LIMA — For American citizens who feel the balance of power has shifted too far to Washington, D.C., at the expense of the states, there is hope of an alternative, thanks to the nation’s Founders.
That was the message of the Convention of States Project, which held an informational meeting Saturday at the Lima Public Library. The idea behind the project, according to state project manager Steve Stechschulte, is found in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which calls for a convention of states if approved by two-thirds of state legislatures, currently 34, to propose constitutional amendments, which would then need to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, currently 38, to become part of the Constitution.
“This can help correct some of the things that have gotten out of balance,” Stechschulte said.
Specifically, the group is calling for a convention to “propose only amendments that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limits its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress,” including Supreme Court justices and federal officeholders. Seven states have passed this amendment, with 40 other states either passing it in one chamber or having it introduced, including Ohio.
“We’re zeroing in on Lima because we believe that [state] Sen. [Keith] Faber, as the Senate president, plays a key role in helping the resolution, which is House Joint Resolution 3, currently in the House Governement Accountability and Oversight Committee, get through if he states a committment that the Senate will bring it up this session after the House passes it,” Stechschulte said.
What makes this notion so appealing to Stechschulte and other supporters is that it gives power back to the states, and the fact that it must be ratified by such a large majority of states makes it a safe process that truly reflects the will of the people, a point that Stechschulte says counters concerns that this process would lead to a runaway convention that could throw out or remake the Constitution entirely.
“From the most liberal to the most conservative parts of this country, people all say the same thing: ‘We the people should decide,’ and that’s what the convention of states is all about,” he said.
To learn about the Convention of States Project or to sign an online petition in support of it, go to http://conventionofstates.com.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.