Resolution Introduced In Md. General Assembly For A Constitutional Convention

It would come up with an amendment calling for term limits.


Annapolis, Md (KM). Even though it’s mentioned in Article V, there’s never been a convention held to amend the US Constitution. But that could change. Delegate Mike McKay (R) of Alleghany and Washington Counties, has introduced a resolution in the House of Delegates calling for a convention to amend the Constitution to set term limits for members of the House of Representative and the US Senate. “And what  we’re hoping to do is have more states that will then vote to have term limits for our Congressmen and our US Senators in the upcoming convention of state,” he says.

The Constitution says the two-thirds of the states can call for a convention to amend the Constitution. . That process has never been used, but it has been discussed in past years. The way amendments have usually been implemented is when two-thirds of the members of both Houses of Congress approve it. It’s then submitted to state legislatures. Three-fourths must ratify it before it becomes part of the Constitution.

Mckay introduced the resolution on January 28th in the House of Delegates. He’s managed to get other legislators to be co-sponsors of the legislation, including Frederick County Delegates Bill Folden, Kathy Afzali and David Vogt.

All of them are Republicans. “I really didn’t go to any other Democrats per se in the western Maryland Delegation. That’s kind up the people I hang out with, and they’re more like minded,” he said. “There are some states that maybe are more Republican-controlled that do like the idea of the convention of states. But there are some Democratic-controlled that might {be} interested.”

Delegate Folden is lending his support to the resolution. He says elected officials who spend too much time in office tend to lose touch with their constituents. “They lose their base. They lose their focus on their constituents and they start looking at sustainability for their own purposes,” says Folden.

He also says a lot of people who campaign on term limits change their minds once they get elected. “We’ve seen in the national arena that there’s always talk about term limits. And then people get into those positions, and then they find that maybe they’ve changed their opinion on that once they’re in there,” says Folden.

There’s always the danger of runaway conventions, where other issues come up. McKay says agenda will be set ahead of time. “They do need to convene for what they want to convene on. That’s where we talk about that you won’t have your runaway convention. We’ve decided we will meet. We will meet on term limits and nothing else. Or we will meet on balanced budget and nothing else,” says McKay.

The effort by Delegate McKay has earned the support of the organization US Term Limits. ” The people of Maryland are lucky to have public servant who  see what is going on in Washington and are willing to take action to fix it,” says US Term Limits President Phil Blumel, in a statement. . “By using Article V to term limit Congress, they can resolve balance between states and the federal government as our founders intended.”

Delegate McKay reiterated those comments.. “I’m a firm believer that we should not have career politicians but citizens legislature because that how our original founders set up our Republic Democracy,”  he says.

But Delegate Folden said the term limit should not be made too short so that legislators don’t get the chance to learn the ways of Washington so they can better serve their constituents. “We should be looking at this measure seriously. Because if we don’t and we make the window too short, and we allow for it to be control by lobbyists and employees who are here full time, and that’s a concern,” he said.

The resolution has been referred to the House Rules and Executive Committee. If the panel gives its approval, it will be presented to the full House of Delegates for a vote. Then it goes to the State Senate.


By Kevin McManus