How to Address Federal Dysfunction

New Video Series on Restoring the Balance of Power Between Washington and the States

The ALEC Center to Restore the Balance of Government released a series of  videos to educate state lawmakers on how to use Article V of the Constitution to call for a Convention of the States to help the nation meet some of its most vexing challenges by restoring the balance of power between the federal government and the states.

“The best answers to America’s problems come from the states,” stated ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson. “The most powerful tool that America’s Founding Fathers gave to the states is Article V – the potential to make lasting national change by proposing and ratifying constitutional amendments.”

The videos, produced in partnership with the Article V Information Center, a project of the Independence Institute, give state lawmakers practical tools and insights into how a Convention of States can address the nation’s problems.

The video series features ALEC Board of Scholars member and America’s leading expert on Article V Professor Rob Natelson.

“America’s Founders predicted that our country would someday face a crisis like we face now,” said Natelson. “They also predicted that if Congress were part of the problem, Congress would probably not act to fix it. So, they added a procedure to the Constitution to allow the state legislatures to bypass Congress and address the issue directly. These videos will answer frequently asked questions about the process of calling for a Convention for Proposing Amendments, commonly referred to as a Convention of the States.”

With federalism as an ALEC guiding principle, ALEC has educated state legislators about the states’ responsibility to lead when dysfunction makes the federal government the source rather than the solution to America’s challenges.

In the 1980s and 1990s, ALEC was in the forefront of the Article V amendments convention movement, with model policy calling for a convention of the states to propose a federal balanced budget amendment.

In 2011, ALEC published the first edition of our Article V Handbook to serve as a guide to state legislators interested in learning more about the process and updated it in 2016 to incorporate new scholarship. However, there’s more to our Article V work than The Handbook. Over 20 years, ALEC has published articles, hosted webinars and included informational opportunities at ALEC national conferences on Article V.

“The states are ready to lead, and these videos are an important Article V resource and will serve as a valuable guide to state lawmakers seeking to meet some of America’s greatest challenges,” added Karla Jones, ALEC Senior Task Force Director for Federalism. “Real solutions to America’s problems can be found in the states—America’s fifty laboratories of democracy—not in one-size fits all federal government policies that disregard regional differences and local community needs.”


In Depth: Federalism

Genuine accountability to hardworking taxpayers results when state and local legislators work with members of the community to determine a plan of action that is right for each individual state, city or town. Real solutions to America’s challenges can be found in the states – America’s fifty laboratories of democracy…

+ Federalism In Depth