AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Legislature has begun debating Gov. Greg Abbott's calls for a "convention of states" that could amend the U.S. Constitution.

Abbott has long backed legislatures nationwide convening a convention to impose a federal balanced budget amendment, term limits and other checks to thwart Washington "overreach." He made it an "emergency item," fast-tracking bills on the issue through the Texas Legislature.

A bill and proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution allowing for such a convention was introduced Thursday in the Senate State Affairs Committee. But many conservative Texans lined up to oppose it.

They worried about a "runaway" convention where liberal states could weaken things like the Second Amendment.

The proposals will likely eventually pass the committee, but still face an uncertain future before the full Texas Senate and House.