A recently filed Texas bill would shed light on the resources the state devotes to implementing federal regulations and the corresponding mandates placed upon it.

Introduced by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, HB 799 would require the state comptroller to complete a study relating to the effects federal regulations and mandates enacted by federal law. The legislation requires that the report feature three main sections.

1, A cost-benefit analysis on the impact of state compliance with federal regulations, including a comparison of the direct and indirect costs of regulatory compliance with the amount of federal funds received by the state for the purpose of regulatory compliance;

2,  A list of all mandates enacted by federal law, including a federal regulation, for which the federal government has not provided reimbursement sufficient to cover the costs of implementing or otherwise complying with the mandate; and

3.  Recommendations for reducing the federal regulatory burden on the state and citizens of this state, including proposals for state or federal legislation or litigation against specific federal agencies.

A report of this magnitude would uncover just how much the federal government relies on states like Texas to enforce its laws. It would shine the brightest light on the nature of federal/state partnerships to date and illuminate just how far the fed’s tentacles reach into Texas, from drug and gun enforcement, to environmental regulations The report would help the Texas legislature find ways to reduce the federal burden placed upon them and encourage nullification efforts.

As the federal government grows in size and scope, it continues to rely heavily on state involvement, mostly because enforcement would be impossible without participation. Yet, the Lone Star state, along with others, continue to assess their sub-servant role to a burdensome and dependent federal government by choosing an anti-commandeering doctrine. Americans polled favor this decentralization on a whole slew of issues such as; law enforcement, drug reform, education, pollution control and health care.  It’s clear that more and more people are beginning to see just how inefficient centralized power can be, and that the only way to truly make a direct and important impact is to localize their affairs.

Thomas Jefferson believed in this basic principle and expected all States to act in a similar matter, which is highlighted in his writing;

Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste

The people of Texas, and other states as well, are long overdue for this kind of initiative.  Keeping in pursuance with federalism, a bill such as this would be a positive step towards increased state sovereignty.


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