How long could a proposed constitutional budget amendment impact education spending? “Forever.” (w/video)

By: - August 12, 2015 8:28 pm

The Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a proposed constitutional budget amendment that could sharply restrict state spending in future years, if the measure passes the state House and wins approval by the voters next year.

Senate Bill 607, which passed on 3rd reading 31-14, would cap the state’s personal income tax rate at 5 percent and would limit state spending growth to inflation plus population growth. Yet another provision would establish a rainy day fund requiring a two-thirds majority to tap into the emergency account.

Supporters contend the initiative will force future legislatures to spend sensibly.

But Senator Jeff Jackson says only Colorado has tried a similar approach, where the impact on education spending proved to be “swift and severe.”

Jackson says he’s troubled the public did not have a chance to weigh in on the proposal before his chamber advanced the legislation.

The bill now moves to the NC House, where members may give heed to State Treasurer Janet Cowell’s recent warning.

Sen. Jeff Jackson joins Policy Watch this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss SB 607 and the impact of the delayed state budget on local school districts. Click below for a preview of that radio interview.

To see how your own state senator voted on SB 607, click here.

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Clayton Henkel
Clayton Henkel

Communications Coordinator Clayton Henkel manages the NC Newsline website and daily newsletter, while also producing daily audio commentaries and the weekly News and Views radio program/podcast.