Call for Convention of the States Rises From The Grave

By: Page Forrest

“Passed with disapproval.” Friday morning, the General Welfare II committee pronounced judgment on Bill 103, saddling it with TISL’s version of a death sentence. Representative Victoria Hewlett of Northeast State Community College, sponsor of the bill, worried that was the last she would see of her bill. To her surprise, however, the bill went on to pass with a large majority in the Senate Friday evening.

Bill 103 - A Resolution to Call For an Article V Convention of the States to Vote on an Amendment to Limit the Corrupting Influence of Money in the Political Process – “petitions the U.S. Congress to call a convention for the sole purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America that would limit the corrupting influence of money in our electoral process, including, inter alia, by overturning the Citizens United decision.”

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A Convention of the States would be convened when 32 other states submit petitions of the same nature as Tennessee’s, provided Bill 103 is enacted.

The bill passed rapidly through the Senate after being introduced by Senator Joseph Hicks of Northeast University Community College during the Third Legislative Session, with one Senator stating “All this bill does is call for discussion. If the ideas proposed turn out to have negative effects, nothing needs to occur.” Shortly after this statement, a motion for previous question was called, and the bill passed without any adopting amendments. With so few complications in the Senate, Hewlett was confused as to why the bill had had problems in committee. Representative Lesie Lieva from Sewanee had an explanation. “I do not believe the majority of the members in the Committee fully understood the bill, and thus, out of their confusion, voted nay.”

Representative Hewlett will speak on Bill 103 during the 4th Legislative Session Friday night.

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