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Idaho Panel Will Consider 'Convention of the States' Proposal to Amend U.S. Constitution

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Rep. Tom Loerstscher (R-Iona) - IDAHO LEGISLATURE
  • Idaho Legislature
  • Rep. Tom Loerstscher (R-Iona)
You win some, you lose some.

On the same day Rep. Tom Loertscher (R-Iona) went down to defeat in his effort to pass an anti-tribal gaming bill, he was successful in convincing the Idaho House State Affairs Committee to host a full public hearing on a controversial proposal to hold a "Convention of the States."

"We have a broken situation," said Loertscher, arguing for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to restrict the power of the federal government. "And it does need a fix."

Loertscher's proposal calls for a panel of six commissioners to represent Idaho at a Convention of the States—three appointed by the Idaho House and three appointed by the Idaho Senate.

Rep. Brent Crane (R-Nampa) questioned Loertscher's proposal when a similar measure was quashed in the Idaho Senate only a year ago.

"I think this is a matter of leadership and I think that the House needs to step out and lead. I don't know why the Senate didn't approve this," said Loertscher. "Plus, I think there's been a huge misunderstanding."

Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) said he looked forward to having a full hearing on the matter, but quickly added, "I think there are going to be some serious questions to be fleshed out in a hearing."

The committee's Republican supermajority agreed to hold a hearing on the proposal, with Reps. Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer) and Elaine Smith (D-Pocatello) voting no.

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