The majority of the legislature’s State and Local Government Committee has voted against passage of a resolution that seeks to insert a balanced budget amendment in the federal constitution.
The committee voted seven to three against the measure which would use a provision in the U.S. constitution that allows for the calling of a constitutional convention to propose amendments when called by three-fourths of the state legislatures. Right now, there are 27 states that have called for a constitutional convention. There has been only one constitutional convention in U.S. history, in 1787.
Supporters argue the United States has a huge budget deficit and if Congress won’t send a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification, the states need to force the issue by calling a convention.
“I heard yesterday on the news that the value of the United States of America is $80 trillion,” says Sen. Paul Davis, a republican from Sangerville. “Well $20 trillion is debt. And it is very troublesome. I have four daughters and a great granddaughter and this is the world we are leaving them.”
Opponents have argued the convention can’t be limited in what it considers, and that was the concern of the majority on the committee.
“I oppose this particular piece of legislation and all Article five’s because of the concern that I have with runaway conventions,” said Rep. Danny Martin, a democrat from Sinclair.
The full legislature will now consider the proposal.