The state Assembly has approved a resolution that would add Wisconsin to the list of state’s asking for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The measure calls for an Article V convention, which Republican state Representative Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) says is needed to address the serious spending problems in Washington. Kapenga argues “even as we see the debt limit increased time after time, there’s no accountability or requirement put in place for so much as a plan showing a pathway out of the continued deficit spending.”
Democrats were highly critical of the proposal during Tuesday’s floor session, warning that calling a convention could trigger other changes to the Constitution. Members also criticized Republicans for using the waning days of the spring Legislative session to push a proposal that has so far seen limited nationwide support.
At least 34 states would need to approve similar measures for a convention to be called. Kapenga says about 20 states have either already adopted one or are working on their own versions.
The Assembly also approved a bill that would set the procedure for appointing delegates, if a convention is called. Of the five state delegates would be selected by the governor, Assembly speaker, and Senate president. Democrats argued that could result in there being no minority representation from the state.
The resolution and bill now heads to the state Senate.