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UPDATE: Missouri House approves constitutional spending limit

Thursday, January 19, 2012 | 12:14 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members have approved a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that limits increases in state spending.

The measure would cap annual spending increases at 1.5 percent of the revenue collected in the previous year plus the rates of inflation and population change. Additional money would be used for debt and two state reserve funds. Eventually it could permit an income tax cut.

House members on Thursday approved the measure 105-54, which sends the proposal to the Senate.

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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