Constitutional convention still a long way off

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two days of planning for a constitutional convention ended in Indianapolis on Friday.  While organizers are calling The Mount Vernon Assembly a success, it’s clear that their goal is a long way off.

Lawmakers from 33 states said their main accomplishment is a one-page resolution that points out, among other, things that they need to get more states involved in order to move forward.

That’s because, while 33 states were represented here in Indy, only 22 have endorsed the pursuit of a constitutional convention. 34 are required.

Organizers know they have challenges.

“This is something that started with one person, then went to five people. We’re at 105 people now,” said state Rep. Chris Kapenga of Wisconsin.

“But we are far, far short of where we should be,” said state Rep. Matt Hoffman of Ohio.

There were differences over simple wording in the final resolution.  A proposed one-word amendment led to a break in the action, private huddles, and eventually a contested vote.

When it all ended, there was applause.  But afterward, the assessment from organizers included harsh realizations.

“We had some of the fits and starts that you have in democracy. There’s no question that it will take time and it will be a difficult process. It was that way in 1787,” said Indiana State Senate Leader David Long.

The next meeting will take place in December at a location still to be determined.

The group is already changing its name in the effort to attract more participation. Going forward, it will be known as “The Assembly of State Legislatures” rather than “The Mount Vernon Assembly.”

Meantime, there still has been no discussion of topics that might come up at a constitutional convention.

“We’re not pushing the what. We’re focusing on the how,” said one organizer.

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