2023 State Legislative Update
by Peter Rykowski, Research Associate and Bulletin Editor
Legislative sessions in many states have either ended or are beginning to wind down. However, others are still ongoing, and state legislators are considering resolutions applying for a federal constitutional convention (Con-Con) under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. With the Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees under threat, it is important to monitor the status of these resolutions.
Thankfully, multiple state legislatures — including Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming, among others — have rejected Con-Con resolutions this year. In Montana, New Hampshire, and Wyoming, a majority of legislators in at least one chamber voted against the resolutions in floor votes, despite heavy lobbying from Convention of States (COS) and other pro-Con-Con groups. In Kansas, although a majority of legislators voted in favor of two Con-Con resolutions, those resolutions failed due to the state constitution’s requirement that they receive a two-thirds majority to pass — a requirement that COS is seeking to strike down in federal court.
Despite these victories, several other states are still at risk of passing Con-Con resolutions this year. In Texas, legislators are seeking to extend the sunset period for its COS application to prevent it from automatically expiring. In March, the Texas Senate passed S. J. R. 52 to double the sunset period; as of this writing, this resolution is pending in the House.
Additionally, in North Carolina and Tennessee, Con-Con resolutions have already passed one of the two state legislative chambers and could imminently pass the other. Meanwhile, COS and other pro-Con-Con groups are actively pushing for their model resolutions in Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. It is imperative that patriots take action to stop these states’ pending resolutions.
It is also imperative that states rescind any and all existing Con-Con applications. Two such resolutions have been introduced in New York; as of this writing, the state Legislature has yet to act upon them. Additionally, a rescission resolution had been introduced in North Dakota, but the state Senate voted 15-31 against it. More states must introduce — and pass — rescission resolutions.
For more information on the status of Con-Con resolutions in your state, regularly visit either our State Legislative Alerts page at https://gojt.us/iib9 or the “Take Action” section of our “Stop a Con-Con” action-project page at https://gojt.us/9v38.
Especially if you live in one of the states with pending Con-Con resolutions or live applications, please continue taking action to stop a Con-Con. For example, regularly contact and meet with your state legislators to educate them about the dangers of a Con-Con and to urge them to oppose new resolutions and rescind existing ones.
Additionally, distribute to both your state legislators and fellow citizens the July 11, 2022 TNA Special Report “Article V Convention: Will It Work?” and the “Article V Convention: America’s Answer?” pamphlet. Finally, we make available many other resources to help you inform your legislators, whether at one-on-one meetings or legislative hearings; you can find these at the “Learn More” section of our “Stop a Con-Con” action-project page at https://gojt.us/364q.
Please use these resources to show others why a Con-Con must be avoided. Through education and coordinated action, we will win the battle for our Constitution.