March 2022 Newsletter

Academy of States
It’s all about the Grassroots
Power to the People: Education
Article V News

Mark Your Calendar
Attention, state legislators: thirty-four is just around the corner! Please make plans to attend Academy of States 3.0: Tools for States to Prepare for a Convention to Propose Amendments on July 31 and August 1, 2022 in Denver, CO.
This workshop will equip state legislatures with practical skills to effectively participate in a convention to propose amendments. Topics include drafting a delegate selection statute; creating delegate instruction, oversight, and enforcement measures; and how bipartisan cooperation figures in drafting and approving viable amendments. Meals will be provided, along with ample opportunities to network with other legislators and subject-matter experts.
Please note that this event is exclusively for legislators and legislative staff. It will be recorded and made available for online viewing following the event, but a remote participation component will not be offered.
Please watch this space for additional details as they become available.
It’s all about the Grassroots:
an interview with Nebraska Senator Steve Halloran 
Last month, Nebraska became the 17th state to pass the Convention of States Project’s application for an Article V Convention to limit the power & jurisdiction of the federal government and establish spending controls & term limits on its officials. Passage of this resolution marks the halfway point for CoSP’s campaign, and is also noteworthy for the bipartisan support mobilized to overcome a filibuster. Senator Halloran credits grassroots activism for the success of this multi-year effort and encourages fellow state legislators to “get excited about it.” Listen to the entire interview HERE.
Read Washington Times coverage of the Article V movement and the CoSP milestone HERE.
Power to the People: Education
by Vickie Deppe
When programs are run by the federal government instead of state and local authorities, they are less responsive, less transparent, and less efficient. The people who depend on them—oftentimes some of our most vulnerable neighbors—are also more likely to be taken as political hostages to some unrelated proposal that stands little chance of passing on its own merits.
Consider education: in spite of the fact that the United States spends, on average, over 30% more than other Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development member nations, our students’ scores routinely hover around average on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test.
The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000, according to the latest results of a rigorous international exam, despite a decades-long effort to raise standards and help students compete with peers across the globe. And the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening.
There will be discussions of what the PISA scores do or do not prove. Some of that is fair; Common Core and other ed reforms pushed by billionaires and thinky [sic] tanks and politicians and a variety of other non-educators were going to turn this all around. They haven’t. This comes as zero surprise to actual educators. It’s just one more data point showing that all the reform heaped on education since A Nation At Risk is not producing the promised results.
But worse than the fact that American students are merely average when compared with their peers around the world is the fact that in spite of all the time, money, and federal involvement in American education, the achievement gap for students of color has barely changed since the Coleman Report on educational opportunity was issued in 1966. Dr. Eric Hanushek, Paul & Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at Stanford University and former member of the Equity and Excellence Commission of the U.S. Department of Education, says our failure to close the gap “can only be called a national embarrassment.” If current trends continue, he estimates that it will take over a century-and-a-half to close achievement gaps in math and reading.
American children—minorities in particular—have benefitted very little from the over half-trillion dollars in federal spending since education was made a cabinet-level position in the 1970s. It’s time for the states to employ Article V to take back their money and authority. Washington isn’t going to admit that the Department of Education is an abysmal failure; they will not remedy the problem on their own.
Article V News
Dozens of Article V applications and related measures are active in state legislatures across the country. These include:
Balanced Budget
BBA applications are active in Georgia and South Carolina. In North Carolina the Compact for a Balanced Budget Amendment has been referred to committee.
Convention of States Project
Convention of States Action reports that Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs reported favorably on the CoSP application on February 1.
The Iowa Senate has two active CoSP applications, one with and one without term limits.
Multiple renditions of the CoSP application are circulating in South Carolina: one in the House, one in the Senate, and a second in the Senate containing delegate selection and oversight provisions. CoSP applications have also been filed in the New Jersey Assembly and the New Jersey Senate, as well as the Maryland House and Senate. In the New York Senate, Joint and Concurrent Resolutions have been filed. CoSP is also active in HawaiiKansasMinnesotaPennsylvaniaVirginia, and West Virginia.
In Wyoming and South Dakota the CoSP application failed owing to bipartisan opposition.
Term Limits
The Arizona Senate Government Committee passed a term limits application. Though the vote fell along party lines, the measure has both Republican and Democrat sponsors. A similar measure failed in committee in the House.
Tennessee has two term limits applications pending. A version that originated in the House has been passed and sent to the Senate. Another has been introduced in the Senate. Both await action in the Judiciary Committee.
Other term limits applications are pending in the Georgia House, the Georgia SenateIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyNorth Carolinathe Missouri House, the Missouri Senate (SCR 25 and SCR 30), MinnesotaNew YorkPennsylvania, the South Carolina House, the South Carolina SenateSouth Dakota, and Wisconsin.
A Wolf-PAC application has been filed in Massachusetts and has been reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
Beyond Nullification: An application for a convention has been introduced in West Virginia to provide the states with a means to act collectively to overturn federal law.
Applications for a convention to set the number of Supreme Court justices at 9 are active in Mississippi and Wisconsin.
1979 Convention
Resolutions demanding that Congress call a fiscal controls convention were filed in Utah and South Carolina earlier this year. Noting that the 34-state threshold was met and sustained for decades beginning in 1979, they argue that Congress was derelict in its duty to call a convention 40 years ago and maintain that it’s not too late for them to fulfill their constitutionally-mandated obligation. Utah’s HJR 9 was tabled and South Carolina’s S1006 is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Delegate Selection and Oversight:
The Iowa House has introduced two delegate selection and oversight bills: HF 2173 and HF 2327. DSOs have also been introduced in KansasMississippiNew HampshireSouth Carolina, and West Virginia.
Rescission efforts are underway in North Carolina and Oklahoma. In South Dakota, a measure that passed in the House failed in the Senate.

 

Who Said It?
“I think it will take people – true patriots – on both sides of the aisle to say,  ‘Enough of this nonsense. We should work together for the good of the people of the United States.’”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019

 

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