I am writing as an advocate for Ohio House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR2) and its Ohio Senate counterpart SJR1. Both resolutions are calls for "a Convention of States limited to proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and Members of Congress of the United States" as prescribed in Article V of the Constitution of the United States.

Proposing amendments under Article V of the Constitution can be accomplished in two ways. One is for two thirds of both the US House of Representatives and US Senate voting in favor of a specific amendment or amendments. The amendment(s) are then sent to the State Legislatures to debate and vote upon. If three fourths (38 of 50) of the states vote in favor of an amendment, it is then added to the Constitution of the United States. All 27 of the current amendments have been passed in this manner.

However, in their wisdom, the framers knew a federal government, seizing undue powers, would not vote to limit itself of those powers. We see that federal government overreach and lack of accountability happening all around us today.

Hence, the second means of amending the Constitution: a call for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments for a specific subject (as in Ohio resolutions HJR2 and SJR1). If 34 states pass resolutions, called applications, on a similar subject or amendment, a Convention of States (COS) MUST be called. Any amendments coming out of the COS must still be passed by three fourths of the states as described earlier.

Thus far 12 states have passed applications similar to Ohio’s HJR2 and SJR1.

The Akron/Canton area is very important to the Ohio COS application process, specifically HJR2. One of the primary co-sponsors is Rep. Christina Hagan (R), of Alliance, (Ohio House district 50). The other primary co-sponsor is Rep. Bill Patmon (D), of Cleveland (OH10). Other co-sponsors from our area are Rep. Anthony DeVitis, of Green, (OH36) and Rep. Kristina Roegner, of Hudson (OH37).

Rep. Roegner is the chairperson of the Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee, the committee considering HJR2. Should HJR2 be passed by Rep. Roegner’s committee, it will be presented to the full Ohio House for a vote.

I encourage you to learn more about the Convention of States at conventionofstates.com and sign the petition for COS. I also ask you to contact your state representatives and senators to voice your support for HJR2 and SJR1. Your input and support is very much appreciated by our state legislators, and helps assure their positive support for a COS.

Thank you,

Rick Shonk
Coventry Township