South Carolina could soon be the 19th state to call for a Convention of States .
On Tuesday, the South Carolina House of Representatives voted 64-48 to agree with amendments made to the bill by the South Carolina Senate. The bill is sponsored by S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken.
Taylor called the House’s agreement with the changes a “momentous day.”
Taylor has been introducing similar bills into the House for eight years.
“It is certainly an example of perseverance, and I don’t just mean on my part,” Taylor said. “In the legislative process, you have to have perseverance because there are many obstacles. I always tell folks that if it were easy to make laws, we would have way more laws than we do.”
Taylor credited the 50,000-member-strong grassroots movement for working for over eight years to get the bill passed. He said the group was organized enough to have captains in each of the 124 House districts in the state and that the group was noted by several members of the House for being respectful and patient.
The bill calls for a convention of states, as outlined in Article V of the Constitution. Article V offers two ways for the Constitution to be amended: a request by two-thirds of the states or a request from two-thirds of both houses of Congress.
Taylor said there is some confusion regarding the call for a convention because some people believe that if two-thirds of the states call for the convention any amendments would approved. However, he added, this is not the case. Once the convention proposes amendments, the amendments would have to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures of the states.
The bill was approved by the South Carolina Senate on March 9 by a largely partisan vote of 27-13 with Republicans mostly in favor and Democrats mostly opposed. The version the Senate approved varied slightly from the version the House passed 66-42 on May 11, 2021, which sent the bill back to the House to agree or disagree with the changes.
The next step for the bill will be ratification by both houses of the General Assembly which is likely a formality. Once ratified, the bill would head to Gov. Henry McMaster for a signature.
Taylor said he was hopeful that McMaster would sign the bill and that the grassroots movement would get to celebrate with a signing ceremony at the Statehouse.
If signed into law by McMaster, South Carolina would become the 19th state to approve a call for a convention, more than halfway to the needed 34 states.
(c)2022 the Aiken Standard (Aiken, S.C.)
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