House adopts resolution calling for Article V convention

Constitution 1By Bob Eschliman


The Iowa House of Representatives voted on a resolution Thursday that applies to Congress to call for a “convention of states” outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

The purpose of that convention would be to propose amendments to the Constitution to impose fiscal restraints upon, and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. The request was filed in House Joint Resolution 8, which was adopted after nearly 20 minutes of debate.

State Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights), floor manager for the resolution, also filed an amendment. It references similar requests made by the states of Georgia, Florida, and Alaska, and states that any Iowa delegates are not allowed to consider any other issues beyond those stated in the resolution.

In his opening remarks, Hagenow said the resolution was meant to be a non-political issue in which the legislature represented the interests of its constituents. He noted public opinion polls that show Iowans are largely content with their state government, but very unhappy with the federal government.

State Rep. Mary Lynn Wolfe (D-Clinton), who served on the subcommittee that reviewed the resolution, said that even with Hagenow’s amendment, HJR 8 was too broad, opening Iowa’s potential delegates to “consider anything.” Her concerns stem from the “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government” wording of the resolution.

She recommended a “yes” vote on the amendment, as it limited the scope of the resolution, but recommended a “no” vote on the bill overall.

Hagenow also took questions from state Reps. Deborah Berry (D-Waterloo), Sharon Steckman (D-Mason City), and Art Staed (D-Cedar Rapids) regarding how the convention of states would work, and the level of control the General Assembly would have over Iowa’s delegation.

HJR 8 ultimately was adopted on a 54-43 party line vote.


CLICK HERE to see debate on the resolution.


The House also adopted the following bills on unanimous, or nearly unanimous votes:

  • House File 3 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to invasion of privacy and trespassing, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 6 – an act to expand the criminal offense of and applicability of related penalties for sexual exploitation by a school employee to include all school district employees, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 283 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to the time period over which payments are made under the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship program, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 284 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to the limitation on the annual amount of an Iowa tuition grant paid to a qualified student, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 299 – an act to prohibit the use of agreements concerning private land owners entered into by the Loess Hills Development and Conservation Authority or the Loess Hills Alliance, adopted 95-1.
  • House File 346 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to at-risk, alternative and alternative school, and returning dropout and dropout prevention programs and funding, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 503 – an act to exclude certain show animals from formulas used to calculate the capacity of animal feeding operations, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 529 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to the governance of drainage or levee districts by drainage district boards, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 544 – an act to adds waste conversion technologies as preferred management techniques for disposal of solid waste, adopted 96-0.
  • House File 563 – an act to require motor vehicle recyclers to comply with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 583 – an act to require permitting and regulation of animal truck washes as a means to control effluent, and to regulate the storage and application of effluent, adopted 97-0.
  • House File 597 – an act to require an itemized list of fees and fines and the entities that receive them whenever a citation is issued as a result of automatic traffic enforcement cameras, adopted 97-0.