[r90] Murphy Will Re-Introduce State Spending Limits in Special Session (5/11/2009)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Start Date: 5/11/2009 All Day
End Date: 5/11/2009
STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Indianapolis) today announced he will re-introduce in the upcoming special session a resolution to limit state and local government spending. 

The proposed constitutional amendment will prohibit units of government from increasing spending by more than the average increase in personal income. 

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. 

"The need for this type of spending control has never been more evident," Rep. Murphy said. "In light of the recent budget problems and revenue shortfalls, it's clear that now, more than ever before, we need constitutional caps on spending.

"Government should not be able to grow faster than the average person's ability to pay.  For example, if personal income increases by 2 percent, government spending should not increase by more than 2 percent." 

Rep. Murphy's constitutional amendment to limit government spending differs from others that have come before the General Assembly in the past, which only call for limits on local government spending.  This proposed amendment would cap all units of government spending in Indiana - including the state.

"We can't offer gimmicks or accounting tricks to create the illusion of a fiscally responsible budget.  If households have to spend less in tough times, governments should, as well," Rep. Murphy said.  "Families can't go to their next-door neighbor to borrow money, and governments shouldn't be able to borrow their way out of revenue shortfalls.

"It's time our state constitution reflects that state government is the peoples' government." 

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.