Friday, May 8, 2009

Four rural states declare their sovereignty in the face of the federal stimulus

Read William Yardley's story from the New York Times here. An excerpt follows:
When legislatures convened this year, lawmakers in more than 30 states set out to send Washington a blunt message: back off. Frustrated by federal policies like the bank bailout and rules allowing wolves to prowl the West, they drafted so-called sovereignty resolutions, aggressive interpretations of states’ rights outlined in the Tenth Amendment.
But as state legislative sessions are coming to a close, only four have passed sovereignty measures: Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota. All are rural by many measures.

Here's a great quote from an Idaho legislator about the catch-22 in which such states found themselves in the current economic climate, with stimulus dollars at stake:
“The stimulus money created a problem for us with the sovereignty thing,” said JoAn Wood, a Republican who is chairwoman of the House Transportation and Defense Committee in Idaho, which has overseen some legislative action on the stimulus money. “We’d like to stand on principle.”

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