Meridian Senator part of group pushing for constitutional convention
"Right now, our federal government can't seem to balance their budget on their own and that's a problem."
Meridian Senator Marv Hagedorn says he thinks the federal government's budget problems have to be fixed.
"When we're living on 43% of every dollar we spend being borrowed, it's time to really look into our constitution and see if that's what our founders really intended," says Hagedorn.
To do that, a group of more than 100 lawmakers, including Hagedorn, from 32 states around the country met last week where the founding fathers once stood at Mt. Vernon to discuss a new strategy using Article V of the constitution.
"Article V is no less important in our US constitution than the first amendment or the second amendment," he says.
Here's how it would work: An Idaho bill will go through the Statehouse this year with specific language to pass the balanced budget amendment. If it can pass and 33 other states can use the same language, Congress will be asked to create a constitutional convention.
That hasn't been done since 1787, to create what we call the constitution – a fact Hagedorn says he doesn't take lightly.
"They called it a constitution because that's the character of our nation,” he says. “You have a constitution and I have a constitution and our nation has a constitution…You don't mess with your constitution unless something really needs to be changed."
Even if the convention was to happen, change would be slow. It would take 38 states to ratify each change and it would take Congress to act in the first place.
But Hagedorn says it's change worth waiting for and the meeting at Mt. Vernon was just an initial message.
"To me, that was a very powerful message,” says Hagedorn. “It means there are a lot of states that see a train wreck ahead."