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Deja vu all over again: SCR 134: call for a constitutional convention

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging Congress to call a convention for the sole purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States requiring a balanced federal budget.

WHEREAS, fiscal discipline and economic integrity have been core principles of American governance; and

WHEREAS, the American people have historically demanded the same prudent, responsible, and intellectually honest financial behavior from their elected representatives as ultimately compels individual behavior; and

WHEREAS, it is the firm conviction of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that it is wrong to fund the prosperity of the present generation by robbing future Americans of their own; and

WHEREAS, mortgaging the birthright of our children and grandchildren is a dangerous departure from traditional American values that threatens to permanently undermine the strength of our nation; and

WHEREAS, our national debt is increasingly owed to the governments of foreign nations, not to the citizens of the United States, thus transferring our wealth to others and making it unavailable to supply the means for America's future growth and prosperity; and

WHEREAS, this generation will bequeath to its children one of the world's most indebted industrial democracies; and

WHEREAS, high federal deficits cause increasingly high payments for debt interest, make future borrowing more costly, reduce investment activity, and thus reduce the size of the future economy; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has for too long relied on revenue increases and borrowing against our future rather than on prudent spending decisions within the limit of current revenues; and

WHEREAS, lasting control of this nation's budget deficit can be achieved only by addressing the spending habits of our federal government, not by increasing the tax burden under which our citizens already labor; and

WHEREAS, Article V of the Constitution of the United States makes provision for amending the Constitution on the application of two-thirds of the several states, calling a convention for proposing amendments that shall be valid to all intents and purposes if ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by Congress;

NOW, THEREFORE,
Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the House of Representatives concurring therein:

Section 1.   The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky does hereby make application to the Congress of the United States pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States to call an Article V amendment convention for the sole purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to achieve and maintain a balanced budget by, among other things:

(1) Requiring that federal outlays for a budget period not exceed the receipts for the same period of time;

(2) Imposing spending limits on the federal government by setting a base budget year and allowing spending to increase only on account of economic or demographic criteria established in the amendment;

(3) Prohibiting imposition of new taxes or increase in taxes or tax rates;

(4) Imposing future debt or borrowing limits;

(5) Setting extraordinary vote requirements of at least two-thirds for deviations from the limits listed in subsections (1) through and including (7) of this section, and subsections (8) and (9) of this section if adopted;

(6) Allowing for provisions of the amendment to take effect upon ratification or no more than four years thereafter;

(7) Allowing Congress to enforce and implement the provisions of the amendment by appropriate legislation, and to authorize competent estimates of revenues, outlays, and economic or demographic criteria;

(8) Allowing flexibility in permitting federal balanced-budget requirements to be waived in any fiscal year in which a declaration of war is in effect, or any fiscal year in which the United States is engaged in military conflict which causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security and is so declared by a joint resolution, adopted by a majority of the duly chosen and sworn members of each House of Congress, which becomes law; and

(9) Considering a prohibition against federal mandates on states to impose taxes or fees, or any other requirement, unless all costs of compliance are fully and contemporaneously funded.

Section 2.   This Resolution is revoked and withdrawn, nullified, and superseded to the same effect as if it had never been passed, and retroactive to the date of passage, if it is used for the purpose of calling a convention or used in support of conducting a convention to amend the Constitution of the United States for any purpose other than requiring a balanced federal budget pursuant to this Call, which may or may not include subsection (8) or (9) of Section 1 of this Resolution.

Section 3.   Copies of this Resolution shall be delivered to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the Secretary of the United States Senate, every member of Congress from Kentucky, and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature of the several states.


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