Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 | 5:55 p.m.
The federal government has become a bully and is passing regulations costing citizens thousands of dollars without consulting with states and local governments, a legislative panel was told Tuesday.
"They (the government) have the ability to sneak and peek into our homes," complained Cynthia Madden in support of a Senate resolution that claims the government is violating the U.S. Constitution in passing many regulations and laws.
Madden was one of a group of citizens who testified at a hearing of the Senate Legislative Operations Committee, all in support of SJR-3 that claims each state is sovereign.
There was no opposing testimony to the resolution.
It was sponsored by Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, and other GOP lawmakers. He said he hopes, if passed by the Legislature, it "will curtail the unfunded mandates" imposed by the federal government.
Madden and others told the committee that the states are being bullied by the federal government that "is taking all our money and powers."
Settelmeyer says that for the past 10 years the federal government has returned 70-75 percent of the money taken from Nevada which "is not a bad return." But he said New Mexico gets back 225 percent and that is unfair. "This is not the federal government's money," he said.
He hopes his resolution would persuade the federal government to stop stepping on the rights of the states.
One example, he said, was the Federal Emergency Management Agency designating 2,500 acres as a flood plain in Douglas County, even though there has never been flooding in the area.
This forced homeowners to buy flood insurance. And after protests, the federal agency rescinded its designation.
Another example was the decision by the government to install a 55 mph speed limit and telling the states they would lose their highway money if they didn't comply. That was subsequently repealed.
Committee Chairwoman Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, said it would be about two weeks before a vote is taken. She said the issue should "percolate" to give lawmakers a chance to think about the testimony.