Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Oklahoma Senate’s Approval of Application for an Article V Convention

Published April 27, 2016

The Oklahoma state Senate on Tuesday afternoon approved by a 30 to 16 vote Senate Joint Resolution 4, a combined application for an Article V convention backed by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force and Convention of States.

The application includes a call for an Article V convention for the purpose of a balanced budget amendment, term limits on members of Congress, and reductions in federal regulations. SJR 4 contains language asking Congress to count separately the applications backed by BBATF and Convention of States.

Oklahoma becomes the seventh state to fully enact a resolution backed by Convention of States and the 29th state to fully enact a BBATF-backed resolution.

The Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force is dedicated to pursuing a single-subject Article V convention for a balanced budget requirement to the Constitution of the United States. Convention of States is a project of Citizens for Self-Governance, an organization promoting greater citizen involvement in government. The Heartland Institute does not endorse a particular effort for an Article V convention.

The following statements from constitutional reform experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Donald Kendal, New Media Specialist, The Heartland Institute, at [email protected] or 312/377-4000.

“Oklahoma’s Senate pulled off a monumental accomplishment for the Article V movement by passing a combined resolution uniting the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force and Convention of States proposals into one.

“The Sooner State has a rich tradition of being a national leader demanding constitutional and fiscal reforms at both the national and state levels. The tradition continued Tuesday thanks to the Oklahoma Senate, which voted on principle and not on discredited fears perpetuated by opponents. Legislators in Idaho, Minnesota, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin should be encouraged to follow Oklahoma’s lead.”

Kyle Maichle
Project Manager, Constitutional Reform
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Just as the Constitution assures Americans their right to vote, speak freely, and run for office, so it also assures Americans the ability to control their federal government. A key part of the Constitution empowers the people, acting through their state legislatures, to enact further constitutional restraints on Washington, DC.

“The Oklahoma Senate has now shown that it understands the opportunity – and the duty – the Constitution gives us.”

Rob Natelson, Retired Law Professor
Director, Article V Information Center
The Independence Institute
[email protected]

“In a historic effort and combining of resources, the Oklahoma legislature Tuesday passed a joint Article V resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment convention as promoted by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force and the three-prong federal restraint resolution promoted by the Convention of States Project.

“This type of collaboration was precisely the type I called for last fall in my Heartland Institute Policy Brief on the Article V convention movement. By working together, the path to 34 states can be easier for advocacy groups.”

David Guldenschuh
Policy Adviser for Constitutional Reform
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The Oklahoma Senate’s vote to approve Senate Joint Resolution 4 is part of a larger movement sweeping the country. Where DC has failed the people, the elected representatives in our many statehouses are stepping up and voting to press the issue. A balanced budget amendment, once installed through the mechanisms laid down in the Constitution, will force Washington to live within its means, ending the current practice of kicking the can down the road and passing off debt to future generations.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.