As reported by the Texas Tribune, a resolution indicating Texas' support for a Convention of States is one of Governor Abbott's top priorities. Lt. Governor Patrick also lists a Convention of States as one of his top priorities. The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 2, has moved out of the State Affairs Committee for consideration by the full Senate. Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, is the sponsor of the Joint Resolution. Explaining his support of a convention of the states, Birdwell focused on the need to rein in the federal government's power.
Similar legislation failed in 2015 did not pass in the Texas Legislature.
So what is the Convention of States? Article Five of the United States Constitution allows for the amendment of the U.S. Constitution through the states if 2/3 of State Legislatures agree that a convention of states is necessary. However, even with 2/3 of the states agreeing to convene for amendments, 3/4 of the states must then ratify any amendment for it to go into effect. At this time, eight states out of the necessary 34 states have passed a resolution calling for a convention of states.
According to Texas lobbyist and attorney Jake Posey, in Texas, some opposition has come from Common Cause Texas, who have noted that there isn't enough guidance around how a Convention of States would be undertaken, potentially leading to a constitutional crisis.
Accompanying Senate Joint Resolution 2 is legislation that outlines the powers of delegates who would be sent from Texas to the convention. This measure is also sponsored by Sen. Birdwell.
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