Two state senators and a dozen other Nevadans urged a Senate committee Tuesday to tell the federal government that “enough is enough” and declare Nevada a sovereign state, recognizing federal jurisdiction only in areas specified in the U.S. Constitution. Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, presented the resolution to claim sovereignty under the 10th Amendment, which says powers in the Constitution that are not specifically reserved for the federal government are reserved for the states.“This resolution seeks to protect the citizens of the Silver State from an overreaching federal government,” Settelmeyer told members of the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections.Senate Joint Resolution 3 proposes that Nevada claim sovereignty as a state and order a cease-and-desist for all federal mandates deemed beyond those enumerated in the Constitution.Settelmeyer provided examples of the federal government deeming 2,500 acres in Douglas County a flood plain, even though there is no record of flooding in the area, and changing arsenic regulations for water. Those changes put an economic strain on the affected locals, Settelmeyer said. “I feel our federal government has overstepped and is trampling over our state rights — ours and every other state's,” said Carol Howell of the Carson City Republican Central Committee.Any future attempts by the federal government that are outside its enumerated powers would be prohibited, as would threatening civil or criminal action for failing to enact one of the non-enumerated mandates. It's a practice that one Nevadan said has become too common. “We need to tell the federal government we're not accepting blackmail,” Richard Brengman said at the meeting. “Nevada needs to be represented by Nevadans, not the federal government.”Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, told The Associated Press later in the day that there is an argument that states should be independent from the federal government. But he quickly added some forget the good parts of an involved federal government.“States do receive a lot of assistance from the federal government,” Manendo said. “Whether you agree or disagree, we do get highway money, we do get federal money for different things.”He added he is undecided on the resolution but said it does have merit.“There are pros and cons to it because states do have some benefit from the federal government,” Manendo said. “I certainly wish Nevada owned more of its own territory here.”Others sought to ensure that the resolution also rejects the United Nations' Agenda 21, a 300-page proposal suggesting a road map for the world in the 21st century. Opponents fear Agenda 21 would remove individual freedoms and usher in a one-world government. Jim Sallee urged the committee to serve as a line of defense against any sort of encroachment on personal freedoms by the federal government. “We are looking for you to stand between them and us, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Sallee told committee members via a video feed from Las Vegas.If passed, the resolution would be sent to the president, the vice president, leaders of both houses of Congress and members of the Nevada delegation to be entered into congressional record.“I think we need to remind them,” Settelmeyer said of the federal government and states' rights. “I feel they've forgotten the meaning of the 10th Amendment.”
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