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Indiana's Voice The informational Forum for Indiana
Larry Wiwi is a District Captain for IN68 in Franklin County who writes a column for a weekly county wide newspaper.
Tea Time: Another Example of Indiana Leading – Convention of States
Regular readers of this column know that we have promoted the idea of amendments to the Constitution to establish term limits for congress, balance the budget and other government limiting ideas. Since we know that congress will never propose such self-limiting amendments, we have supported the idea of using Article V of the Constitution which provides two means to amend the Constitution, one being through a convention of states that no federal office or agency can stop or deny.
As a quick refresher, Article V provides two means to propose amendments: 1) proposed by congress; 2) proposed through a convention of states, established after two thirds (34) of the states petition congress for a convention. Any amendments resulting from either proposal method require ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states to become part of the Constitution.
What you may not know is that Indiana has helped to lead the way in this effort and submitted the petition to congress in 2016, placing us among the first handful of states to take this action. There is a private organization, suitably enough called the “Convention of States” (COS) that is helping to promote and coordinate this effort to ensure consistency in scope and process across states to help avoid any excuses congress may try to use to reject any individual state’s petition. Additionally, the COS is recommending that states define a limited scope of a convention which is what Indiana has done – our petition limits a future convention’s scope to limiting the power and scope of the federal government – so repealing existing amendments, re-writing or changing any other portion of the Constitution is out of scope. Indiana took a further step to put very tight controls on any delegate or representative Indiana might send to a future convention including removal and even felony charges for any attempt to act outside of the scope the Indiana General Assembly proscribed in the petition.
Examples of other amendments that could be used to limit the federal government besides term limits could include one topic per bill or maybe even page limits per bill to avoid earmarks and omnibus spending bills. We could require true zero-based budgets, forcing agencies to justify every penny instead of the automatic 7% increase method that is erroneously called zero based. Perhaps we could require that the charter for all government agencies not specifically mentioned in the Constitution expire every five years and must re-justify their existence based on results.
This is truly an exciting concept that Indiana is helping to lead and if you are interested to learn more, you can go online to conventionofstates.com or look for a booth at the Franklin County Fair.
Larry Wiwi for the Franklin County Tea Party
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