Get Fast Forward in your inbox: Get what you need today in this early-morning email. Sign Up Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here Hashing out differences between House and Senate bills in secret has long been the norm at the State House.
Read Article A pair of resolutions under consideration by the Legislature that lift much of their wording from model bills written by a secretive, corporation-funded group could help lead to a radical rewriting of the U.
The resolutions seek to add Maine to the list of states that have called for the convening of a constitutional convention for the first time since the Constitution was drafted in Maine would become the 29th state to endorse the most successful of the two measures, which would put the effort just five states short of the 34 required to convene a convention under Article V of the U.
Constitution at which delegates could set about amending the document in any way they wished, regardless of the purported purpose for which they had convened.
The other state legislatures passed their resolutions over the past four decades, and there is no time limit to reach the required number. Related Headlines Maine resolution would aid scheme to rewrite U. Constitution Both of the bills were introduced by Rep. Nathan Wadsworth, R-Hiram, the Maine state co-chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, an organization funded by corporations and conservative donors that allows businesses to write legislation and give it to state lawmakers to introduce at home.
His effort closely resembles one last year when other legislators introduced another ALEC bill to convene a constitutional convention. It received a little-noticed public hearing Feb.
One other lawmaker, Rep. Paula Sutton, R-Warren, testified that although she is a fiscal hawk, she did not think the effort would work in practice. Three people emailed their opposition to the bill, one their support, and one Maine resident appeared in person in favor.
The same panel voted to recommend it not pass, but because the vote was not a unanimous, the measure will likely receive a floor vote. Critics fear that, once convened, a convention — where most delegates would likely be appointed by Republican governors and lawmakers, and each state would presumably have an equal vote, regardless of population — would be used as a vehicle to do an end run around the three branches of government to remake the country on a laissez faire footing, with minimal federal regulations, spending or taxes.
At a mock convention held in Williamsburg, Virginiain and attended by state Sen. Two other measures required a two-thirds majority in each House of Congress to increase the debt or impose taxes, but not to cut spending or taxes, a combination that would almost certainly result in a prompt dismantling of entitlements and social spending.
Inthe late, staunch conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said he would never want to see an Article V convention held. Stephen Stanley of Medway, who also introduced a similar bill in that called for a open-ended constitutional convention.
While ALEC claims to be a nonpartisan professional association for state legislators, virtually all of its funding comes from its corporate members — which include major energy, drug, mining, telecommunications and chemical companies — or private donors. The organization does not disclose the identities of the more than 1, state legislators who are members, but documents leaked to Common Cause showed that in they included Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, who is now president of the Maine Senate, and state Sens.
Each state has a legislator and a private-sector representative who serve as co-chairs. Inthat position was occupied by Ann Robinson, a corporate lobbyist who served as Gov. Colin Woodard can be contacted at:Searching our database for: The means to rewrite the law crossword clue answers and solutions.
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