2017 Phoenix, AZ

This convention operated the same way the 1787 Constitutional Convention operated. Like the other 654 recorded conventions over several centuries, the SOP was the same, however, as one would suspect, with different topics the outcomes were different.

Mike Kapic – January 12, 2018


Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) Planning Convention


The Phoenix Convention was called as a step toward an Article V amending convention that will propose a Constitutional amendment aimed at restoring federal fiscal restraint. The Phoenix conventions intent was to write suggested rules for the coming convention whose exclusive subject is to propose a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Call and Subject:

The call came from the Arizona legislature on March 30, 2017. The call’s subject was for the limited purpose of planning an Article V convention of states for proposing a balanced budget amendment.

Date and Location:

The convention met at the Arizona Capitol on September 12—14, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.


Seventy-four commissioners from nineteen states: AL(1), AZ(7), GA(4), ID(10), IN(4), IA(2), KA(1), KY(1), MI(1), MN(5), MO(1), NH(7), OK(6), SC(2), SD(3), TN(7), UT(6), WV(1), WY(5). Several states brought twelve ‘alternates’. Four states sent non-voting “official observers”.


The convention voted Kelly Townsend (AZ), president. Ken Ivory (UT), Vice-President. David Guldenschuh (GA), Secretary.

Convention Protocol:

  • This was a national convention.
  • The convention elected its officers.
  • The president and secretary were delegates.
  • The convention formed its own committees
  • Each state determined its commissioners and the number to send.
  • The convention wrote its own rules.
  • The one state, one vote protocol was used.
  • Some commissioners had previous convention experience.
  • The convention followed convention predecessors. T
  • The subject of the convention was limited.

Unusual Occurrences:

  • Contrary to the norm, the secretary was a delegate.
  • Some state delegates were not legislators.


The convention ended with what became known as Resolution 1 (a package of proposed rules for a BBA-focused Article V convention) and was unanimously approved by the convention. The convention created the Phoenix Communication Commission to facilitate communications between the states, Congress, and the public on Article V and a proposed balanced budget amendment.

The convention operated as previous conventions and stayed on task. View this summary 7-minute video here taken from 27 hours of Arizona Capitol records.

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