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  84R1694 TJB-F
 
  By: Flynn H.B. No. 98
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the Texas Balance of Powers Act.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  (a) This Act shall be known as the Texas Balance
  of Powers Act.
         (b)  The legislature finds that:
               (1)  The people of the several states comprising the
  United States of America created the federal government to be their
  agent for certain enumerated purposes and nothing more.
               (2)  The Tenth Amendment to the United States
  Constitution defines the total scope of federal power as including
  only those powers specifically delegated by the people to the
  federal government. Those powers not delegated to the federal
  government are reserved to the states or to the people themselves.
               (3)  Each power delegated to the federal government by
  the United States Constitution encompasses only that power as it
  was understood at the time it was delegated, subject only to an
  expansion or limitation of that power by a subsequent amendment to
  the constitution.
               (4)  The United States Constitution authorizes the
  United States Congress to exercise only those powers enumerated in
  Section 8, Article I, of the constitution, as well as certain other
  powers delegated to Congress by subsequent amendments to the
  constitution.
               (5)  The power delegated to the United States Congress
  to regulate commerce among the several states under Section 8,
  Article I, of the United States Constitution was not intended by its
  drafters or understood by those who ratified it as an authorization
  for the federal government to assume vast powers not directly
  related to interstate commerce, many of which infringe on the
  sovereignty of the states and the liberties of the people. Under
  color of the Commerce Clause, the legislative, executive, and
  judicial branches of the federal government have adopted and
  implemented countless measures not authorized by the language or
  original intent of the clause, many of which usurp the duties and
  responsibilities reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment.
               (6)  The power delegated to the United States Congress
  to make all necessary and proper laws under Section 8, Article I, of
  the United States Constitution was not intended by its drafters or
  understood by those who ratified it to be a delegation of unlimited
  power to the federal government to do anything it considers
  necessary and proper. Instead, the Necessary and Proper Clause was
  intended and understood to authorize Congress to only enact laws
  actually necessary and proper to execute a power specifically
  vested in the federal government by the constitution, without which
  the vested power would be impossible to exercise.
               (7)  The power delegated to the United States Congress
  to provide for the general welfare of the United States under
  Section 8, Article I, of the United States Constitution was not
  intended by its drafters or understood by those who ratified it to
  authorize Congress to enact any legislation that it considers good
  or desirable. Instead, the General Welfare Clause was intended and
  understood to ensure that Congress, when exercising an enumerated
  power, does so in a manner that serves all citizens well and
  equally.
               (8)  In addition to the limitations imposed on the
  power of the federal government by the United States Constitution
  as originally ratified, the powers delegated to the federal
  government were further restricted at the insistence of the people
  through the ratification of the Bill of Rights. As such, this state
  specifically rejects any federal claim that any provision of the
  Bill of Rights authorizes new or expanded authority that may be
  exercised by the federal government.
               (9)  No authority has ever been delegated to the
  federal government to preempt state legislation, interfere with
  internal state affairs reserved to the states, regulate state
  courts in matters of state substantive law or procedure, or
  otherwise act in a manner that interferes with the balance of powers
  between the states and the federal government established by the
  United States Constitution.
               (10)  The constitutional limitation on the scope of
  federal power and the reservation of other powers to the states or
  to the people are matters of contract between this state and its
  people, and the United States, as of the date this state was
  admitted to the United States of America.
               (11)  The federal government has acted in a manner
  inconsistent with the language, intent, and spirit of the United
  States Constitution in direct violation of the constitution and the
  contract between this state and its people, and the United States.
  This state rejects the unauthorized and excessive abuse of power by
  the federal government that infringes on the rights of this state
  and its people and that unconstitutionally undermines, diminishes,
  and disregards the balance of powers between the states and the
  federal government established by the constitution.
         (c)  In accordance with the United States Constitution, the
  federal government is denied by this state the power to take any
  legislative, executive, or judicial action that violates the
  constitution, specifically including those actions that
  unconstitutionally undermine, diminish, or disregard the balance
  of powers between the states and the federal government established
  by the constitution.
         (d)  This Act serves as notice from this state to the federal
  government to cease and desist any and all unconstitutional
  activities that are outside the scope of the power delegated to it
  by the United States Constitution, including those activities that
  unconstitutionally undermine, diminish, or disregard the balance
  of powers between the states and the federal government established
  by the constitution.
         (e)  This state and its people retain their sovereign power
  to regulate the affairs of this state, subject only to the
  limitations prescribed by the United States Constitution.
         SECTION 2.  Subtitle Z, Title 3, Government Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 393 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 393. NULLIFICATION OF CERTAIN UNCONSTITUTIONAL FEDERAL
  LAWS, RULES, EXECUTIVE ORDERS, AND OTHER ACTIONS
         Sec. 393.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Committee" means the joint legislative committee
  on nullification.
               (2)  "Federal action" includes:
                     (A)  a federal law;
                     (B)  a federal rule, policy, or standard; and
                     (C)  an executive order of the president of the
  United States.
               (3)  "Unconstitutional federal action" means a federal
  action enacted, adopted, or implemented without authority
  specifically delegated to the federal government by the people
  through the United States Constitution.
         Sec. 393.002.  JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON
  NULLIFICATION. (a) The joint legislative committee on
  nullification is established as a permanent joint committee of the
  legislature.
         (b)  The committee consists of the following 14 members:
               (1)  the speaker of the house of representatives;
               (2)  the lieutenant governor;
               (3)  six members of the house of representatives
  appointed by the speaker of the house; and
               (4)  six members of the senate appointed by the
  lieutenant governor.
         (c)  Not more than four house members of the committee,
  including the speaker of the house, and four senate members of the
  committee, including the lieutenant governor, may be members of the
  same political party. 
         (d)  Members of the committee serve two-year terms beginning
  with the convening of each regular legislative session.
         (e)  If a vacancy occurs on the committee, the appropriate
  appointing officer shall appoint a member of the house or senate, as
  appropriate, to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
         (f)  The speaker of the house and the lieutenant governor are
  joint chairs of the committee. 
         (g)  The committee shall meet at the call of either joint
  chair.
         (h)  A majority of the members of the committee constitute a
  quorum.
         Sec. 393.003.  COMMITTEE REVIEW OF FEDERAL ACTION. (a) The
  committee may review any federal action to determine whether the
  action is an unconstitutional federal action.
         (b)  Not later than the 180th day after the date the
  committee holds its first public hearing to review a specific
  federal action, the committee shall vote to determine whether the
  action is an unconstitutional federal action.
         (c)  The committee may determine that a federal action is an
  unconstitutional federal action only by majority vote of the total
  membership of the committee.
         (d)  A federal action determined by the committee to be an
  unconstitutional federal action has no legal effect in this state
  unless and until the legislature refuses or fails to nullify the
  action under Section 393.004.
         Sec. 393.004.  LEGISLATIVE VOTE FOLLOWING COMMITTEE
  DETERMINATION. (a) If the committee determines that a federal
  action is an unconstitutional federal action, each house of the
  legislature shall, during the next regular legislative session,
  vote on whether to nullify the action. An unconstitutional federal
  action is nullified if a majority of the members of each house of
  the legislature vote for nullification.
         (b)  The legislature may not vote to nullify a federal action
  unless the committee has determined that the action is an
  unconstitutional federal action.
         (c)  A nullified unconstitutional federal action has no
  legal effect in this state and may not be recognized by this state
  or a political subdivision of this state as having legal effect.
         (d)  This state shall prevent the implementation and
  enforcement of a nullified unconstitutional federal action within
  the boundaries of this state.
         SECTION 3.  (a) Not later than the 30th day following the
  effective date of this Act:
               (1)  the speaker of the house of representatives and
  the lieutenant governor shall appoint the initial members of the
  Joint Legislative Committee on Nullification established under
  Section 393.002, Government Code, as added by this Act; and
               (2)  the secretary of state shall forward official
  copies of this Act to the president of the United States, to the
  speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the
  Senate of the Congress of the United States, and to all members of
  the Texas delegation to Congress with the request that this Act be
  officially entered in the Congressional Record.
         (b)  Not later than the 45th day following the effective date
  of this Act, the speaker of the house of representatives and the
  lieutenant governor shall, as the joint chairs of the Joint
  Legislative Committee on Nullification established under Section
  393.002, Government Code, as added by this Act, forward official
  copies of this Act to the presiding officers of the legislatures of
  the several states.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.