A proposal with the potential to severely hamper federal influence over state government functions has been pre-filed in the Georgia State House, and will considered by the legislature there in 2015.

House Bill 14 (HB14), the Fiscal Accountability Act, is a bold “state sovereignty” initiative to rein in the federal government. Introduced by State Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs), the bill would cut off local-level participation in federal funding programs unless they were expressly approved by the General Assembly.

The bill states, in part, the following:

no local authority or local government of this state, including, but not limited to, counties, municipal corporations, and school districts, shall accept federal funds in any form or for any purpose, including, but not limited to, loans and grants, unless the acceptance of such federal funds has been expressly and specifically approved by an Act of the General Assembly

Recognizing that federal funds via grants and other programs are often the key to state and local implementation of national programs – like Common Core – passage of HB14 is an important first step towards showing the public where the money trail leads.

The language in HB14 mirrors the well-established legal doctrine of anti-commandeering. The Supreme Court has consistently held that the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce a federal act or program. This doctrine rests primarily on four SCOTUS cases – Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), New York v. US (1992), Printz v. US (1997) and National Federation of Businesses v. Sebelius (2012).

While more narrow in scope, HB14 contains similar language to Arizona Prop. 122, which was approved by the voters on Nov. 4. Other states, such as Missouri, will be working on similar measures during the 2015 legislative session as well.

The process behind HB14 is a new concept, and may need some fine tuning before being an effective check against federal power. Still, it is a step in the right direction toward forming more independent, sovereign state governments. If enough states figure out a way to create a deliberate review process for federal expenditures and cut off compliance and material support on multiple fronts, a stake can be driven through the heart of the federal agenda – and there is nothing the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. can do about it!

HB14 is important not just because of the language in that particular bill, but also because of the momentum it can build for these types of review measures to catch on across the country. This is where the feds are vulnerable, and the decoupling of the federal government from the states can have a profound effect. But it will only happen if we work diligently to push HB14 to victory, and get similar measures introduced in more states.


In Georgia, contact your state rep and urge them to support and co-sponsor HB14. Also, contact your state sen. and urge them to introduce similar legislation in the senate. Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.

ALL OTHER STATES, Contact your state rep and senator and urge them to introduce language similar to what was passed by the people of Arizona as well. Get that here. Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.

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