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Brett's Blog Archive: Monday, January 31, 2022 - Opening Day 2022: What a Week!!!!

Published in Blog on January 31, 2022 by Brett Sterley, State Director, Convention of States Missouri

I have thought long and hard to come up with the words to describe the events of last week. All I can come up with is……


Last Tuesday, the Wisconsin Senate took up our Convention of States Project’s resolution to call an Article V, convention of states meeting to propose amendments to the US Constitution. Our resolution limits proposed amendments to three subject areas: limiting the size, scope and jurisdiction of the federal government, discussion of term limits for federal officials and restoring fiscal restraints. The Wisconsin Assembly passed our resolution 58 to 36 with 4 not voting last session. Unlike Missouri, the Wisconsin Legislature allows legislation to carry over from one session to the next.

After a couple hours of debate with the usual fearmongering of “runaway conventions” and defaming of The Framers, the vote was called. The final vote was 17 “yeas” and 15 “nays” and the resolution passed. Wisconsin became state #16 to pass our resolution. Assemblyman and primary sponsor Dan Knodl remarked,

"Times like these are precisely why the Founders created the mechanisms in Article V. Federal overreach has thrown our country into chaos, and it's time for the states to exercise their authority as granted to them in the constitution to restore order, states' rights, and limited, constitutional government. I'm incredibly proud that our state has officially thrown its support behind this movement."

The same day and a couple states to the West, the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee was scheduled to hear HJR5001. COS leaders packed the hearing room and provided testimony in support of The Framers’ solution to unconstitutional government. The Committee passed our resolution 7-5. COS volunteers canvassed the House halls urging support for the looming floor vote. The next day, HJR5001 was called up for floor debate. Without any opposition, the South Dakota House passed HJR5001 39-30. Now, onto the Senate where our team has some work to do.

Now, we move next door to Nebraska and two days later for a floor vote on LR14. Nebraska is unique as it has a unicameral (one chamber) legislature. It is also “non-partisan.” In reality, the Nebraska Legislature behaves like a high school cafeteria. Everyone breaks out into their little cliques and getting anything passed is a challenge. That is usually a good thing because, the fewer laws that are passed, the more liberty we retain. It is frustrating when it is your issue they are not moving!

Our resolution was essentially dead last session. We were sent to an 8-person committee that is designed to deadlock in a 4-4 tie, not allowing legislation to get to the floor. Our sponsor Senator Halloran used a rare procedure to have our resolution pulled from that committee last session. That meant LR14 could be heard early this session. Legislation must survive three floor votes before it reaches final passage. Friday was the third and final floor vote. After a filibuster and surviving a motion to table the resolution for the session, the vote was called. By a vote of 32 “yeas,” 11 “nays,” 4 not voting and 2 absent, LR14 was passed. Nebraska is state #17.

These are huge victories for our COS Team. It is also an example of how our state teams determine legislative strategy. A Call to Action was offered to support the Wisconsin Team last session. This would have activated COS volunteers from across the country to contact the Wisconsin Assembly to move the resolution. This was not the approach the Wisconsin Team and Assemblyman Knodl wanted to help move us to passage. Accordingly, the Wisconsin Team did not want to publicize Tuesday’s floor vote. The COS resolution passed. The strategy the Wisconsin Team chose with the support of the National Staff proved correct.

Let us shift to Nebraska. With a filibuster on the Senate Floor, Regional Director Dave Schneider and the Nebraska Team asked COS volunteers to call that Senator’s office and politely ask him to stand aside and allow a final vote. We filled up the Senator’s voice mail and “melted the phone lines.” This proved to be a successful course of action as well.

This is what makes the Convention of States Project different. This is not a top-down organization. The best ideas we have come from the grassroots. These successes are driven by our citizen activists and our relentless efforts to restore the Constitution. The past couple years have been frustrating without having additional states pass. 2020 was sidelined due to the pandemic. 2021 was filled with passing legislative priorities from 2020. Fighting through adversity and remaining undeterred is how we achieve these victories.

Nobody knows for sure how the rest of the year will progress. Remember the words of John Quincy Adams, “Duty is ours. Results are God’s.” It is our duty to fight the fight. Make sure your legislators know about these victories. Make sure your friends and neighbors know as well. The Framers gave us the solution that is as big as the problems. We will not shrink from our responsibility. Thank you for your efforts. Let’s appreciate these wins and build on this momentum.

In liberty,


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