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Gov. Herbert Calls for Power Balance Between States and Federal Government

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Gov. Herbert speaking at the 2015 State of the States address. |NGA Photo

Governor Gary Herbert is calling for a balance of power between the federal government and the states. He heads the bipartisan National Governor’s Association and was in Washington Thursday to give a “State of the States” address.

In his address, Herbert pointed to gridlock in congress as an example of how not to govern and said policy that improves lives is overwhelmingly produced at a local level.

“It is the states that are leading this nation forward,” he said. “Some of our nation’s leaders on Capitol Hill might be willing to allow inaction and partisan politics to stall real progress, but governors are choosing a different path. Governors across the political spectrum, on both sides of the aisle, are producing real results for their citizens every day.”

Herbert pointed to criminal justice reform in Mississippi and cybersecurity legislation in Virginia as examples. He also mentioned the anti-discrimination measure he signed into Utah law last year.

“If we can find common ground on religious freedom and LGBT rights in Utah—which is one of the nation’s most religious and conservative states—we can do it anywhere in this country.”

He outlined a set of principles the NGA developed for what the group says would contribute to a strong and cooperative relationship between states and the federal government. Those include federal action being taken only on issues that are national in scope, such as defense. Herbert also mentioned the idea that federal action shouldn’t preempt states’ laws.

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