REFERENCE TITLE: balanced budget convention; delegates
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
First Regular Session
Representatives Mesnard: Allen J, Townsend
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
providing for the selection and instruction of commissioners to an article V convention for proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to require that the congress of the United States adopt a balanced federal budget.
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Whereas, the Legislature of the State of Arizona finds the national debt and mounting deficits to be an existential threat to the solvency, security and prosperity of United States; and
Whereas, the states, acting in convention, have equal authority and responsibility with Congress under Article V of the Constitution of the United States to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
Whereas, the Legislature of the State of Arizona determines that a significant number of states have passed resolutions applying for a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, thereby rendering it appropriate to select and instruct commissioners to any such convention called on or before December 31, 2018.
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, the Senate concurring:
1. That, if a convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States is called by Congress pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States on or before December 31, 2018, the State of Arizona shall send a delegation to the Article V convention.
2. That the delegation shall be composed of at least one, but not more than seven, commissioners and an equal number of paired alternates. A member of the delegation may not be an elected or appointed official of the federal government at the time of selection or any time during the term of office.
3. That the delegation shall be selected in the following manner:
(a) At a time jointly determined by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, the House of Representatives shall meet to select not more than three commissioners and three paired alternates and the Senate shall meet to select not more than three commissioners and three paired alternates.
(b) The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall jointly choose one commissioner and one paired alternate.
(c) If the delegation is not selected before the convening of the Nashville Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention in July of 2017, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall jointly appoint a temporary delegation of commissioners and alternates to represent Arizona at the Nashville convention. The delegation to the Nashville convention is subject to the same instructions and restrictions provided in this resolution for the delegation to the Article V convention.
4. That, after the Article V convention is convened, if a commissioner is not able to participate in the Article V convention either permanently or temporarily, the commissioner's respective alternate shall replace the commissioner for the time the commissioner is unable to serve. If an alternate who replaces the commissioner is not able to participate in the Article V convention, then the delegation shall choose a replacement from the remaining alternates.
5. That the delegation shall choose its presiding officer and organize in the manner it desires.
6. That the delegation has authority to represent the Legislature of the State of Arizona at formal and informal planning sessions related to the Article V convention, including the Nashville Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention, which will convene in July of 2017, to conduct community meetings and hearings throughout this state before the Article V convention, and to correspond with other state commissioners and delegations, provided, however, that the delegation and its members shall at all times adhere to the oath and instructions prescribed by this resolution.
7. That the Legislature of the State of Arizona shall provide the delegation with necessary support staff and pay all of the costs of attending the Nashville convention and the Article V convention and all planning meetings, community meetings and hearings, subject to available appropriations made for that purpose.
8. That the term of office for each member of the delegation shall end on the later of December 31, 2018 or the adjournment of the Article V convention called before that date.
9. That a member of a delegation who knows of any violation of the oath or other misbehavior by a commissioner shall report it to the Article V Convention Committee established by this resolution.
10. That commissioners and alternates shall take the following oath of office before accepting their appointment:
I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a commissioner (alternate commissioner) to a convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Arizona.
I will abide by my specific instructions from the Legislature of the State of Arizona. I will not discuss or vote to allow consideration of or to approve any amendment proposed for ratification to the United States Constitution that is unrelated to the subject of a balanced budget amendment.
I will vote only for convention rules that provide that each state have one equal vote, that a state or commissioner shall not be allowed to propose an amendment that is unrelated to balancing the federal budget and that all nonprocedural issues be resolved by a simple majority vote of the states voting on the issue. I acknowledge that any violation of this oath may result in being recalled by the Legislature of the State of Arizona or its authorized committee.
11. That an Article V Convention Committee shall be composed of three members, one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona, one appointed by the President of the Senate of the State of Arizona and one appointed jointly by the Speaker and President. A member of the Article V Convention Committee may not be a member of the delegation. The duties of the Article V Convention Committee include:
(a) Monitoring the delegation to determine if it is following legislative instructions and obeying convention rules.
(b) Advising the delegation on the legislature's position on issues before the convention.
(c) Disciplining any commissioner who violates the oath of office or instructions or is otherwise guilty of malfeasance or nonfeasance; discipline may include recall from the convention or demotion to the office of alternate commissioner.
(d) Notifying the convention that a commissioner has been recalled or demoted to an alternate commissioner.
(e) Replacing any recalled commissioner.
12. That commissioners shall vote only for Article V convention rules consistent with the following principles:
(a) The convention is convened under the authority granted to the state legislatures of the several states by Article V of the Constitution of the United States.
(b) The only participants at this convention are the several states represented by their respective delegations duly selected in the manner that their respective legislatures have determined.
(c) The scope of the convention's authority is defined by applications adopted by at least two-thirds of the legislatures of the several states, which authority is limited to the subject of a balanced budget amendment. The convention has no authority to propose or discuss an amendment on any other subject.
(d) The convention shall provide for disciplining a commissioner or delegation for exceeding the scope of the convention's authority by raising subjects for discussion or debate that lie outside the convention's authority.
(e) The convention shall not infringe on the respective state legislatures' authority to instruct, discipline, recall and replace commissioners.
(f) A quorum for all sessions of the convention and for all committee meetings shall be a majority of the states attending the convention or serving as members of the relevant committee.
(g) All voting at the convention or in a committee shall be by state with each state having one vote without apportionment or division. Each state legislature shall determine the internal voting and quorum rules for casting the vote of its delegation.
(h) A majority vote of the quorum shall prevail on all issues before the convention and in all committees except for procedural votes, which may require a supermajority.
(i) An affirmative vote not greater than a majority of the several states shall be necessary to propose an amendment.