DECEMBER 7, 2013

Resolution of The Mount Vernon Assembly - December 7, 2013

Whereas, the historical record reveals states assembled on many occasions, by way of a convention of states, for the purpose of discussing and resolving issues of common concern, including the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 whereby the U.S Constitution was drafted; and 

Whereas, the legislatures of the states recognize they have slowly relinquished power to the national government that has upset the balance originally provided by the Founders in our federalist system, thus leading to a national government that has neither the responsiveness nor accountability it should have to the people it serves; and 

Whereas, Article V of the U.S. Constitution was created by the Founders for states to remedy issues of a national concern; and 

Whereas, the states agree that if such a convention should convene, it must function in an orderly and prudent manner; and 

Whereas, the Article V of the U.S. Constitution enumerates limited powers to the federal government, which do not include the power to define specific and detailed rules and procedures of such a proceeding; and 

Whereas, the states, united, desire to act on the authority, duty and responsibility to define the rules and procedures of any Article V convention for proposing amendments; and 

Whereas, the states recognize the necessity of working together, without regard to political party, for any collective effort of the states in resolving national issues to be successful: 

Resolved by the assembly, 

Section 1: The attendees of The Mount Vernon Assembly, a bipartisan group of more than one hundred currently elected state legislators from 33 states hereby respectfully requests the highest elected legislator in each state legislative body to appoint one legislator of the majority party and one of the minority party to a two-day planning meeting convening at 9:30 a.m. on the 12th of June, 2014, at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Legislative leadership appointments are respectfully requested to be submitted by Friday, March 28, 2014. 

The purpose of this meeting is to form committees that will plan a three-day conference in December, 2014 at a venue to be determined. This conference will draft language for proposed rules and procedures by which any Article V convention for proposing amendments would operate. 

Section 2: Additional members of a body beyond each appointee may attend; however, the appointees from each legislative leader will be the official spokespersons of any group attending. Only currently serving state legislators will be allowed to participate. 

Section 3: This Assembly hereby resolves that the following items should be addressed in the rules and procedures of any Article V convention for proposing amendments: 

Category: Rules and Procedures
Process of delegate recall, including state authority
Deliberative authority of body after a call is made (open, subject matter, single amendment)
Number of votes required for passage of an amendment (simple majority, two-thirds, three-fourths)
Process around one state one vote precedent
Speaking rights of delegates
Convention stance on the state delegate selection process
Rules creation, revision and adoption process
Committee structure and their process for discussion, voting and communicating to the body
Selection, term and responsibilities of officers
Convening times
Verbiage for rules continuity clause that would be adopted and carried into the next meeting of the body
Process for drafting of amendment language, 
if called under Article V
Process of transmission to states of any passed amendment

Category: Planning and Communication
Process of admittance and credentials required
Security necessity and staffing
Oath of office necessity/language for delegates
Will meetings be open or closed, and if open how communicated
Method of recording proceedings of full body and committees
Time and location selection process of Convention

Category: Judiciary
Process to ensure that the Compact Clause in Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution is not triggered
Criteria for a qualified application
Number of live applications that have been submitted to Congress
Responsibility of tracking live applications
Process for notifying Congress that a call must be made
Length of time Congress has to make a call once 34 qualified applications have been submitted
Legal counsel selection for drafting purposes
Length a state application submitted to Congress is valid
Length of time a convention is open for and what events would “terminate” it
Length of time an amendment passed to the states for ratification has before it expires
Length of time an amendment that has been sent to the states for ratification remains valid for the required 38 ratifications
Role of District of Columbia and U.S. territories

Category: Finance
Convention financing
Budget creation and communication process
Tracking and allocation of convention costs
Collection process Section 4: The Secretary of The Mount Vernon Assembly is hereby instructed to transmit a formal invitation of the June planning meeting at the Indiana Statehouse to the legislative leaders specified in Section 1, and to tabulate the names of the appointees and legislators from each state who will be attending.