May 4, 2016 11:08 AM

The House and Governmental Affairs Committee has been debating several different bills aimed at reforming how the Legislature does its job and has rejected many of them, but it did advance a framework recently for a possible constitutional convention.

HB 733 by Ways and Means Chairman Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, would leave it up to an “Evaluation and Drafting Committee” to determine if a convention is really needed and then, and only then, would it be called.

The study group would develop a plan and a draft constitution that would be debated and voted on by 123 delegates, of which 105 would be elected from existing House districts and 18 would be appointed.

Abramson said the state’s guiding charter, drafted in 1974, has become bloated with 183 amendments that lawmakers have sent to voters.

“We put everything in the Constitution, even things that shouldn’t be in there,” he said.

If his bill passes and the study committee calls for a convention, it would lead to a new constitution by May of 2018.

The measure has been recommitted to the Appropriations Committee for another hearing. If passed there, it would then move to House floor.