On the same day that the Arizona House passed the Compact for a Balanced Budget bill (HB2305), which establishes the Arizona version of the Compact for America, Georgia became the first state in American history to pass the Convention of States application.
The Georgia House voted to approve the Senate’s version of the resolution by a vote of 107-58.
“An Article V Convention of States would provide an opportunity for the citizens of this great nation to restore the balance of power between the states and the federal government,” Republican Georgia Representative Buzz Brockway, primary sponsor of the bill said in a statement. According to Newsmax, Brockway urged “legislators in the other 49 states to join Georgia and call for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”
The intent of Arizona’s HB2305 is to originate a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution in every state enacting, adopting and agreeing to be bound by the Compact.
Jeff Utsch, with Compact for America said, “The Compact certainly answers most, if not all of the questions, of those fearing an Article V Convention. It mitigates risks associated with calling a convention. In my view, anyone educated with the facts has no excuse to vote against what we are trying to do. It comes down to egos and some just don’t want to hear how the compact can alleviate the risks involved. Some who have been preaching against Article V have their fingers in their ears and don’t want to know the truth, it seems. Many, however, are listening. They understand that using a Compact to prepackage an Article V Convention intended only to pass a Balance Budget Amendment is the single most import thing we can do right now. They understand that we must rein in the Federal Government’s out of control spending, in order to protect our children’s future, and bring Federalism back into our Republican form of government.”
“This is one of the single most important topics of our day. Passage of this legislation is critical to rein in government abuse,” said local businessman and candidate for LD11, Mark Finchem. “Congress has proven that it is irresponsible and out of touch with reality. We love our children and want to leave for them a nation as good if not better than the one we inherited.”
The Goldwater Institute has been the primary driver of the legislation. In an article written for the Goldwater Institute, Nick Dranias asserts, “Unlike the current national debt brinksmanship, the Compact for America Initiative is designed to force Washington to agree upon a budget that can command a wide national consensus long before the midnight hour arrives. The Compact for America would keep the nation’s credit rating from being held hostage to a game of chicken between the President and Congress. With the states serving as Congress’ fiscal control board, and the buck stopping at the President’s desk, the Compact for America Balanced Budget Amendment Initiative would powerfully check and balance Washington.”
Speaker Pro Tem, J.D. Mesnard, was the prime sponsor of the legislation. Co-sponsors included representatives Steve Smith, David Gowan, Justin Olson, David Livingston, Ethan Orr, Kelly Townsend, Bob Thorpe, Kate Brophy-McGee, Sonny Borrelli, John Allen, Adam Kwasman and Brenda Barton. Representatives Bob Robson, Carl Seel, Steve Montenegro, Phil Lovas, Frank Pratt, Michelle Ugenti, Helen Carter, Paul Boyer, Tom Forese, and Karen Fann also supported the legislation.
The compact as stated in HB2305:
1. Asserts the compact governs each member state with respect to their constitutions, superseding and repealing any conflicting or contrary law.
2. Clarifies that a member state agrees to perform and comply strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of the compact.
Additionally, the compact contractually binds each member state upon the following:
• At least one other state has become a member state by enacting substantively identical legislation adopting and agreeing to be bound by the compact, and
• Notice of such state’s status is received by the compact administrator, or each member state’s chief executive officer.
3. Allows a member state to withdrawal from the compact when fewer than three-fourths of the several states are member states by enacting appropriate legislation and notification is given accordingly; however, once at least three-fourths of the several states are members, a state may only withdrawal by unanimous consent of the member states.
4. Specifies a withdrawal from the compact will not affect the validity or applicability with respect to the remaining member states, provided that at least two states remain member states.