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Long’s constitutional convention legislation before committee Tuesday

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Senate President Pro Tempore David Long’s resolution and two companion bills calling for states to gather to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit the commerce clause and federal taxing authority will be heard before the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure Tuesday.

Senate Joint Resolution 18, and Senate Bills 224 and 225, call for an application to Congress for an Article V convention and outline the selection and duty of the delegates.

Long, R-Fort Wayne, announced his plan to seek a constitutional convention Feb. 14. He said he’s spoken with legislators from other states who support the idea. Long believes it’s the only way that states’ rights can be protected.

He said states need to take charge because Congress appears to have no ability to solve the debt crisis facing the country.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, didn’t outright dismiss the proposal but said talking about such a convention doesn’t address the state’s current needs.

Pelath said House Democrats have not given too much attention to the idea of a constitutional convention.

“We have not discussed that a great deal because that’s a very esoteric issue at the moment, talking about amending the Constitution,” Pelath said. “We’re trying to figure out how to govern Indiana in the here and now. That’s something down the road. I suppose we can have a reasonable discussion about it.”

 

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