Questions and Answers
The following are the most frequent questions being asked about the BBA Planning Convention. They are provided by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force.
The Arizona Convention Planning Committee has posted a website,http://www.azleg.gov/bbapc/, which provides "official" information regarding the convention. As we approach the convention, more information will be available. If you have a question not listed, go to About - Contact and submit it. We will try our best to answer it.
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What is a "convention of the states?"
A “convention of the states” is a formal gathering of the states. Its formality is created as a result of a state legislature (Congress in the case of an Article V amendment convention) approving legislation calling the convention for a specific subject and inviting the several states to send a delegation to participate. States are not obligated to attend. A convention of the states can only recommend or propose a future action be taken either by the states or the Federal government. It has no authority to change any law or the Constitution.
The phrase "convention of the states" should not be confused with the "Convention of the States Project" which is a group trying to convene a multi-subject amendment convention. The effort to convene a convention limited to proposing a balanced budget amendment is not associated with the CoS Project.
When will the convention begin?
HCR 2022 provides the convention will convene at noon, September 12, 2017.
How many days will the convention last?
The convention will adjourn when the convention itself decides to. There is no fixed date. This is the tradition of conventions of states. However, it is anticipated it will not last past the afternoon of Thursday, September 14th. If the convention has not completed its work by that time it can meet on Friday (the venue will be reserved for that day), recess and convene at another time and place, or adjourn the convention with the work of the convention incomplete.
What is the schedule for the convention?
It is likely the convention will last through Thursday, September 14, 2017. However, delegations should be prepared to continue through Friday, September 15.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017: The convention will convene at noon.
An opening ceremony will be presented by the Arizona Planning Committee.
The Arizona Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate will call the convention to order and act as temporary President.
The Arizona Planning Committee will report the roll of the states from the Delegation commissions provided to the Committee by the States.
Temporary rules which provide for the election of officers will be approved.
The President of the convention will be elected and preside from that point.
It is anticipated that after organizing, the convention will recess to enable the committees to organize, but that will be a decision of the Convention.
Wednesday, September 13: Committees meet and deliberate.
Thursday, September 14: Committees meet and deliberate and/or a session of the Convention is held to act upon committee recommendations. The Convention continues if necessary.
Friday, September 15: Committees meet and deliberate or a session of the Convention is held to act upon committee recommendations.
The Convention will adjourn with its work completed, or not, or recess to reconvene at a future time and place. (If the facility is available on September 16 and the convention desires, it can continue its deliberations on that day.)
What is the Arizona Planning Committee?
HCR 2022 provids for the appointment of three individuals from the Arizona House and three from the Arizona Senate to comprise an official Arizona Planning Committee.
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
The Committee may, if necessary, change the time, date, and location of the planning convention, and, if necessary, appoint a temporary president, and shall designate the temporary presiding officers of the standing committees.
The balanced budget amendment convention committee shall coordinate the logistics of the planning convention, including the facilities, meeting rooms, security, staffing, and other management issues pertaining to the planning convention.
Additionally, the Committee will review the notices sent to the Committee by the states of the appointment of each state's delegation. The Committee will determine if the appointment of the delegation conforms with the call of the convention and will report to the convention the "roll of the states" prior to the election of the permanent President.
Where will the Convention be held?
The Arizona Planning Committee has determined the convention will be held at the Capitol building complex in Phoenix.
What hotels are being used?
Are there instructions on how to choose a delegation?
Yes, please go to Delegate Selection page.
Who pays the expenses for the state delegations?
Each state is responsible the travel expense for its delegation.
What is the registration fee?
There is no registration fee for a state delegation. Unlike a typical "convention," there are no scheduled breakfast, lunch, or dinner events for which a fee would need to be collected in advance from a convention attendee to pay for the event. Arizona will provide the facility in which the convention will be held and arrange for the costs thereof.
How are the delegations chosen?
Delegations are chosen either by the legislature or jointly by the majority leadership of the House and Senate. Please go to Delegate Selection page.
How many people can a state send?
A state may send as many delegates (commissioners) as it desires. However, due to space limitations, some might not be able to sit on the convention floor. At the present time, but this might change, the floor set-up provides for not more than seven commissioners from any one state.
Will the public be able to view the convention?
It is anticipated that all sessions and committee meetings will be streamed on the internet.
Will the general public be able to attend?
It has not been determined if someone from the general public will be physically seated in the room or the chamber where the convention is held. This decision will be based upon security concerns and space availability. However, all sessions will be broadcast on the internet for public viewing.
Once convened, can this convention propose an amendment?
No. This is not a convention called pursuant to Article V of the Constitution. Its authority is limited to recommending rules of procedure for a BBA amendment convention and recommending to Congress a place for the first Article V convention to convene.
Must a BBA Amendment Convention abide by the rules created at the BBA Planning Convention?
No. However, the process of creating the rules is the same for both conventions. Additionally, the political composition of the states for the BBA Amendment Convention will be similar or the same as the BBA Planning Convention. It is likely, therefore, all or most of the rules created by the Arizona convention will be adopted at the BBA Amendment Convention. One of the main reasons for holding the BBA Planning Convention is to create a set of rules States will be able to rely upon when deciding to approve a resolution to convene a BBA Amendment Convention and to make suitable preparations in advance when a BBA Amendment Convention is convened.