The following are announcements or press releases regarding the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention. They are listed by date of release.
- August 14, 2017 - Nine States Announce Delegate Selections
- July 28, 2017 - Filming of national documentary will begin at Arizona Convention
- July 27, 2017 - Georgia First State to notify Arizona of Delegation
- July 20, 2017 - Official Website Posted
- July 9, 2017 - Official Invitation Sent to Legislative Leaders
- June 27, 2017 - Arizona Planning Committee holds first hearing.
- June 2, 2017 - Speaker Mesnard Appoints House members to Planning Committee
- April 5, 2017 - Arizona Legislature Calls Formal BBA Planning Convention of States
Nine States Announce Delegate Selection
The Arizona BBA Planning Committee has confirmed nine states have returned the delegate selection form to the Committee announcing their delegation.
There are at least fourteen other states which are soon to announce their delegations plus another six or seven have just begun the process.
While the official invitation was mailed mid-June to the leader of the House and Senate of each state, it has been just recently discovered many "never saw the invitation" and were not aware of the convention.
The official invitation asked that the delegation be selected by August 15 so the Planning Committee could prepare for the set up of the convention. However, a state can approve and send a delegation to the convention as late as the day it convenes, September 12.
The following are the states which have announced their delegations:
Filming of national documentary to begin at Arizona Planning Convention.
Filming of a documentary on the need for a balanced budget amendment which will be aired on a national TV network will begin at the Arizona BBA Planning Convention. The film company will shoot footage of the convention and interview delegates on the process of amending the Constitution and the need for a BBA.
Presently titled Balance of Power, the film is being produced because of an absence of awareness and understanding by the general public on the subject of our national debt and a bias from major media outlets to portray this topic in polarizing terms.
The documentary is about how Congress’s power to create an unlimited amount of money enables a political system that puts the needs of special interests ahead of the general public.
According to one of its producers, Andrew Rodney, the ability to create money allows the Federal government to avoid the trouble of balancing what they spend against what the American people are willing to pay for. Unlimited funds also save them from having to make difficult decisions that might require compromise and finding middle ground with the opposition.
Two fully equipped film crews will document the proceedings of the Arizona Convention and conduct extensive interviews with many of the delegates.
The producers of the documentary have also produced DEFORCE (watch the trailer at www.deforcemovie.com) which chronicles the City of Detroit’s dramatic fall from the highest to lowest standard of living over the past 50 years.
Georgia First State to notify Arizona of Delegate Selection
The leadership of the Georgia legislature rapidly responded to the request of the Arizona Planning Convention Committee by notifying the committee of its selection of delegates to the convention.
It is the first state to officially respond to the committee's request, sent just two weeks ago, to officially select a delegation. The Georgia delegation will include the following individuals:
- David Guldenschuh - Constitutional Attorney
- Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert
- State Senator Chuck Hufstetler
- State Representative Andrew Welch
- State Representative Timothy Barr
Official Convention Website Posted.
The Arizona BBA Convention Planning Committee has posted the following website: http://www.azleg.gov/bbapc/ and will serve as the official website for the convention.
This website, created by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, will continue to provide information but will be ancillary to the site provided by the Arizona Legislature.
Official Invitation Sent to Legislative Leaders.
The Arizona Convention Planning Committee recently sent to the majority leadership of every state an official invitation to select a delegation to represent their state at the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention which will convene September 12, 2017 at the Arizona state capitol.
The invitation was received by the state legislative leaders during the week of July 9th.
The Planning Convention will be the first formal, national convention of the states convened since 1861 and only officially appointed delegates will be seated.
Included with the invitation is the delegation selection form to be completed by each state which identifies the members of the delegation which is to be signed by both the Speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate.
A state may send as many delegates as it desires and they do not have to be members of the state legislature.
From this “notice of appointment,” the Planning Committee will present to the convention the “roll of the States” when the convention convenes.
Arizona BBA Planning Committee Holds First Hearing
Shortly after Senate President Steve Yarbrough appointed the Senate members, the Arizona BBA Planning Committee held its first hearing on June 27 at the Arizona capitol. The Committee elected Representative Kelly Townsend as Chair.
The Committee authorized the Chair to send to all legislative leaders a formal invitation to select a delegation to attend the Convention. Additionally, it approved the form which states should complete to send to the Committee the members of the state's delegation.
The Committee is a formal Arizona legislative body and as a result can meet only after proper notice is given to the public. Additionally all testimony, discussions and actions of the Committee are public record.
The following are the members of the committee:
- Representative Kelly Townsend, Chair
- Senator Nancy Barto, Vice Chair
- Senator Steve Montenegro
- Senator Steve Smith
- Representative Anthony Kern
- Representative Bob Thorpe
Speaker Mesnard Announces Article V Planning Committee
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today announced the House members appointed to serve on the planning committee for the Arizona Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention scheduled for this September.
The Legislature adopted HCR 2022 this year, which outlines the process for appointing delegates to an Article V convention. The resolution also convenes a planning convention of states in Phoenix in September 2017 to begin preparation for a formal Article V convention whose purpose is to propose a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. In accordance with passage of the resolution, formal invitations were sent to the presiding officers of all 50 states inviting them to appoint commissioners to attend the planning convention.
Speaker Mesnard has appointed Majority Whip Kelly Townsend (R-16), Representative Anthony Kern (R-20), and Representative Bob Thorpe (R-6) to serve on the committee tasked with coordinating the logistics of the planning convention.
“I am excited at the prospect of having legislators from all over the country convene here in Arizona this fall, and I am confident Representatives Townsend, Kern, and Thorpe will do an excellent job working to prepare for their arrival,” said Speaker Mesnard. “Their commitment to freedom, fiscal responsibility, and states’ rights are perfectly suited to help lay the groundwork for what we hope will culminate in an Article V Convention in the not-to-distance future.”
CONTACT: Matthew Specht - Director of Communications - House Majority Staff - 602-926-5518 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Arizona Legislature Calls Formal BBA Planning Convention of States
On Thursday, March 30 the Arizona legislature passed HCR 2022 which formally calls for a convention of states to plan for an Article V convention to propose a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. The convention will be held in Phoenix, convening on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
“The purpose of the Arizona convention is to ‘plan for, and recommend rules of procedure for, the prospective convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment to the United Stated Constitution’,” stated William H. Fruth, national co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force (BBATF). The BBATF is the national organization coordinating the effort to cause a BBA amendment convention to convene.
Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard sponsored the legislation calling for the planning convention.
“Arizona is at the forefront of efforts urging states to flex their muscles by exercising their constitutionally-prescribed powers to push back against the federal government. I look forward to talking with our counterparts in other states to begin work organizing an Article V amendments convention that will finally put our national government on a more solvent fiscal path,” said Speaker Mesnard.
The Arizona BBA Planning Convention will be the first formal, national convention of the sovereign states to be held since the Washington Peace Conference in 1861 according to research conducted by Professor Robert Natelson of Colorado’s Independence Institute.
Article V of the Constitution provides that upon the application of two-thirds (34) of the states, Congress shall call a convention for proposing amendments.
According to the BBATF, presently 29 states have approved resolutions for a convention limited to proposing a balanced budget amendment.
“It appears it is likely the necessary 34 states will approve resolutions for a balanced budget amendment convention to be called,” continued Fruth. “Since an amendment convention has never been held, it is both prudent and necessary the states make formal preparations so the amendment convention is orderly and deliberative.”
In order to amend the Constitution, an amendment must first be proposed. All of the 27 amendments to the Constitution were proposed by Congress, which is the first method set forth in Article V for proposing amendments. The second option provided in Article V reads, “or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, (Congress) shall call a convention for proposing amendments …”
After an amendment is proposed, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
The second option in Article V, the convention of the states, has never been utilized. As a result, some critics have expressed concern about the rules and procedures for an Article V convention, and how the convention will be limited to a single topic. This is one of the reasons the Arizona BBA Planning Convention is being called according to Speaker Mesnard.
“The Arizona BBA Planning Convention is a ‘convention of the states’ but not a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment,” commented David Guldenschuh, a constitutional attorney and advisor to the Heartland Institute. “It is not being called under any provision of the Constitution. It is a formal, national convention of the states being called in the traditional manner established over our 300 year history beginning with colonial American stretching through the 1920’s.”
“It is anticipated all 50 states will send a delegation to Phoenix to discuss and deliberate the import issue of creating procedural rules for an amendment convention,” concluded Loren Enns, a BBATF Co-Founder who helped with the passage of the Arizona resolution.