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Beware HB 366: Compact/Balanced Budget


wyne colemanLast week, I wrote to you that my husband and I were headed up North for about a week to visit relatives. We were driving back home when I received a call from an out-of-state contact alerting me that the NC House Judiciary I Committee had just announced a committee hearing for the next day, Wednesday, August 5, 2015, on HB 366 Compact/ Balanced Budget which is an act to adopt the Compact for a Balanced Budget. I attended the hearing and was allowed to make a statement to the Judiciary I Committee. Here is what you need to know regarding the action that we need to take:


What is the Compact/Balanced Budget?

No Convention of States North Carolina is committed to opposing any North Carolina bill or resolution that supports an application for an Article V Convention of States or any other form of Article V Convention (such as a constitutional convention [“Con-Con] or a “conference of states”).

According to the pro-Convention Article V Caucus newsletter , December 2014:

“The Compact for a Balanced Budget is an agreement among the states to advance and ratify a pre-drafted Balanced Budget Amendment. The agreement allows the states to agree upon the amendment to be proposed at the Article V convention it organizes (emphasis mine), to settle all questions of process in advance of the convention, and to consolidate the necessary legislation into a single bill.”

In a January 10,  2013 article “How the Compact for America Threatens the Constitution” by Joe Wolverton, The New American, Wolverton states:

“This month [January 2013], a group known as the Compact for America (CFA) Initiative will begin lobbying state lawmakers to propose in their respective legislatures a measure that would make that convention of delegates from 50 states gathered in Dallas a reality on July 4, 2013. Thirty-eight (or more, depending on how many states adopt the CFA legislative package) governors along with state-appointed representatives from the remaining 12 (or fewer) states would be delegates to a constitutional convention (con-con) supposedly called for the sole purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution. The problem is, there is no way to make sure the assembled delegates representing the People wouldn’t exceed that mandate to propose a BBA, and even if they did adhere to the mandate, there is no guarantee that the CFA’s Balanced Budget Amendment would improve America’s financial prospects.

“The CFA Initiative is composed of three parts: First, there is a multi-state compact petitioning Congress to convene a con-con with state governors of member states serving as delegates and notifying Congress that members of the compact have pre-ratified the BBA called for and defined by the CFA; second, there is a balanced budget amendment as defined by the CFA that would be added to the Constitution; andthird, there is a congressional resolution that would call a constitutional convention when and if 38 states join the CFA compact, and then would automate the steps required to add the BBA to the Constitution upon receipt of a certified copy of the BBA evidencing that the convention has approved the BBA for ratification.”

Read the entire article HERE:

What happened at the NC House Judiciary I Committee hearing on August 5, 2015?

After confirming that HB 366 was indeed on the agenda, I went to the hearing. Chairman Daughtry allowed me three minutes to make a public statement. The text of my statement to the the Committee is ATTACHED.  PLEASE READ IT.

Also, I am quoted in a WRAL’s NC Capitol. READ HERE:

“Balanced Budget amendment gets initial push in NC” by Matthew Burns

Given so little advance notice, I was the only one who showed on our side of the issue – likely the only one not on a payroll.  But, there were not that many people in the room pro or con.

The chief lobbyist for the Compact/Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) is Compact for America (CfA).  They are pushing virtually identical bills in every state possible. At the House Judiciary I hearing I attended, two CfA spokespersons from CfA Educational Foundation were brought in:  Dean Clancy, Special Projects Mgr, Congresssional Office  and Chip DeMoss (Vice-President on the Board) showed up just as the meeting started.

Of course, I had already signed up to speak. I had no choice but to sign up when the sign-up sheet was given to me. I knew CfA might get the last word. And I was right.

I was outnumbered. The sponsor of HB366, Representative Chris Millis (Rep.) made his positive statements about the bill to the House Judiciary I Committee and allowed the two CfA guests to answer some questions from the other Committee members BEFORE they also got their time to speak – a common legislative trick.

I was allowed up to three minutes.  I did what I could. Of course, DeMoss said he needed to clear up some statements I had just made about income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and that the Balanced Budget Amendment would allow Congress to increase taxation.  If I had been allowed a rebuttal, I think I could have neutralized his remarks.

More information on this subject is found HERE:

“Balancing the budget? Or adding a national sales tax to the income tax?” by Publius Huldah for Renew America, January 30, 2014

Representative Michael Speciale (R) came to the meeting (Speciale is not a committee member) and spoke on our side of the issue. He did a good job. He said some things I said to the Committee the last time I spoke to them against the Convention of States bill, so I tried to focus on a little different angle this time. Needless to say, I was glad to have some backup from Representative Speciale. But, all in all, the other side got the majority of the time to speak.

I couldn’t quite figure out what Committee members were absent. It was hard to see everyone at the committee table from seats provided for the public. But, I was told that only 9 of the 13 were present and that the tally was 6 in favor and 3 opposed. I think some members were missing. I am still working getting that information.

The bad news is that the bill was favorably passed on to the Appropriations Committee.  I am working on getting the details on that as soon as possible. 3 voted against (2 are Democrats).

Why did the HB366 survive “crossover”?

As I reported to you in April, the bill and resolution calling for a Convention of States died in the NC House at the April 30, 2015 crossover deadline. It would have seemed that HB366 would have met a similar fate. But, I was keeping an eye on it for one reason:

The CfA is very crafty. Some of us who have been following the Compact/BBA issue believe that HB 366 survived because it addresses budgetary issues and, under NCGA rules potentially a “Fiscal Note” of some kind could be attached which would keep it alive. And that is just what happened. A “Fiscal Note” was attached to the bill which would send it to the Appropriations Committee for consideration. This has been done in a few other states as well.

In this case, the Fiscal Note calls for approval of $3,155.00 in expenses to pay for the Governor to travel to the Article V Compact Convention. In the bill HB366, the Governor is referred to “as the chief executive officer” HERE:



Section 1. Number of Delegates. Each Member State shall be entitled to one delegate as its sole and exclusive representative at the Convention as set forth in this Article.

Section 2. Identity of Delegates. Each Member State’s chief executive officer, who is serving on the enactment date of this Compact, is appointed in an individual capacity to represent his or her respective State at the Convention as its sole and exclusive delegate.

An important point for us to realize is that the core issue is NOT that this Fiscal Note, is spending $3,155.00 of taxpayer money as expenses. It is paying for the Governor of the state to be a delegate to an Article V Convention that WE DO NOT WANT!


How can you learn more about this issue?

HB 366 is a 10-page bill and very complicated:

However, the first two links as follows are the most helpful for a quick study of the bill and its current status:

  1. Overview of the current status of the bill as it moves through Committee:

  1. The “ Fiscal Note” has a good summary of HB366 in the first few paragraphs and also asks for expenses to pay for the Governor to travel to the Article V Convention as a delegate to the Convention :

  1. This is the actual 10-page bill:

ATTACHED is an updated resource list of all the materials recommended to study the entire issue of Convention of States and other Article V Convention endeavors.

Also, I have also ATTACHED a list of the resources that I have pulled from that list relating to the BBA only, so you will not have to search for them.

Also, I have attached a material provided to me by Judi Caler in California. Judi heads up Citizens Against an Article V Convention. Judi has been working with me on this issue as California had to deal with Compact/BBA before North Carolina. Today, she is sending this information to all members of the NC House Appropriations Committee. Also, I distributed it to every member of the NC House Judiciary I Committee who was present at last week’s August 5 hearing.

Judi’s information will be helpful to you in considering what to say to your own House Representative and other Representatives if this issue comes to the House Floor for a vote.


What is the next step for us?

I’ll let you know what the next step is as soon as possible. Be on the lookout for my alert.  WE CAN DEFEAT THIS BILL!  Even though the NC House Judiciary I Committee passed it on to Appropriations, it does not mean the Committee members who voted to pass it on will vote for HB366 if it goes to the House Floor for a vote. For example, House Judiciary I Committee Member, Representative Allen McNeill stated at the hearing that he had wrestled back and forth with the issue and was ready for it to go to the House Floor for a fuller debate. That may be why several Committee members passed it on to Appropriations.

It has been recommended to me by two NC House Representatives that we contact EVERY MEMBER of the House Appropriations Committee to voice our objections. This is a very large Committee. It has 84 members.

Very shortly, I will send you information regarding several ways that you can contact the members of the Appropriations Committee along with points that you can make to them.

In the meantime, please study up on this issue so you will have the understanding to oppose it.  Although Convention of States was the first issue we tackled as the newly formed No Convention of States North Carolina, the Compact for a Balanced Budget Amendment has been at this much longer – actually working to achieve a Convention for decades – and well-funded by power elites such as the Rockefellers and Amerian Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 27 states have approved an application at present. We cannot allow North Carolina to join them.

Yours for the Constitution,

Wynne Coleman

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