Last month I reported about the effort of a number of states to use Article V of the US Constitution to call a constitutional convention in order to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. In that article I shared that the Center for Public Inquiry reported:
“So far, 27 states have passed bills since 1957 to discuss a balanced budget amendment that would prevent the federal government from running annual budget deficits. To secure the remaining seven states necessary for a convention, the ALEC-connected Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force plans to lobby in 13 more states in 2016.”
Then I reported:
“Those 13 states being targeted are: Arizona, Kentucky, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. So far at least 10 of these 13 states have bills calling for a convention for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution, pending in their legislatures. If just 7 of these states succeed in passing their bills, it will be the first time since 1787 that a convention of states was called. That convention some 227 years ago is better known as the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia that drafted and signed the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Somehow in all of the reports, everyone missed one state that was also trying to pass a bill calling for a constitutional convention. On Monday, the Kansas House voted on House Concurrent Resolution 5010. They needed a two-thirds supermajority vote to pass the resolution. To pass, the Kansas House needed a minimum of 84 votes but only ended up with 77 votes, seven shy of becoming the 28th state to call for a constitutional convention.
Supporting the resolution was House Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast (R-Emporia). She believes that the Founding Fathers fully expected numerous and regular constitutional conventions whenever the states felt that Congress was not doing what they believed they should be doing. Mast went on to say that today’s Congress has failed to do its duty which is why there is a need for a constitutional convention of states.
Had Kansas passed their resolution, it would leave only 6 more states of the 13 listed above to pass similar bills or resolutions for the first constitutional convention of states to take place since the first and only one that happened 227 years ago. Since Congress is failing to pass a constitutional amendment imposing a balanced budget, it’s up to the states to gather and make it happen. Hopefully the effort to pass the resolution in Kansas will not die with that vote and that supporters will continue to push until they achieve the 84 votes to make it a reality.
If you live in one of the 13 states being targeted to get a bill passed to call for a convention for a balanced budget amendment, contact your state Representatives and Senators and urge them to support and pass the bill. We owe it to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to keep federal spending in check and give them a hope for the future.