GUEST VIEW: Exercising state sovereignty in TexasState Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties.

Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott laid out a number of priority items for this session of the Texas Legislature. One of the governor’s priorities calls for a convention of states. As a staunch supporter of this, like many of you, it is important to explore the effects that a convention of states would mean for West Texans.
A convention of states essentially addresses the overreach of the federal government in mandating and intervening on state affairs. Our Founding Fathers perceived an imbalance of power and federal infringement on checks and balances, granting the states the right to convene together. This authority is founded on Article V of the United States Constitution, which provides the states authority to call a convention to place restraints on the federal government and restore the vital balance of power. In securing the sovereignty of the states, a national convention would occur if a two-thirds majority of states vote to support the cause.
Governor Abbott has proposed constitutional amendments which could be deliberated at a convention of states. These amendments would include term limits for legislators and a mandatory balanced budget for the federal government.
Like many of you, I share Governor Abbott’s views on this issue, and that’s why I support the Texas push for a convention of states. Last session, I supported House Joint Resolution 77, which called for a convention of states. This session, I am a co-author of House Joint Resolution 39, a similar piece of legislation that will continue the fight for Texas’ right to individual sovereignty and the balance of power between the states and federal government.
I know that many of us in West Texas feel strongly that the federal government, especially its bureaucracy, tends to exploit its power while straying further and further away from the Constitution. It is up to the states and those elected to represent the people to fight for our states’ rights. Regardless of the party in power in Washington, D.C., each state must ensure its sovereignty in the face of federal overreach.
God bless Texas!
State Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to serve House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties. Landgraf resides in his hometown of Odessa with his wife, Shelby, and their daughter, Hollis Rose. He works as a cattle rancher and practices law at the firm of Todd, Barron, Thomason, Hudman & Baxter, P.C. in Odessa. An Eagle Scout, Landgraf is also active in several local nonprofits.