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Constitutional convention call renewed in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans are reviving efforts to pass a resolution to call a convention of the states to consider making changes to the U.S. Constitution.

A Wisconsin Assembly committee held a public hearing Wednesday on the proposal, which is identical to one that passed the Assembly last session. It died in the Senate.

The full Legislature in 2017 passed a resolution that allowed for calling a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment. The latest proposal is more expansive.

It allows for the convention to consider three things: imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government; limiting the federal government’s powers and jurisdiction; and imposing term limits for members of Congress and other federal officials.

That resolution has passed 15 states. Congress must receive requests from 34 states to convene a convention of the states.

Congress can also refer amendments to the states by a two-thirds vote of each chamber. Both methods require at least 38 states to ratify an amendment before it can take effect.

The convention process has never been used to amend the Constitution.

Democrats and other opponents argue that calling a constitutional convention could get out of control, leading to far-ranging revisions that could drastically reshape the nation’s founding document.

The proposal has 35 co-sponsors in the Assembly and seven in the Senate, all Republicans.

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