(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – A state Senate resolution telling Congress to respect Nevada’s right to govern itself under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is expected to get a hearing, the chief sponsor said today.
Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 6 on Wednesday. Cosponsors include all 25 Republican members of the Legislature.
Settelmeyer said the resolution mirrors one he and several other lawmakers sought in the 2009 session that did not get a hearing in the Assembly where he was serving at the time.
But Senate Government Affairs Chairman John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, said there is enough public interest on the issue to hold a hearing, and he has scheduled the measure for March 7.
The resolution, if approved, will be sent to Nevada’s Congressional delegation, and to the rest of Congress, asking that the federal government respect the right of the state to deal with those issues not under national control, Settelmeyer said.
This includes what is expected to be a costly mandate to the state to expand Medicaid coverage as a result of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he said.
Nevada is one of 26 states challenging the constitutionality of the act. The states recently won a victory in their challenge in a U.S. District Court in Florida.
“We have far too many edicts coming down from the federal government that we cannot afford,” Settelmeyer said. “They tell us to do stuff and give us no funding to do it with.”
The health care law is just one example, he said.
“This resolution again, is just mainly to state to our congressional representatives and to the U.S. Congress, that the Constitution is relevant and the 10th Amendment within the Constitution is extremely relevant as it pertains to its interactions with the states,” Settelmeyer said.
The resolution was not circulated among Democrats to sign on, although Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, signed on to the similar Assembly Joint Resolution 15 in 2009.
Lee said he is having his committee legal counsel review the measure and the law so that questions raised during the hearing will get answers right then.
“I’m only going to have two bills that day instead of four or five so people have a chance to discuss it,” he said.