US Capitol

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is raising questions about measures that would add Wisconsin to the states calling for a constitutional convention to address federal spending issues.

J. David Ake, Associated Press

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is putting the brakes on fast-moving proposals that would add Wisconsin to the growing list of states calling for a constitutional convention. But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says now is the time.

Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Thursday that senators are not yet “up to speed on implications” of the Republican-backed proposals. His comments came just minutes after a Senate committee voted along party lines to advance the measures.

Fitzgerald says backers need to walk senators through what the measures would do and “we’ll see if there is momentum.”

Fitzgerald says he has questions about the scope of what a constitutional convention would look like.

Vos, a co-sponsor of one of the measures, said hours later that a convention to change the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget is overdue. He says the U.S. Congress needs outside pressure to take action.

Republican Sen. Chris Kapenga wants Wisconsin to be the 30th of 34 needed states to call a convention to modify the U.S. Constitution to require the federal government have a balanced budget.

The Senate Committee on Financial Services, Constitution and Federalism voted 3-2 on Thursday to move a group of proposals from Kapenga forward.

Democratic committee members Sens. Fred Risser and Kathleen Vinehout voted against the measures.

They argued state lawmakers should leave it to the U.S. Congress to alter the Constitution. Republican Sens. David Craig, Dan Feyen and Duey Stroebel voted for the proposals.

Fitzgerald’s comments raise questions about when, and if, the full Senate could take up the measures.

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