NASHVILLE, (September 6, 2017) – Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) is among seven Tennessee legislators who will join delegates from across the nation in Phoenix, Arizona on September 12 at the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention. This assemblage will be the first national convention of the states convened since 1861, when states met to discuss an amendment they hoped would avert civil war. The purpose of the upcoming convention in Phoenix is to prepare for an anticipated convention convened under Article V of the U. S. Constitution to propose a balanced budget amendment and to recommend a set of rules under which such a convention would be governed.
“The vast majority of states, like Tennessee, have constitutional or statutory mandates to balance their budgets,” said Senator Ketron. “Even during tough economic years, most states have been able to prioritize their obligations and make tough choices. The federal government should be expected to do the same. The planning convention is an important step in the process in bringing such an amendment to rein in out-of-control federal spending.”
Article V provides that upon the application of two-thirds of the state legislatures, Congress shall call a convention of the states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The attempt to head off a sovereign debt crisis is not a new one. Ronald Reagan championed the cause of a balanced budget amendment in the 1980s. In his 1982 Address before a Joint Session of the Indiana State Legislature he stated, “The Federal Government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty from the Constitution.” Today, with 27 of the required 34 applications passed for an Article V convention, Senator Ketron will help prepare the nation for an exercise of the states’ constitutional liberty, which will begin to restore a balance of power between state and federal governments and limit the spending that is quickly becoming an overwhelming burden on the U.S. economy.
Other Tennessee lawmakers attending the convention include Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville), Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains), Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Representative Jay Reedy (R-Erin), Representative Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro).