This afternoon, the House Ways & Means Committee may hold an executive session on HJR 56, a proposal to amend the state constitution to limit the growth of state revenue. A similar amendment in Colorado has been a failure, and business and civic leaders there have long been trying to overcome its disastrous impacts.If HJR 56 had been in effect for this fiscal year, Missouri would have been $319 million over the mandated spending limit. And the Governor’s budget proposal for FY 2017 would be $713 million over the limit Missouri is currently underfunding education by approximately $500 million a year, and is digging its way out of cuts to many other critical health and education services. Our state cannot afford arbitrary spending limits that wouldn’t allow Missouri to fund education and invest in future generations.
HJR 56 would limit the annual growth in General Revenue Appropriations to the percentage growth in Missouri population plus the percentage increase in the national inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Had this limit been in effect for FY 2016 and for FY 2017, the allowable growth in general revenue appropriations would have only been 0.3% and an estimated 1.0% for these years, respectively.