Constitutional Convention Threatens NDD Programs

Balanced Budget Act Could Be Worse for NDD Funding Than Sequester or Budget Caps

The Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) continues to be a threat with proponents of a constitutional convention nearing the number of resolutions needed to call the convention.

As Nondefense Discretionary (NDD) United has warned in the past, a balanced budget amendment would be even worse for NDD programs than the sequester or the budget caps themselves.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has provided the following update on the threat and some information on how to get involved in the fight.

Since coming together last winter about the growing conservative movement to invoke Article V of the US Constitution to call a constitutional convention, the threat has only gotten worse.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other arch-conservative groups continue to aggressively push this in states, and just last month, The New York Times featured a front page story about this very real risk.

With this increased attention, now is the time for more groups to be part of this conversation. Your voices are important in this conversation because of what’s at stake for your group’s issues.

With three additional states passing resolutions invoking Article V focused on a Balanced Budget Amendment this year, proponents claim that they are in striking distance of a constitutional convention. They already potentially have as many as 28 of the 34 states needed.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) fully expects that additional states could pass resolutions in 2017 given the increasingly polarized state legislative environments if nothing is done to stop it.

In order to protect the Constitution, legislative champions are needed to help pass rescissions in:

  • Maryland,
  • Nevada,
  • New Mexico, and
  • Nebraska

And to defend against additional attempts to pass Article V resolutions in:

  • Arizona,
  • Idaho,
  • Montana,
  • Wisconsin,
  • South Carolina, and
  • Virginia.

Constitutional experts and legal scholars agree that a Constitutional convention would put at risk the many issues and policies we care most deeply about. This week as part of their latest efforts, the Convention of States group will hold a convention simulation in Williamsburg, Virginia (September 21-23, 2016).

While the event is invite only, it will be on livestream where over 2,000 have already signed up to watch. A long list of state legislators is poised to attend the simulation in person.

How can you help? Your voice and that of your partners throughout the country are absolutely critical to stopping this threat.

Here’s how you can help elevate this conversation:

  1. Alert your local partners in New Jersey about this threat. Attached is a sample letter that you can forward to your state partners and groups and a fact sheet. Please connect your state partners with us so we can identify key legislators to reach out to and put your state partners in touch with other allies in their states.
  2. Consider drafting a blog or identifying a spokesperson to write an OpEd in a national or target state publication.

CBPP can help you think through messaging and content and also has toolkits and talking points available.

Email Becca Segal To Get Involved

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