AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Greg Abbott weighed in after the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution (SJR 2) calling for a “convention of states.”
Passing a resolution for a convention of states was one of Governor Abbott’s emergency legislative priorities. He even laid out a plan in 2016 to fight what he called the presidential overreach of the Obama Administration and rein in Congress.
He has long backed legislatures nationwide convening a convention to impose a federal balanced budget amendment, term limits and other checks to thwart Washington overreach. Abbott made it an “emergency item,” fast-tracking bills on the issue through the Texas Legislature.
Here’s what he had to say about it today:
“Today marks an important step toward restraining a runaway federal government and returning power back to the states and their respective citizens as our Founders intended. The Texas Legislature has heard and responded to the voices of those they represent, and I applaud the efforts of the Texas House to pass this important resolution. A call for a Convention of States reinforces Texas’ status as a champion of limited government and individual freedom, and I want to thank Reps. Rick Miller, Phil King, Drew Darby, Andy Murr, Chris Paddie, Larry Gonzales and Ken King for their work and commitment in passing this resolution.”
But many conservative Texans lined up to oppose the resolution. They worried about a “runaway” convention where liberal states could weaken things like the Second Amendment.
The House version of Senate Bill 21 approved Wednesday differs from the Senate version in one important respect. The Senate version would impose criminal penalties on a rogue delegate who voted for amendments to the Constitution that were not authorized by the Legislature, according to the Austin American Statesman.
Further more, the paper states those penalties were added to the Senate bill by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, who was concerned about a runaway convention, over the objections of Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, who did not want to criminalize legislative behavior.