Developments Related to Constitutional Amendments –
[The following information follows the order established in the Guldenschuh Report at Article V Caucus]
Balanced Budget Amendment Efforts (28 applications currently submitted):
Georgia SR29 with 18 sponsors was introduced on 1/27/21 by Senator Bill Cowsert. This state had earlier adopted a BBA application, but that application has since expired. On 2/21 the Senate approved the measure on a 34 to 20 vote. The bill now goes to the House.
Mississippi SCR523 and related bill SCR522 were introduced on 1/18/21 and were referred to the Senate Rules Committee.
Montana HJ13 was introduced on 2/17/21. On 2/18 its first hearing was held. Meanwhile Montana US Senator Steve Daines reintroduced his proposed “Balanced Budget Accountability Act” which, if adopted, would stipulate that “if Congress cannot pass a balanced budget, members of Congress will not get paid.”
Nebraska On 2/5 the McCook Gazette carried an editorial applauding 9 US Senators for co-sponsoring an effort in Congress to propose a BBA. Read the editorial HERE.
Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers, a long-time advocate for a BBA, released a statement saying, “Last year, the federal debt reached 100 percent of our nation’s economic output. This fiscal year, it is expected to rise beyond 100 percent. By 2031, our nation’s federal debt is projected to amount to 107 percent of the size of our economy. This grim outlook only confirmed what we already knew, our debt is growing, and we must do something about it.”
South Carolina SCR141 with 5 sponsors was introduced on 1/12/21 and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Convention of States Project (15 applications currently submitted):
Iowa SJR8 (a CoSP bill minus term limits) was introduced on 2/1/21. It resides in a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary committee. Companion bill HJR9 with 3 sponsors was introduced on 2/8/21. It resides in a subcommittee of the House State Government Committee where a hearing was scheduled for 2/17.
Kentucky SJR56 with 10 sponsors was introduced on 2/2/21. It was assigned to the Senate Committee on Committees.
Maryland HJR6 was introduced on 2/8/21 and has been assigned to the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.
Missouri HCR17 was introduced on 1/25/21. I has been referred to the House General Laws Committee. Companion bill SCR4 was introduced on 1/13/21. A hearing was scheduled for 2/23 before the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee.
Montana SJ2 was introduced on 1/18/21. On 2/10, during second reading, the bill, fought vigorously by the John Birch Society, was indefinitely postponed. According to the Independent Record (Helena, MT): “In the end, all Democrats in the chamber joined with seven Republicans to narrowly vote the bill down, 26-24.”
Nebraska LR14 was introduced on 1/8/21. On 2/1 a hearing was scheduled for 2/10 before the Legislature Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
New Hampshire HCR1 was introduced on 1/9/21 with 2 sponsors. On 2/16 a Minority Committee Report said “Ought to Pass.”
New Jersey SCR14 was introduced on 1/14/21 with 7 sponsors and assigned to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee. ACR98 is the companion House bill that was introduced on 2/3/21 with 13 sponsors. It was referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
South Carolina SJR133 was introduced on 1/12/21 with 18 sponsors and was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. HJR3205 with 50 sponsors was also introduced on 1/12/21. It has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
South Dakota HJR5001, with 20 sponsors was introduced on 1/19/21. On motion in the House State Affairs Committee on 2/1 the bill was “deferred to the 41st legislative day” by a vote of 8 to 5, a tactic used to kill proposed legislation. Like in Montana, the John Birch Society was a vocal opponent. Companion bill SJR502 with 11 sponsors was introduced on 2/3/21. During a hearing on 2/24 before the Senate State Affairs Committee, by a vote of 5 to 4, it too was “deferred to the 41st legislative day.”.
Vermont HJR3 was introduced on 2/5/21 and referred to the Committee on Government Operations.
Washington SJM8000 was introduced on 1/11/21 with 7 sponsors and referred to the State Government & Elections Committee. HJM4001 was introduced on 2/10/21 as the companion bill in the House. It was referred to the State Government & Tribal Relations Committee.
Wyoming SJR2 was introduced on 2/24/21 with 15 sponsors.
As a side Note: On 2/15 it was announced that CoSP head Mark Meckler was appointed Interim CEO for the newly revived Parler social media platform.
Fair & Free Elections Movement (5 applications currently submitted):
Maryland SJR7 was introduced on 1/29/21 with 2 sponsors. It was assigned to the Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee where a hearing was held on 2/18.
New York SB1070 was introduced on 1/6/21 with 17 sponsors and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. AB428 is the House companion bill, it was also introduced on 1/6/21 with 34 sponsors. It has been assigned to the Assembly Election Law Committee.
Oregon HJM1 and HJM4 were introduced on 1/11/21, both with 3 sponsors. Both have been referred to the House Rules Committee.
Washington SJM8002 was introduced on 1/14/21 with 14 sponsors. On 2/8 it was assigned to the Senate Rules Committee. SB4153 is a related proposed state statute dealing with “fair and free elections.” It was introduced on 1/12/21 with 4 sponsors and has been referred to the State Government & Elections Committee.
Congressional Term Limits Campaign (3 applications currently submitted):
Arizona HCR2015 was introduced on 2/3/21. On 2/17 the House Government & Elections Committee adopted a “Do Pass” motion by a 7 to 6 vote. It now sits in the House Rules Committee where a hearing was scheduled for 2/22. Companion bill SCR1025, sponsored by Senator Kelly Townsend, with 11 sponsors, was introduced on 1/28/21. On 2/15/21 the bill was approved by the Senate Government Committee and on 2/22 was approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the floor.
Georgia SR28 with 16 sponsors was introduced on 1/27/21. On 2/17/21 it was advanced by the Senate Government Oversight Committee. On 2/21 the bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 34 to 20. Companion bill HR39 with 6 sponsors was introduced on 1/27/21 and resides in the House Rules Committee.
Iowa SJR4 with 8 sponsors was introduced on 1/21/21. It resides in a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Indiana SJR10 was introduced on 1/4/21 with 5 sponsors. It is pending before the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee.
Kentucky HJR27 with 8 sponsors was introduced on 1/8/21. It was assigned to the House Committee on Committees. Related bill SCR8 was introduced on 2/2/21. On its second reading it was referred to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee.
Missouri SCR8 was introduced on 2/2/21. On 2/4 it was referred to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee. HCR36 is the companion House bill, introduced on 2/17/21.
North Dakota HCR3033 was introduced on 2/5/21 with 11 sponsors. The Joint Government and Veterans Affairs Committee on 2/22 voted to advance the bill on a vote of 9 to 5.
Pennsylvanis HR57 was introduced on 2/24/21 and referred to the State Government Committee.
South Carolina SCR363 and SCR33 were introduced on 1/12/21 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Companion bill HCR3663 with 12 sponsors was introduced on 1/14/21 and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Tennessee HJR8 was introduced on 1/6/21 with 5 sponsors. On 1/27 it was assigned to the Public Service Subcommittee.
Texas HJR95 was introduced on 2/22/21.
Bills Related to the Appointment of Article V Convention Delegates:
Mississippi SCR507, a bill dealing with criteria for Delegate Appointment to an Article V Convention, was introduced on 1/5/21. It was referred to the Senate Rules Committee. HCR12, the companion House bill is pending in the House Rules Committee.
Missouri SB231 introduced on 1/6/21, and companion HB836 deal with appointment of delegates to an Article V convention. Both bills are under committee review.
Nebraska LB195, referred to as a “Faithful Delegate Act” was introduced on 1/8/21. A hearing on the bill was set for 2/10 before the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
South Carolina SJR133 is a combination of an application for a CoSP convention and provided selection criteria for delegates to any Article V convention. The bill was introduced on 1/21/21 with 18 sponsors and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
West Virginia SB332 (a bill establishing criteria for selecting delegates to an Article V convention of states) was introduced on 2/18/21 with 6 sponsors. It was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. On 2/26 that committee voted to advance the bill.
Other Amendment-Related Proposals Being Considered:
Indiana SJR2 was introduced on 1/4/21 as a “Keep 9” amendment to the Constitution to designate 9 as the number of Justices to comprise the Supreme Court. The bill was referred to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure.
Iowa HJR3 introduced on 1/22/21 by Rep. John Wills is a proposed constitutional amendment which would require that “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the members of Congress, and that Congress shall make no law that applies to the members of Congress that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States; to remove all forms of tenure, pension, and other benefits retained by members of Congress after they leave office; to require that all members of Congress past, present, and future participate in social security and transfer all funds in the congressional retirement fund to the social security system; to require members of Congress to purchase their own retirement plans; to limit increases in congressional pay to the lesser of the increase in the consumer price index, or three percent; to eliminate the current congressional health care system and require members of Congress to participate in the same health care systems available to members of the American public; and to void all contracts with past and present members of Congress.” On 2/15 the bill was submitted to a House subcommittee.
Kentucky SCR1 introduced on 1/7/21 by Sen. William White proposes a specifically-worded constitutional amendment that would “give states the authority to repeal a Federal rule, regulation, or statute, or a Federal court ruling relating to certain federal actions, when ratified by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states.”
Mississippi HCR24 was introduced on 1/18/21 as a “Keep 9” amendment to the Constitution to designate 9 as the number of Justices to comprise the Supreme Court. The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee.
Missouri SCR1 was introduced on 1/7/21, seeking an amendment to the US Constitution “to give states the authority to repeal a Federal rule, regulation, or statute, or a Federal court ruling relating to certain federal actions, when ratified by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states.” The proposal was referred to the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee.
Nebraska LR289 seeks to rescind all prior Article V Applications. A hearing on the proposal was scheduled for 2/25 before the Legislative Executive Board Committee.
New Hampshire HCR4 was introduced on 1/12/21. It proposed a constitutional amendment stating that a right to abortion is not secured by the Constitution. On 2/16 it was voted down 21 to 0 as “Inexpedient to Legislate.”
North Dakota SCR4004 was introduced on 1/13/21 with 4 sponsors, seeking to rescind all prior calls for an Article V convention of states. On 2/9 the effort was killed by a 15 to 32 vote.
North Dakota SCR4010 is a resolution adopted by the Senate on 2/22 that clarified that ND’s 1975 ratification of the 1972 ERA expired at 11:59 pm on 2/22/1979. As pointed out by constitutional amendment expert Gregory Watson, the resolution now moves to the ND House. In 2019 a similar resolution, originating in the House where it was approved by a 67 to 21 vote, was defeated by one vote in the Senate. Watson was “cautiously optimistic” that the House will approve SCR4010.
South Dakota SJR501 is a bill seeking to rescind the state’s 2015 BBA Article V Application (HJR1001). It was introduced on 1/21/21 with 9 sponsors. On 2/9 a motion to put the bill to rescind on the legislative calendar failed by a vote of 17 to 18.