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

House Bill 1083 (HB1083) would call on the legislature to “study the statutory and regulatory requirements placed on North Dakota state government agencies by United States government agencies as a condition of the receipt of federal funding.”

The study would help the state legislature determine the following:

…whether there are viable options to meet the needs of our state without having the federal government’s oversight and involvement, which state needs can be met if federal funding associated with undesirable regulation or excessive direct and indirect costs is refused, and whether the benefit of accepting certain federal funds outweighs the benefit of participation in the federal programs.

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 HB1083 is an important first step towards showing the public where the money trail leads in order to determine where federal intervention in the states is most egregious and, additionally, where it is most vulnerable.

HB1083 is connected to another bill pre-filed in North Dakota, House Bill 1085 (HB1085), which would require law enforcement agencies to “report to the office of management and budget biennially on the amount of federal funds received by the agency.” It would also require state agencies to report to the office of management and budget before applying for a federal grant of $25,000 or more.

The process behind HB1083 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!

HB1083 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. This is just a first step, but can set the


In North Dakota, contact your state rep and urge them to support and co-sponsor HB1083. Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.

ALL OTHER STATES, Contact your state rep and senator and urge them to introduce a bill with similar language. Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.

TJ Martinell

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