Tallahassee, Fl- The Florida House of Representatives will be considering whether to call for a constitutional convention to propose new amendments to the US Constitution.
The event comes after Representative Tyler Sirois filed a bill, concurrent resolution 703, which would add Florida to the growing list of states calling for a constitutional convention.
Under Article V of the US Constitution, new amendments can be proposed to the US via constitutional convention if two-thirds of the States call for one.
Currently, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming have all called for a convention.
The bid for a constitutional convention is limited to calling for an amendment to compel the National government to carry a balanced budget.
According to the Urban Institute, nearly all US states have balanced budget requirements (BBRs). BBRs limit governments’ capacity to increase debt through deficit spending by imposing statutory restrictions on sending power.
The US government is currently $34 trillion dollars in debt. If Sirois’ resolution passes and enough states support the convention initiative, ultimately resulting in an amendment, US debt would have to be reduced.
Earlier this year, the US’s credit rating was downgraded by the international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings.
On April 21, 2010, the Legislature of the State of Florida passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, which similarly called for a constitutional convention to balance the federal budget.
Such resolution, however, was written in a manner that would enable the convention to consider amendment proposals separate from those regarding a balanced federal budget.
Some lawmakers fear the potential for a ‘runaway convention’ to result in a proliferation of amendments not originally intended by convention proponents.
Sirois’ current resolution lists Florida’s support for a convention insofar as such convention is constrained to only considering amendments requiring a balanced national budget.