Academy of States 2.0
The Academy of States is a collaborative effort of leading advocates who desire that our several state legislatures would bring reform to our federal government through a convention of the states authorized and empowered by Artice V of the U.S. Constitution.
December 1, 2021 ~ San Deigo, CA
ALEC is delighted to invite you, an elected state legislator, to participate in Academy of States 2, an innovative, cross-partisan event organized by nearly all the nation’s leading organizations advocating constitutional amendments addressing fiscal responsibility, campaign finance, and Congressional term limits.
This event will be a conference of state legislators of all party affiliations, focused on the several states’ role in advancing amendments to the U.S. Constitution and will be held in conjunction with the ALEC 2021 States & Nation Policy Summit. The roughly 7,400 sitting US state legislators are being invited to participate, in-person in San Diego or via Zoom.
Following keynotes by nationally recognized amendment leaders, organizational advocates of amendments addressing fiscal responsibility, campaign money corruption and Congressional term limits will each present their respective cases. After each presentation, sitting state legislators will pose questions and comments, then participate in a recorded straw poll vote on the proposal.
Academy of States 2 co-sponsors support the amending process laid out in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, such that any amendment qualifying for ratification by the States will either be drafted by Congress or by a duly formed Convention for Proposing Amendments whose delegates are limited to consideration of subjects adopted by resolution of at least thirty-four states. Given the extraordinary, cross-partisan consensus required to meet the thirty-eight-state ratification threshold, co-sponsors do not oppose amendments proposed by one another.
Moderator: Utah Representative Ken Ivory
Welcomed by several of our Co-sponsors, including ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson and Utah Senate President Stuart Adams.
Congressmen Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and John Katko (R-24).
Admiral Bill Owens
Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman and Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig presented on re-balancing power between the federal government and the states through the Constitution’s Article V will be followed by a Question and Answer period.
The Bill of Financial Responsibilities® Project Presenter: Business Executive, Consultant, and Author John Ramsey
Consider: Would you support the package of five constitutional amendments together called The Bill of Financial Responsibilities® to require proper financial management of the people's money by the federal government?”
Debt to GDP Limits Presenter: Former U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker
Consider: Do you believe that implementing a public debt/GDP approach to help restore fiscal sustainability is appropriate?
For Our Freedom Campaign Finance Amendment via Congress Presenters: American Promise Board Member Jim Rubens and Wolf-PAC National Council Samuel Fieldman
Consider: Would you support a constitutional amendment to restore power to Congress and to the several states to set limits on campaign money within their respective jurisdictions?
U.S. Term Limits Amendment Presenter: USTL Western Regional Director Ron Hooper
Consider: Would you support and vote for in your state, an Article V convention for the purpose of enacting term limits on Congress? • Fiscal Responsibility and Protections for an Article V Convention
Presenters: Entrepreneur and Citizen Activist David Biddulph and Emeritus Professor of Economics Barry Poulson
Consider: Would you support an Article V State-drafted, Voter-ratified Amendment that, at a minimum, limits the growth of federal spending to the growth in personal income?
The “No Runaway” Article V Conventions Act Presenters: Samuel Fieldman and David Biddulph
Legislators and Article V supporters from across the country gathered in San Diego and virtually to participate in Academy of States 2.0 on December 1. The event was sponsored by the Association of Mature American Citizens, the American Legislative Exchange Council, American Promise, the Bill of Financial Responsibilities Project, Path to Reform, the Reagan Project, the Reason Foundation, State Legislators Article V Caucus, US Term Limits, Vote “Americans’ Prosperity First” Amendment, and Wolf-PAC.
Moderated by Utah State Representative Ken Ivory, the morning opened with a video montage of past Presidents from both parties commenting on chronic problems facing the United States intercut with examples of how Article V can be leveraged by the states to help address them.
The group also heard remarks from national figures from across the political spectrum including Congressmen Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and John Katko (R-NY), Retired Admiral and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Bill Owens (read his RealClear Politics article HERE), Harvard University Professor of Law Lawrence Lessig, and former US Comptroller General David Walker (read his op-ed HERE).
Most of the major Article V advocacy groups were on-hand to brief legislators on their respective initiatives, including various fiscal control proposals, congressional term limits, and campaign finance reform. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and participate in a straw poll to express their level of support for each proposal. The conference wrapped up as legislators were invited to join the Phoenix Correspondence Commission by Executive Director Bruce Lee. The PCC was formed in 2017 at the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention in Phoenix in order to facilitate communication surrounding Article V among states and between the states and Congress.
The most notable aspect of this Academy was the emphasis on the necessity for cooperation among Article V advocates. Professor Lessig was blunt: any Article V advocacy organization that is partisan in its orientation will eventually die because even if it manages to get a convention, it won’t be able to secure the support of the 3/4 of the states necessary to ratify any amendments that may come out of it. If we can’t “get real” about that, we might as well close up shop and go home.
In anticipation of the passage of the 34th and final application necessary for an Article V Convention to propose a balanced budget amendment, planning for Academy 3.0 is underway and will focus on equipping state legislators to draft delegate selection and oversight legislation, choose delegates and alternates, draft instructions for their delegates, and create a plan to support their delegation at the convention. The Academy is expected to take place in Denver in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislators’ 2022 Legislative Summit in August.