LEESBURG, Va., May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed SB 224 on May 7, 2013, a bill to recall, replace, nullify the vote of and criminally charge any faithless delegate to an Amendment Convention called under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Such a convention, called by Congress on the application of two-thirds of the state legislatures, may propose an amendment to the federal constitution. The bill was authored and backed by Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R – Fort Wayne) and sponsored in the Indiana House by Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis).
The act ensures that Indiana delegates to an Article V convention act only within the authority provided by the state legislature. A delegate who attempted to vote for an amendment unrelated to the subject of state's Article V Application or the Legislature's instructions would be immediately replaced, have their vote nullified and be subject to criminal penalties. The act also establishes an advisory group consisting of senior members of the Indiana judiciary to advise delegates as to the scope of their authority.
Such "faithless delegate" legislation, similar to "faithless presidential elector" laws, is designed to end any perceived risk that an Article V convention could become a so-called "runaway convention" in which "rogue" delegates could exceed the scope of their authority. By adopting this law, Indiana affirms that states may safely use the Article V process to propose a single subject or pre-drafted amendment, such as a balanced budget amendment to the U.S Constitution. Similar legislation has been considered or introduced in a number of states.
"The brilliant authors of our U.S. Constitution foresaw the potential of an over-reaching federal government and gave the states a specific power to address it," Long said. "SB 224 lays the groundwork for states to use this tool to propose constitutional amendments without the fear of the process veering off course. I'm proud that Indiana is leading on this issue and I look forward to spreading our model legislation to other states that are interested in restoring a proper balance of power between the states and Washington, D.C."
David Biddulph, Co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force added, "Under the leadership of Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, House Speaker Brian Bosma, and Governor Pence, Indiana has taken an important step to recognize and safeguard state authority over an Article V convention. We are confident that other states will follow Indiana's lead, including states that have previously rescinded their calls for a balanced budget amendment due to overblown fear of a runaway convention."
Roman Buhler, President of the Madison Coalition added, "Passage of this legislation in Indiana is a key step towards empowering states to force Congress to propose an Amendment to limit federal power such as a Balanced Budget Amendment, or an Amendment to ban unfunded federal mandates on states."
The Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to educate state legislators on their Constitutional power to propose and ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that aims to quadruple family income and pay off the nation's debt within four generations.
To learn more about our national campaign for a Balanced Budget Amendment, visit us at http://www.bba4usa.org and Twitter at BBA4USA.
Contact: Scott Rogers, Executive Director
Cell: 904-521-6690 Email: ScottRogers@BBA4USA.org
SOURCE Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force