SB105: U.S. Constitution; establishes procedure for appointing delegates to a convention to amend.


SENATE BILL NO. 105
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections
on February 4, 2014)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Ruff)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 2 of Title 24.2 an article numbered 4.1, consisting of a section numbered 24.2-216.1, relating to a convention to amend the United States Constitution; selection and participation of Virginia delegates.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 2 of Title 24.2 an article numbered 4.1, consisting of a section numbered 24.2-216.1, as follows:

Article 4.1.
Delegates to a Convention to Amend the United States Constitution.

§ 24.2-216.1. Selection and participation of delegates to a convention to amend the United States Constitution.

A. Any time a convention is called pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, the selection of delegates from the Commonwealth to such convention and their participation shall be governed as follows:

1. The General Assembly shall appoint delegates and alternates who shall be residents of the Commonwealth and shall otherwise meet the same qualifications necessary to hold office in the General Assembly. Delegates and alternates may include persons holding public office, except that no member of the United States House of Representatives or Senate shall be eligible.

2. Each delegate and alternate shall, by oath or affirmation as provided for in Article II, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, and as a condition of participating in the convention, agree to faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon a convention delegate, including the duty to abide by those instructions established by joint resolution of the General Assembly that relate to the permitted scope of the Convention as set forth in the Article V Resolutions relied upon by the United States Congress to call the Convention and to not act outside the scope of such instructions.

3. After delegates have been selected, the General Assembly may by joint resolution recall delegates, alternates, or observers to such convention or appoint new delegates, alternates, or observers.

B. The General Assembly may select one or more members of the United States House of Representatives or Senate to attend as observers.

C. Prior to the convention, the General Assembly shall by joint resolution provide instructions to the delegates selected pursuant to subsection A regarding the scope of matters they may consider and vote on at a convention, including rules of procedure and proposed amendments. Such instructions may be changed prior to or during the course of the convention.

D. Should the provisions of subsection A be in conflict with the rules or procedures established by the convention, the General Assembly may by joint resolution conform the provisions of subsection A to such rules or procedures.

E. Expenses for delegates to travel to and participate in such convention shall be paid according to the per diem rate established for members of the General Assembly as provided in § 30-19.12.

SENATE BILL NO. 105

Offered January 8, 2014
Prefiled December 27, 2013
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 30 a chapter numbered 55, consisting of sections numbered 30-348, 30-349, and 30-350, relating to a convention to amend the United States Constitution; delegates.
Patrons-- Ruff; Delegate: Bell, Richard P.

Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 30 a chapter numbered 55, consisting of sections numbered 30-348, 30-349, and 30-350, as follows:

CHAPTER 55.
DELEGATES TO A CONVENTION TO AMEND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

§ 30-348. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Application" means a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly or an application made by the legislature of any other state calling for a convention and relied on by the United States Congress in calling a convention.

"Convention" means a convention for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution called for by the states pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution.

"Delegate" means an individual who is appointed by the General Assembly to represent the Commonwealth at a convention.

§ 30-349. Appointment of delegates.

A. Any time a convention is called pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, the General Assembly or an official or entity designated by the General Assembly shall appoint the number of delegates allocated to represent the Commonwealth at the convention and an equal number of alternate delegates to such convention. All delegates and alternate delegates shall be residents of the Commonwealth.

B. At any time, the General Assembly may by joint resolution recall delegates or alternate delegates or appoint new delegates or alternate delegates.

C. As a condition to appointment as a delegate or alternate delegate, each delegate and alternate delegate shall, by oath or affirmation, agree to abide by the instructions for participation in the convention established by joint resolution of the General Assembly.

§ 30-350. Duties of delegates attending the convention; penalty.

A. At the time delegates and alternate delegates are appointed, the General Assembly shall by joint resolution provide instructions to the delegates regarding the scope of matters they may consider and vote on at the convention, including rules of procedure and proposed amendments. The General Assembly may amend the instructions by joint resolution prior to or during the course of the convention.

B. No delegate or alternate delegate shall vote on (i) a proposed amendment that varies from the exact text of the amendment contained in the application calling for the convention or (ii) a proposed amendment that is outside the scope of the permitted subject matter as defined in the instructions adopted by the General Assembly by joint resolution.

C. Any delegate casting or attempting to cast a vote in violation of this section shall be rendered ineligible to continue to serve as a delegate and shall be immediately removed from his office and replaced by an alternate delegate. Any vote cast in violation of this section is void.

D. Any delegate who knowingly and willfully violates this section is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation is $0 for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities and $0 for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.