State News
4:23 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Florida Senate Memorial Filed As First Step In Plan To Shrink U.S. Government

Hays
Hays
Credit Florida Senate

A Florida lawmaker has filed legislation that would add Florida’s backing to a national movement seeking to limit the federal government’s power. The memorial needs OK's from 34 states before triggering a constitutional amending conference.

State Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) says the federal government does too much, collects too many taxes and imposes too many restrictions. So he and lawmakers from across the country have signed on to a plan for states to amend the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s going to have to be an American issue, not a partisan issue at all," Hays says.

He says the amending conference has support from both sides of the aisle—but the movement has been pushed largely by conservative and Tea Party groups.  

The amendments Hays says he’d like to see adopted would limit the federal government’s spending power and impose term limits on Congress. But he acknowledges cutting government could shift financial burdens to the states.

“It would be up to the states to decide which programs are important and if they’re important enough to fund them," he says.

If enough state legislatures pass similar memorials, any amendments coming out of a convention would require approval from 38 states. The U.S. Constitution hasn’t been amended in more than 20 years.