PIERRE, SD – The South Dakota Legislature has approved a proposal that calls for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.
The South Dakota Senate voted 19-13 on Tuesday to approve the resolution, which was previously passed in the South Dakota House 39 – 30.
South Dakota joins 24 other states calling for a Convention of the States for the limited purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment.
Republican Sen. Ernie Otten says his proposal would help address America’s mounting national debt.
For former South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick, this has been a long time in coming. Hal voted for the original application South Dakota passed back in the mid-1970s when the push for a balanced budget amendment was started.
In 2010, the South Dakota legislature reversed its 1970s application based upon the fears of a ‘run-away’ convention. When Hal returned to the South Dakota House, he resolved to put South Dakota back on the map!
Opponents argue the convention could backfire and be used to rewrite many parts of the Constitution.
Otten says a separate bill the Senate passed on Tuesday addresses those concerns. The proposal would restrict a South Dakota convention representative from voting for unauthorized amendments.
It takes 34 states to trigger a convention and 38 states to approve an amendment.
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