A bill that calls for a convention of states and for weakening the powers of the federal government has made it through the Senate and is on its way to the Wyoming House.

The folks here in Wyoming who want a convention of states have been working on it for a long time. Many years in fact, with little headway.

This is the farthest they have ever gotten.

The third reading in the House ended with a 17-13 vote.

The debate was over priorities for the convention and proposed amendments to the U.S. constitution.

The United States Of America is 50 separate countries working together in a giant cooperative. We meet at the federal level and work together.

Because of this, there are two ways to amend the constitution.

Congress can propose an amendment(s) that must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate by a two-thirds majority. What is passed is sent to the states to vote on. If three-fourths of the states approve then we have changed our constitution.

You can watch the Wyoming Debate in the video below.

Another way is to convene state constitutional conventions. Two-thirds (34 if 50) of states must agree. it would take three-quarters of the states (38 of 50) to ratify any amendments.

So far only 27 amendments have been added to the Constitution. The number of amendments proposed is around 12,000. The process was made difficult for good reasons.

Support for the bill focused on what federalism could look like in the future.

“[The] Federal government in my 41 years has grown and grown and that left me wondering what is there for my children and my children's children,” said Sen. Evie Brennan (R-Cheyenne). “About a year ago, I was sitting up in the House chambers watching a vote on [a] convention, on this resolution, because it was a good opportunity for me to show my daughter how government works. We've heard a lot of arguments for voting yes on this. It's a vote for our children and their children and their future.” (Wyoming Public Media).

The most debate centered around reducing the power of the Federal government back to where it was several generations ago.

“It's pretty much given that we're going to go till we hit the wall, [and] the only stop is going to be when the states stand up and fight for what they believe and what their people believe in,” said Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower). “That's what this does. So, you can either do nothing and wait for the wreck or actually try to do something affirmatively to correct a wrong.” (Wyoming Public Media).

Wyo Legislature
Karen Snyder, Townsquare Media

Those opposed to a convention of states worry that such a convention could get out of control and who knows what our government might become.

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