Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spending Cap Legislation Introduced in North Carolina House

Representative John Blust (R - Guilford) recently introduced a bill in the North Carolina House that would tie budget growth to inflation and population. The legislation (House Bill 188) is widely known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR.

Blust, a Republican, has pushed for this kind of legislation for the better part of 10 years. But because Blust has been in the legislative minority, he was not able to get the legislation through the Democrat-controlled legislature. Now that Republicans are in the majority, however, Blust will likely have more success in getting the legislation to pass.

TABOR would limit the growth of the state budget by tying allowable spending to changes in inflation and population. This is a good thing, because it will help to keep the state budget under control and force politicians to be more accountable with taxpayer dollars.

If the bill ends up passing the General Assembly, it will go before the voters as a constitutional amendment. If approved by the voters, the amendment would require a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly in order for lawmaker's to exceed the spending limits.

If TABOR ends up becoming law, it will help to stabilize the financial future of North Carolina.