PURCELLVILLE, Va., Sept. 15, 2015 -- Last week the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) officially adopted the language of the Convention of States Project's application for an Article V Convention as model policy language. The wording calls for an Article V Convention of the States limited to proposing constitutional amendments that "impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for Members of Congress."
The Convention of States Project ("COS") is an initiative of Citizens for Self-Governance.
This official adoption of the language by the ALEC Board as model policy language for state legislatures follows a unanimous vote by the organization's Task Force on Federalism and International Relations at its July meeting in San Diego.
Representative Ken Ivory (R-UT), the Public Chair on Federalism for the Task Force, said: "As a member of ALEC and a state legislator, I am extremely excited to see the Convention of States Project making so much headway. Our federal system is no longer functioning as it was designed to, and the state legislatures are the nation's last hope of restoring it. We need to use the Article V process the Constitution provides for that purpose."
A record 37 state legislatures have seen the model language introduced this year, and four states (Florida, Georgia, Alaska, andAlabama), have already passed its operative provisions.
With committed volunteer leaders and a veritable grassroots army in place across the nation, the convention of States Project is leading the way toward an Article V amendment-proposing convention with real potential to restore the balance of power between the states and the federal government.
Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance, said "ALEC is the premier organization in the country hosting legislators of both parties who believe in federalism and constitutionally limited government. We are proud that the Convention of States Resolution has been adopted by ALEC as model policy. With the resolution having already been introduced in 37 states, and many of our sponsors ALEC members, this was a natural fit. Like Sen. Tom Coburn, Mark Levin and so many other conservative figures, we believe the Convention of States Project presents the only comprehensive solution to address the nation's problems."
The COS approach is to frame the topic of the amendment-proposing convention rather than pre-determining specific amendments. This approach has garnered the active support of hundreds of thousands of Americans determined to rein in the federal government they view as way too powerful and characterized by rampant overreach and abuse of power.
State legislators, too, are taking notice of COS—not only because of its mammoth and growing grassroots army, but also because of the talented experts who have joined forces with the effort to address the practical necessities for the nation's first-ever Article V Convention. At a jam-packed breakout session of the July ALEC conference, COS unveiled a complete draft of initial convention rules and invited state legislators to participate in a state-of-the-art online forum to provide feedback on them. The draft was created by Professor Robert Natelson and Michael Farris, two of the nation's foremost Article V scholars.
The 200-plus legislators participating in the further development of these rules constitute the COS Caucus, representing 40 different states at press time.