Yesterday the State of Utah convened the organizational meeting of the Federalism Subcommittee, chaired by Lt. Governor Greg Bell at the request of Governor Gary R. Herbert. "One cornerstone to ensuring the State's economic recovery and prosperity is self-determination-the ability of the State of Utah to address Utah's problems in Utah's way. The federal government seems to routinely forget that its powers were intentionally limited by the Founders," the Governor said. "States, not Washington, D.C., are the laboratories of democracy."
The group is a subcommittee of the Constitutional Defense Council, and was created pursuant to the Federal Law Evaluation and Response Act (UCA 63C-4-101) passed during the 2011 General Legislative Session.
Lt. Governor Bell said, "The federal government has slowly eroded the authority and sovereignty of the states and the liberty of citizens. We need to find creative ways to restore a greater balance of power between states and the national government, and the Federalism Subcommittee is designed to do just that."
The Federalism Subcommittee will review and evaluate federal laws and regulations to monitor the balance of authority between the state and local governments, and to pressure the federal government to remain within constitutional limits. The subcommittee will also provide a forum for state and local officials to discuss and devise strategies to resist federal encroachment on state prerogatives.
In addition to Lt. Governor Bell, a bipartisan group of members of the state legislature and a representative of the Attorney General's office constitute the membership of the subcommittee. Representatives of county organizations and various other officials from state agencies also participated in the meeting. The Public Lands Policy Coordination Office provides staff support to the subcommittee.