The Nebraska legislature passed a resolution on Friday calling for an Article V convention of states, making it the 17th state to do so.
After considering it for the past year, the unicameral body approved the measure in a 32-11 vote, with six senators abstaining or absent. According to the resolution, the Nebraska legislature seeks to call a convention “limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”
The application also comes with a five-year sunset clause, which notes that the legislature will rescind the measure by Feb. 1, 2027 if efforts to call a convention before then fail.
Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, state legislatures are permitted to call a convention to propose amendments to the nation’s founding document without the approval of Congress. Two-thirds of states (34) are required for a convention to be called, with three-fourths of states (38) necessary for any amendment proposed to be ratified.
The alternative method, and the only one used thus far, is for Congress to propose amendments. Any amendment successfully passed by two-thirds of the House of Representatives and Senate are then sent to the states, where three-fourths are necessary to ratify.
State Sen. Steve Halloran, who introduced the resolution, celebrated its passage as “encouraging,” noting the bill’s success shows “that we respect the Constitution and the intent of the founding fathers when it comes to states having equal footing with the federal government.”
Nebraska is the second state to call for an Article V convention this week, after the Wisconsin legislature successfully passed a resolution on the matter on Tuesday.