Committee Kills House Bill 1222
Our founding fathers provided two ways to amend the US Constitution. Congress can propose amendments by a two-thirds vote. This is the way all amendments have been added so far. But two-thirds of the states can also call a convention for proposing amendments. Representative Manny Steele says states could decide to call a convention if the federal government doesn't get the budget under control. He worries that an open convention could be dangerous, which is why he proposed House Bill 1222. The bill says delegates at a convention can only vote on the topic the convention was called for, such as a balanced budget amendment. They cannot vote on any other proposals that may arise. Rita Houglum with South Dakota Eagle Forum says there is no check and balance if South Dakota and other states control their delegates.
"Why would we muzzle our delegates? Why would 34 states muzzle their delegates? You know who would be voting on those amendments then? The other 16 states that have not muzzled their delegates," Houglum says.
Houghlum says if a rogue amendment is proposed it's important to allow delegates the right to speak and have influence. The House Local Government Committee sent the bill to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing the measure.
By Jenifer Jones
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