Note: While we do our best to educate members of the media regarding the proper use of terms, some journalists continue to use the incorrect term "constitutional convention" when referring to an Article V Convention of States. The following article was originally published on the Aurora Advocate.
Columbus — An Ohio coalition rallied at the Statehouse Oct. 7 in support of a national constitutional convention to address debt and other federal issues.
The Convention of States is urging lawmakers support for HJR 3, which seeks to force Congress to call a convention to consider amendments.
It’s the second joint resolution of its kind in recent years — Ohio adopted an Article V amendment last session, with wording that attempted to limit discussions to a federal balanced budget amendment.
But HJR 3 this session would expand the potential discussion topics to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power of the federal government and limit the terms of office for its officials.”
“It has a broader scope of things that can be discussed,” said Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance), a primary sponsor of the resolution.
“... It also is more consistently worded across the states that are filing, so we expect less litigation long term and a more likely [approval] in the near future if we’re able to get 34 states to file.”
Hagan and her primary co-sponsor, Rep. Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland), offered sponsor testimony on HJR 3 earlier this week before the House’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.
“The federal government has usurped powers that rightfully belong to us — the elected lawmakers of Ohio and every state in this nation,” Hagan said in testimony submitted to the panel. She added later, “The fact is, as a state legislature, we are our nation’s last line of defense against an overreaching federal government. It’s time for us to exercise our Article V power to more closely reflect the will of the people which we were sent to serve and represent.”
On Oct. 7, Hagan joined other advocates from Convention of States during its Statehouse rally to draw further attention to the issue.
“We’ve got an out-of-control Congress, we’ve got career politicians, they think they run our lives,” said Bob Berry, regional director for the group. “They are interpreting the Commerce Clause to basically regulate every aspect of your life. ... We do not want to have another missed opportunity on our hands. ... We need to limit the size, scope, the jurisdictions of Congress, of all of federal Washington. We need to get this monster under control.”
Four other states have adopted comparable Article V convention, and others are considering it.