Article V Bills Moving Through Legislature

Both an Article V convention proposal and a balanced budget compact proposal passed out of the House State Agencies Committee Friday morning.
Article V of the Constitution provides that, “The Congress…on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments…”
Rep. Nate Bell’s HB 1006 would allow Arkansas to create a compact for an Article V convention focusing on a balanced budget Constitutional amendment.
Bell said about HB 1006:

The people of the United States overwhelmingly want a balanced budget. They’ve made it clear. There is overwhelming support in every poll for a balanced budget amendment. Congress just doesn’t do it, so this is exactly the moment in time that the Founders put (Article V) in the (Constitution) for.

Rep. Bob Ballinger sponsored a similar Article V bill, which also passed out of committee Friday morning. However, Ballinger’s bill includes a wider scope of issues that could be considered at a Article V Convention, if one were called.
Ballinger said at the hearing this morning on HJR 1003:

Article V was put in there specifically so that states could check, in case the federal government were to get too large and spend too much money — and it was put in as a method to create some control and put in some constraints. So that’s exactly what I feel like our obligation is to do this. Of course, if 34 states make the call, there would be a convention, and it would take 38 states to ratify anything that would come out of it.

According to HJR 1003’s text, if called, the convention would be “limited to proposing  amendments to the Constitution of the United States that 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.”
Overall, these measures could significantly change the size and scope of the federal government, and could help shrink the $17 trillion debt our federal government has incurred up to this point — if enough states joined together to call for a convention.
(We’ll write soon about Rep. Karilyn Brown’s bill, which is designed to ensure that an Article V convention wouldn’t be a “runaway” convention. Brown’s bill was on the committee’s agenda for today, but the pressures of time delayed its consideration until next week.)
Federal constitutional reform invites state legislators to consider important questions about the role of government, and their efforts to roll back big government at the federal level are a continuing trend. Alaska passed an Article V Balanced Budget Compact last year. Will Arkansas be next?

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2 thoughts on “Article V Bills Moving Through Legislature

  • February 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    No one can guarantee the Article V convention isn’t a runaway. It’s a bad idea when Americans don’t even understand the functions of their own government, Bill of Right or the Constitution. Most think our country is a democracy, when it has always been a Constitutional Republic. This is a really bad idea and Arkansas should back away from it and utilize the power of Article 10.
    Article X.
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the
    Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  • February 28, 2015 at 10:34 am

    No amount of state laws can prevent a runaway convention. That is absurd. It’s like passing a law to outlaw rain. It won’t stop anything.
    These are both very bad ideas that conservatives have been warning about for years. The Left is pushing just as hard for a Con-Con because they understand this is the chance to legalize the total leftward lurch of this country.
    Even if a balanced budget could actually happen, all it would do is legalize all the unconstitutional spending that America does now and do nothing about the debt. Plus there would still always be an “emergency” to keep the spending going. It will solve nothing. People need to stop and think a little deeper about this, and not just go with all the well-funded hype.


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