Good Government

| January 31, 2010

Governors Propose Constitutional Spending Caps

On December 28, 2009, Amy Merrick of The Wall Street Journal reported ("Pawlenty Pushes Caps on Spending") that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty "is calling for strict spending limits as states and the federal government confront enormous deficits. ... Mr. Pawlenty has proposed an amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would limit spending during any two-year budget period to the amount of revenue collected during the previous budget cycle. ... Mr. Pawlenty's state proposal has some similarities to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights amendment passed in Colorado in 1992. That amendment limited state spending growth to inflation plus population increases. Excess revenue was returned to taxpayers via rebate checks."

On January 6, 2010, the Associated Press reported ("Texas Governor Calls for Discipline in State Spending") that Texas Gov. Rick Perry "proposed constitutional amendments Wednesday that would require a supermajority of the Legislature to raise taxes and to cap the growth of state spending at a level tied to inflation and population growth. Perry said his proposals would solidify the ‘state's commitment to fiscal discipline.'"

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