CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Civic and economic watchdog groups are warning state lawmakers not to join the call for a new constitutional convention.
Five different bills at the legislature this year would add West Virginia to the states calling for a convention. Proponents want a balanced-budget amendment – making any kind of federal deficit unconstitutional. Economists, including many conservatives, say that would tie the government’s hands in a crisis.
Helen Gibbins, on the board of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia, agrees that in a recession, a balanced-budget amendment could have a terrible impact.
“It would depress the economy rather than helping the economy,” says Gibbins. “So then, it would be hard to grow, to be able to pay the taxes to support the government. It’s just kind of a snowball.”