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In the News: Utah legislature approves Convention of States resolution without any legislators speaking in opposition

Published in Blog on March 07, 2019 by Convention Of States

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Our recent victory in Utah is garnering media attention, like this great coverage in Deseret News. Be sure to read to the end to hear about how one legislator changed her vote from NO to YES.

It's official: Utah's game.

The Utah House of Representatives in a late 42-32 vote Tuesday night gave final approval to a joint resolution calling for a convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution, which does not need approval from Gov. Gary Herbert, adds Utah to the list of states seeking to convene a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to address what the resolution's House sponsor, Rep. Merrill Nelson, called a "broken" federal government.

"The checks and balances in our Constitution have been stretched and broken," said Nelson, R-Grantsville. "All three branches are exercising legislative power. The courts are deciding matters of public policy. The executive is issuing executive orders, making law as we speak. And there's no way to challenge it."

In his pitch to his fellow House representatives to vote for the resolution, Nelson pointed out Utah's federal delegation have all said the federal government is "broken, it's dysfunctional, it's not working," due to gridlock in Congress and $22 billion of national debt.

"We need to push back," Nelson said. "How do we push back against the federal government?"

The only way, Nelson said, is invoking Article V of the Constitution, which allows two paths for amendments to the Constitution: through Congress, or through a special convention called by the states.

The resolution passed the House mostly on a party-line vote, though some Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the vote. It passed the Senate on a close vote last week.

Debate ended before any representative spoke against the resolution, but opponents have previously expressed fear that a convention could result in drastic and dangerous changes to the Constitution.

Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, rose in support, saying, "I don't fear a runaway convention. I fear a runaway federal government."

"I don't fear changing the Constitution. I fear a Constitution that never changes and adapts as the republic grows," Winder said, adding he's not afraid of radical amendments because 3/4 of states are required to approve of any amendments.

Rep. Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan, also supported the resolution after she said she had a "moment of fear" in a committee when she previously voted against it because "I was hearing so much from people who were afraid."

But Tuesday, Acton said she would vote in favor. She said the state-led method has never been tried before, "perhaps because we've never been desperate as states to contain the federal government so much as we are now."

"This erects barriers against the encroachment of national authority, which seems to me what we need right now," Acton said. "I think it will be very good for our republic if we're able to do this."

Want to join the movement in your state? Sign the Convention of States Petition below and take the first step in joining the fight to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. 

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Handbook for Legislators and Citizens (which explains the process and answers many questions) here:

I ask that you support the Convention of States Project and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the resolution. Please respond to my request by informing the national COS team of your position, or sending them any questions you may have: or (540) 441-7227.

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Respectfully, [Your Name]

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