Maine could become the 28th state to join the call for a constitutional convention with the hopes of amending the U.S. Constitution to require balanced budgets at the federal level.
Jim Cyr, a spokesman for Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, confirmed Thursday that Thibodeau would introduce a joint resolution in the Legislature at the request of Gov. Paul LePage. Cyr could not say when the senate president would introduce the measure.
The news came just an hour before LePage and fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio were scheduled to speak with reporters about the proposed Article V convention in LePage’s Cabinet Room.
Kasich has been touring the nation since January to push for a convention to be called under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which allows states to circumvent Congress and put a constitutional amendment out for ratification themselves.
Such a convention would require the support of 34 state legislatures. To date, 27 states have already signed on.
Ohio became the 20th state to join the call for a constitutional convention back in 2013, and Kasich has been one of the movement’s loudest voices. In 2013, he told local media in Ohio that such a convention was necessary because the federal government’s “inability to manage the American taxpayers’ money is inexcusable.”
Legislatures in 34 states must appeal to Congress for an Article V convention to take place.
Kasich’s balanced budget tour has also helped cement the national profile of the Ohio governor, who’s expected to announce his bid for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nod. On Tuesday, Kasich was in New Hampshire, where the honor of holding the first presidential primary in the nation makes the state a must-stop location for White House hopefuls.
Check bangordailynews.com later today for more updates from LePage and Kasich’s press conference.