/rules in defiance of the state.  (Click here to download.)

cross-posted from the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center

Lesley Swann

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