Florida Legislator Seeks to Amend U.S. Constitution

Florida Republican state senator Alan Hays of Lake County is leading a growing group of citizens who believe Washington DC is broken and will not fix itself. But he has a solution.

"The Convention of States Project (COS) seeks to urge and empower state legislators. The delegates at such a convention would have the power to propose amendments to the Constitution that would curb the abuses of the federal government."

"A strong central government, like we have today, has proven time and time again that they are not going to change their behavior. So, it is time for us to assert our power as states and send a clear message to them that the states were the ones who created the federal government, and not vice versa."

Hays insists that this be a nonpartisan effort. "I think it is imperative that from the very beginning we establish credibility with those of different political persuasions that this is not a partisan issue. It absolutely must be nonpartisan. There must be an embracing of the principle of compromise, without compromising our principles."

Hays has submitted a resolution in the Florida Senate requesting the U.S. Congress call a convention to be held for the purpose of amending the Constitution. A group of 5 to 10 amendments may be proposed at such a convention.

Some may wonder what good is amending the Constitution.They think the government does not follow the existing Constitution already. Sen. Hays responds, "By us going through with the Convention of States and ratifying those proposed amendments, we will send a very clear message to Congress."

Currently, the resolution calling for a Convention of States, SR476, has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee and to the Rules Committee. It must then pass through the Senate chamber. A similar measure must also pass through the Florida House of Representatives. Sen. Hays hopes that Florida will be "the first state in the nation to get the measure passed through their legislature."

"If you peruse the writings between Hamilton, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and the other Founding Fathers, you see very clearly that they understood what tyrannical government was all about. They were determined to retain the power of the states instead of allowing a tyrannical government to overpower everybody, and they gave us this tool with Article V of the Constitution."

Could this be an idea whose time has come? Sen. Hays thinks so. "This is an issue that I will not let rest. I will go forward on this until I am absolutely shut down, or I am successful, one of the two."

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