MADISON, WI – Wisconsin has become the latest state to back a movement calling for a Convention of States that will seek Constitutional amendments to limit legislators’ terms and cap government spending.
According to Communications Outreach Coordinator Cindy Nation, the Convention of States, Article V of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments. It takes 34 states to call such a convention.
“As of Jan. 25, with the inclusion of Wisconsin, we have passed the required ‘application’ in 17 states,” Nation said. “This process is one of the checks and balances in the Constitution to maintain the separation of powers and is the method by which the people through their state legislatures can propose amendments to the Constitution when needed going around the federal government.”
As a result, it is up to the legislatures to determine exactly how long before a convention can be called after the 34 state threshold is met.
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“Until then it is really hard to accurately predict just when that convention will be convened,” Nation said.
Once a convention is called, commissioners will be selected by the legislatures from each of the 34 states to meet, debate and eventually draft amendments that the legislatures have, in writing, instructed its commissioners to pursue.
“Our model application will allow for amendments that impose impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress as the states feel are needed to restore the authority of the states,” Nation said.
Once the amendments are proposed they must be ratified by 38 states before they can be written into the U.S. Constitution.
In addition to Wisconsin, legislatures in Georgia, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah, and Mississippi have adopted COS resolutions. State Senators in Nebraska are expected to pass such a resolution as well.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/article-v.html