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State Senator Authors Resolution To Repeal Indiana's Ratification Of 17th Amendment

Indiana Senate Republicans

An Indiana state senator wants to change the way US senators are elected.

Until the 17th Amendment was ratified a century ago, senators weren't elected directly, but by state legislatures.

Charlestown State Senator Jim Smith says the idea was to make senators responsive to their states‘ concerns.

He argues the switch to direct election has contributed to a shift in the balance of power from the states to the federal government.

Smith says it‘s separated senators from state concerns and made it harder to remove them.

"As the needs of the state of Indiana change," says Smith,"then we would essentially ask that our U.S. senators act in that manner."

Smith has introduced a resolution to rescind Indiana‘s ratification.

The measure wouldn't have any practical impact, even if all 50 states followed suit.

But Smith says it could start a debate over whether tor repeal the amendment.

He notes Indiana is at the forefront of a move to force a constitutional convention to discuss a balanced-budget amendment and questions of federal overreach, and says the resolution could generate momentum to get a repeal amendment on the agenda too.

The resolution had been set for a hearing this week, but Smith‘s pulled it while he tries to round up enough votes.

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