The Blaze - June 11, 2014
By Fred Lucas
State lawmakers from across the country are gathering in Indianapolis this week to plan rules for a potential convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.
Legislatures in 24 states have passed resolutions calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, while Vermont became the first to call for an amendment to limit spending and contributions in political campaigns.
No actual amendments will be discussed at the Assembly of State Legislatures meeting Thursday and Friday at the Indiana State House, Wisconsin state Rep. Chris Kapenga said, only setting the rules for how an Article Five convention would be handled. Lawmakers from 30 states are taking part.
"As a body we are not touching amendment subject matter and take no stance," Kapenga, a Republican, told TheBlaze. "We do not take a stance on amendment issues. This body is about process."
The group of state lawmakers first met in December.
So far, all 27 amendments to the Constitution were passed by Congress and then ratified by three-fourths of the states, but the Constitution also allows for a convention of states to be convened if two-thirds of the states -34 - call for one. If a convention approves an amendment, three-fourths of the states - 38 - must vote to ratify it.
In deciding on the rules, attendees to the meeting could consider such matters as how many delegates each state would have at a convention, who would appoint them and the process for considering a specific amendment.
The group of state lawmakers has no legal authority, but is putting forth a consensus blueprint for rules of the convention of the states, which would be ultimately decided by the convention or by state legislatures.
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