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Two legislators proposing Convention of States

Published By The Crescent-News on May 28, 2021
Riordan T. McClain In The News

A local state representative plans to help introduce a bill in the Ohio General Assembly calling for a national Convention of States to push for federal term limits and other measures.

Republicans Craig Riedel of Defiance and Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky have teamed to propose introduction of a related resolution next week. The bill doesn't have a number yet, Riedel indicated Thursday.

However, it's purpose is defined as term limits for federal lawmakers and other officeholders, a balanced budget requirement and restraints on the federal government where states' sovereignty is concerned, according to Riedel.

During an interview Thursday, he said 15 other states have passed resolutions calling for a Convention of States while 34 (two-thirds) are needed to bring a convention about.

If a Convention were convened, each state would receive one delegate and the body could consider constitutional amendments based on the above topics only. Such amendments would only become law if three-fourths of the states (38) approved.

Riedel understands that bringing about such a Convention is a long shot, at least for now.

"There's no question this is a big effort in the sense that it's not going to be easy and it's going to take time," he said. "It's not going to happen in the next year or two. It could easily take 10 to 15 years, but the way that this country is moving I think it's a higher probability it will pick up momentum."

He understands the challenge of constitutional amendments, crediting the Founding Fathers for make it a difficult, momentous matter.
"That's the beauty of this whole process," he said. "Our Founding Fathers — they were geniuses. They wanted it to be very difficult to pass amendments."
The resolution's idea was not Riedel's and McClain's, but rather is the agenda advanced by the Convention of States organization. In fact, the Convention of States' website ( advocates for the three things that the Riedel/McCalin resolution would seek.
Riedel told The Crescent-News he and McClain were contacted by the Convention of States organization about introducing the measure in the Ohio General Assembly.

Asked why he is supportive, Riedel said: "because I believe in the cause. I believe there needs to be federal term limits, particularly with U.S. representatives and Congress. We should have a federal balanced budget and I do believe the federal government is really overreaching and the states should have more sovereignty. I believe in the cause, that's why I'm a joint sponsor."

This won't be first time such a measure has been attempted in Ohio, however. Riedel noted that a bill was introduced in the House a few years ago, but failed to make it out of committee.

What would be different this time?

"... we have different leadership," answered Riedel.

States that have passed related legislation so far include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

All have passed legislation since 2014.

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