Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The General Assembly will decide this week whether we hold a constitutional convention next year

This week is the deadline for the General Assembly to place constitutional amendments on the November ballot. (The Constitution has a six-month deadline).

The main reason to hold a constitutional convention is because voters have not had an opportunity to amend the constitution in a substantive way for over a decade. We have not had the chance to vote on the recall power. We have not had the chance to vote on the flat tax mandate. We have not had the chance to vote on making school funding a right, rather than a goal, of the state. We have not had the chance to vote on reining in the extremely broad amendatory veto power. We have not had the chance to vote on our absolutely broken redistricting regime that essentially works to pick the leaders of the chamber at random.

A constitutional convention would provide an avenue to put these amendments on the ballot for the voters to approve or reject.

If the General Assembly process of asking voters to approve or reject constitutional amendments works -- that is, if the General Assembly does in fact place amendments on the ballot for the voters to accept or reject -- then there isn't much reason for a constitutional convention.

If, however, the General Assembly does not place any amendments on the ballot this year, as they have not for at least a decade, then there is a very good reason for a constitutional convention, because it is the only way for voters to amend the constitution.

This week the General Assembly will decide whether we hold a constitutional convention.

If they find a way to put at least one substantive amendment on the November ballot, the call for a constitutional convention will surely fail.

If they do not find a way to put any amendment on the ballot, then the call for a constitutional convention might pass.

So for those of you who don't want to see a constitutional convention, I suggest you lobby the General Assembly to put an amendment on the ballot this week! (My favorite is SJRCA 92 that would ask voters to scrap the mandate for a flat rate income tax, but you might like recall or redistricting).

4 comments:

Squideshi 12:21 PM  

The first amendment should be to allow a binding initiative process for constitutional amendment affecting ALL articles.

Prof. Goldblatt Ph.D. 1:21 PM  

I don't think Madigan will let a constitutional convention be called.

Mad Conservative 2:51 PM  

We need to vote in a con-con whether or not the state house puts anything on the ballot. Cause they won't put everything we're needing on the ballot. And it's not Madigan's decision if the voters want one or not, we get to vote on a con-con in the fall whether anyone wants one or not.

Prof. Goldblatt Ph.D. 5:28 PM  

Oh it is because we are a representative government. Not a democracy.

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