MOBILE, AL — Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) called for states to support freedom from federal “regulation without representation” at a meeting of the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) in Mobile, Alabama yesterday. Norris, who is Chairman of the national Council of State Governments (CSG) and a member of SSEB, addressed the group at their 54th Annual Meeting.
Norris is an advocate for “Regulation Freedom” calling upon Congress to require that, whenever one quarter of the members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate transmit to the President their written declaration of opposition to a proposed federal regulation, a majority vote of the House and Senate is required to adopt such regulation.
“Empowering Congress to act is a valuable strategy in limiting government abuse,” said Sen. Norris. “I believe it is the responsibility of the states to provide the inducement to act. Regulation Freedom should be on the tip of every tongue every time we talk to a Congressman.”
Norris is now joined by 150 other state legislators, including House and Senate Speakers, who also support Regulation Freedom.
“Unfunded mandates and regulations cost taxpayers between $44 and $62 billion each year,” said Norris citing a recent report from the Office of Management and Budget.
Last year, Norris formed a Federalism Task Force within CSG which advocated this year for passage of HR 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) who received CSG’s coveted Guardian of Federalism Award this year. It passed the House of Representatives in February but awaits action in the Senate.
The Southern States Energy Board also adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Norris in opposition to a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rule to redefine “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would impair state authority over water within their boundaries, significantly increasing the cost and regulatory requirements for state and local governments. The resolution called on the EPA and Corps to defer adoption of any redefinition of the waters under the proposed rule until the Science Advisory Board concludes their scientific analysis, an economic analysis is complete and the proposed redefinition is consistent with previous Supreme Court rulings regarding federal limitations.
“This proposed federal rule has the potential to effect even the most minor streams and standing water on personal property,” added Norris. “This is a huge issue for farmers as the federal government continues to make rules from bake sales to barnyards which affect our personal liberties.”
Senator Norris appeared in Mobile with TVA President, Bill Johnson, and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).