By Maggie Thurber | for Ohio Watchdog
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is calling on states to lead the effort to enact a balance budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Touting his success in overcoming an $8-billion budget shortfall when he took office in 2011, Kasich on Thursday said the states have set an example the federal government needs to follow.
“We balance our budget in Ohio every year as does almost every other state in the nation. It’s not always easy and some states do it better than others, but in Ohio we get it done because it’s the right way to manage taxpayers’ money and it helps create a jobs-friendly climate,” he said in the release.
“The federal government just doesn’t get it and its inability to manage the American taxpayers’ money is inexcusable.”
Kasich called for a constitutional convention to approve a balanced-budget amendment.
“The states set a better example of fiscal responsibility and the states should call for a constitutional convention where a balanced budget amendment can be approved and sent to the states for ratification,” the release said. “Hopefully, however, Congress will pass an amendment itself before it gets that far. In the meantime, I’m going to work with the General Assembly to put Ohio behind this effort. Our nation’s future stability requires it and the American people deserve it.”
It takes 34 states to call for a convention to be held and 38 states to ratify a constitutional amendment. Approximately 20 states have resolutions outstanding calling for constitutional conventions for the purpose of enacting a balanced-budget amendment. The Ohio General Assembly has considered similar resolutions several times in the past, including a resolution introduced by then state Sen. Kasich in 1981, but they have never been approved.
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor was calling for a constitutional convention to discuss “only a balanced budget amendment.” But he noted that since there has been no constitutional convention since 1787, “it’s tough to predict exactly what a convention could or could not consider.”