In an effort to clearly define the roles of both the state and federal government, the full Senate adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 on Monday.
Authored by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, the resolution renews the state Legislature’s commitment to preserving and reasserting its powers and authority over the responsibilities granted to states under the United States Constitution as specifically protected by the 10th Amendment.
It also urges the Oklahoma federal delegation to support the Constitution and limit federal action to only those areas granted to the federal government, reserving all other areas of action to the state.
“The founders of our nation crafted the Constitution to limit the powers of the federal government and protect the powers of the states,” Bergstrom said. “Alexander Hamilton described this as forming a ‘double security to the people.’ However, over time, the federal government has frequently claimed to itself rights and powers that the Constitution has reserved to the states and the people.”
The resolution calls for the creation of a National Federalism Task Force to convene a series of federalism summits to develop plans for restoring and maintaining divisions in the powers, roles and responsibilities of the general government and the states.
“SCR 6 is a first step toward pushing back against the federal government’s overreach,” Bergstrom said. “The Oklahoma State Legislature is calling upon all other states whose leaders desire to protect their state’s powers, citizens’ rights and governing voice to participate in a task force to develop plans for restoring appropriate divisions of powers and roles between the states and federal government.
“We must push back on Washington’s encroachment of the authority rightly belonging to Oklahoma and other states in the union.”
Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, is the House author for the measure.