The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty hosted an exciting event in Madison to unveil its most recent project, the Center for Competitive Federalism (CCF). The press conference was well attended by the media and Wisconsin legislators, including Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, State Sen. Duey Stroebel, and Rep. Dale Kooyenga. The CCF will engage in strategic litigation, public education and the development of model legislation to advance the “competitive” federalism established by the Constitution.
The CCF released its first report, Wisconsin not Washington, that examines how the relationship between the federal government in Washington has hamstrung Wisconsin policy innovation through the use of federal dollars and has contributed to a steady rate of growth in state government spending and regulation.
“In a purple state like Wisconsin, reforms should stress not just limited government but good government,” the report reads. “They should be not just pro-business but pro-competition, championing basic human rights — such as the right to work, the freedom of association, and the freedom of contract. They should defend working families from the special interests that have captured American government in the last century.”
Rick Esenberg, President and General Counsel at WILL noted, “There is a direct, causal relationship between the growth of federal spending and the growth in state spending. The result is an overtaxed economy and stifled policy innovation. The CCF’s new report outlines how to combat and pushback to preserve states’ rights.” The CCF is based at WILL in Milwaukee and the scope of its activities will be national. It will seek the best opportunities for meaningful litigation and will direct its educational efforts at think tanks and litigation centers throughout the country.
The Capital Times covered the press conference and shared Wisconsin legislators responses to the necessity of organizations like CCF to protect states from federal overreach.
“A lot of the problems we want to solve, we run into this brick wall,” said Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, adding that the federal government doesn’t allow states enough flexibility to pursue effective solutions.”
“States are seeing the results of a “federal government gone wild,” said Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, who called the transgender guidelines an example of “social engineering” and said a return to “local control” is needed.”
“Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said she sees examples of federal overreach on a daily basis as she meets with constituents and hears their concerns about education funding, the Clean Power Plan, transportation funding or the Affordable Care Act.”
The CCF will offer policy prescriptions, research and legal briefs and will file lawsuits to address what it describes as federal overreach, seeking to draw a clear line between states’ and federal rights.