State Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Indianapolis) today filed House Joint Resolution 1 to limit state and local government spending.
The proposed constitutional amendment would prohibit units of government from increasing spending by more than the average increase in personal income.
Rep. Murphy's constitutional amendment to limit government spending differs from others that have come before the General Assembly in the past; they call only for limits on local government spending. This proposed amendment would cap spending for all units of Indiana government.
"Permanent spending limits are needed now more than ever before. With Indiana's budget-writing difficulty, high unemployment rates and projected revenue shortfalls, now is the time to act," Rep. Murphy said.
The process to amend the Indiana Constitution is long, requiring passage in two consecutive, separately elected General Assemblies and then a voter referendum. If Rep. Murphy's bill is successful, the amendment could be in place in as few as three years.
"Hoosier families cannot spend their way out of hard times, and neither should their government," Rep. Murphy said. "Our state constitution should require the people's government to spend taxpayer dollars responsibly and frugally.
"Gov. Daniels has made great strides to curb state government's ever-growing appetite for spending. However, we need this constitutional safeguard to protect taxpayers from future spendthrifts."
Rep. Murphy began efforts to create this constitutional amendment shortly after the conclusion of the 2007 legislative session, when the General Assembly failed to provide permanent property tax relief for Hoosier homeowners, and has reintroduced the resolution in each legislative session since then.