Missouri House mulls constitutional spending limit

Thursday, January 19, 2012 | 7:35 a.m. CST; updated 12:02 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 19, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members are preparing to consider a proposed amendment to the state Constitution to limit increases in state spending.

The measure would cap budget increases at 1.5 percent of the revenue collected in the previous year plus the rates of inflation and population change. Extra revenues could be used to pay debt, increase the state's reserves and possibly allow for a tax cut.

The House was expected to consider the measure Thursday.

Majority House Republicans say the spending limit is a priority. Supporters say it would make budget decisions more sustainable and soften the severity of cuts in tight years. Critics argue it would curtail lawmakers' ability to make decisions.

Approval by the Legislature would put the measure to a statewide vote.

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