Lawmaker Says Arizona Law Could Help Wyoming
A state lawmaker says the Wyoming Legislature should consider passing a law similar to one passed by Arizona legislators to fight federal policies that hurt the state.
Rep. Scott Clem (R-Campbell County) notes there is a petition drive underway that asks the Wyoming legislature to assert the 10th amendment to the U.S. constitution to fight federal coal policies and other regulations that some say hurt Wyoming.
The 10th amendment reads as follows:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.
Clem says that while he supports the idea of using the amendment to fight the "federal war on coal" and similar policies, that action by itself could simply be ignored by the federal government. "It's a lot of bark and very little bite" in his words.
But the Gillette Republican says a law passed in Arizona that bars the use of personnel or money by the state to carry out federal regulations that the state considers illegal could put some teeth in the resolution. Clem thinks the bill, including the assertion of the tenth amendment, could be presented to Wyoming lawmakers as a constitutional bill.
Clem claims the law was used successfully by Arizona to fight federal policies that he says were unconstitutional. He says the law could be used by Wyoming not only to battle coal emissions regulations, but actions by the EPA, Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies that many in Wyoming consider to be intrusive or illegal.
Clem says that the idea of writing a bill similar to the Arizona law for consideration by Wyoming lawmakers is ''still in it's infancy".
But he says a similar bill that would require the state legislature to approve any federal action in Wyoming before any state resources could be used to implement the action has been introduced in a legislative committee.