March 4, 2020
A resolution reaffirming Tennessee’s Constitutional status as a sovereign state as well as the General Assembly’s authority as a separate and independent branch of state government passed the House Chamber 75-25 on March 2.
State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, sponsored HJR741 which reaffirms the constitutional duty and exclusive authority and power of the Tennessee General Assembly to appropriate taxpayer dollars and balance the state budget.
Weaver filed her resolution after the governor announced in December he would allow refugees to resettle in Tennessee. That decision follows an executive order by President Donald Trump to allow states and local governments to opt-in on whether they would resettle refugees.
“I applaud the General Assembly for strongly supporting this legislation,” Weaver said. “This resolution sends a clear message that we object to the governor’s actions which violates the constitutional duty and power of the legislature. This is an involuntary transfer of federal costs that creates a coerced expenditure of state dollars without approval of the General Assembly.”
Tennessee in 2017 became one of the first states in the nation to sue the federal government for compelling the state to pay for a federal program like refugee resettlement. The lawsuit cites a violation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“A federal program should be 100 percent funded by the federal government,” Weaver said.