State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) this week introduced House Bill 794, a bill that would enable Georgia to join with other states, including Arizona, Arkansas, and Alaska, in the Compact for a Balanced Budget. The Compact is an agreement among the participating states to invoke Article V of the U.S. Constitution to advance a powerful balanced budget amendment. Rep. Rakestraw is working closely with Rep. Andrew Welch (R-HD110), the Goldwater Institute, and Georgia legislative colleagues including Rep. Edward Lindsey (R-HD54), Rep. Josh Clark (R-HD98), Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-HD27), Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-HD115), and many others.
The Compact for a Balanced Budget is an innovative approach. It uses a binding agreement among the states to advance and ratify constitutional amendments, such as a balanced budget amendment, with the entire Article V convention process — including delegate appointments and convention rules — fully specified and safeguarded. Additional compacts, advancing many of the Liberty Amendments and other reform ideas that have supermajority support among the American people, will follow.
Rep. Rakestraw said, “This will be a breakthrough for the American people, as finally we will have the means to improve the financial health of our nation and stop the runaway spending in Washington. This forces Washington to live under a balanced budget like 49 of the 50 states do and like everyone else in American does. Moreover, it limits Washington’s ability to raise the debt ceiling. This puts a structure in place that will incent lawmakers to cut spending first and raise taxes last to balance the budget, unless Washington chooses to move us to fairer, flatter tax model.”
She added, “I’d like to thank my co-sponsors of this important bill, especially Andy Welch, who has done great work in preparing this bill to go before the Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee. “
House Bill 794 now awaits a hearing and a vote by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, in Room 132 at the Capitol. Georgia could play a historic role in bringing fiscal reform to Washington because the first state to adopt the Compact will have the right to designate the convention Chair.
Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County. She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees. Follow Rep. Rakestraw’s legislative activities here.