Kupchick advocates for state spending cap

State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132) testified in support of a proposal raised by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations committee to establish and define a constitutional spending cap in state law.

Kupchick noted in testimony that this bill will take into account the taxpayers of Connecticut, which deserve a government that does not irresponsibly spend their hard-earned dollars.

“For the past 24 years, that cap has been unenforceable due to the lack of clear definitions within its language. We owe it to people to deliver on the promise of a clearly defined and enforceable constitutional spending cap and we cannot afford to wait any longer. There are no definitions in the current form of the law. With the implementation of definitions in the current law will allow for predictability transparency and sustainability of government spending in the years to come, said Rep. Brenda Kupchick. “I hope that the legislature will pass this bill, which finally seeks to control state spending, especially during these times when we are facing multi-billion dollar deficits. Residents are very worried about the future of Connecticut.  My hope is both sides of the aisle will work together on this proposal and others to repair the state structural problems”

In 1991, the General Assembly adopted a constitutional spending cap, and the cap which was ratified by the electorate on November 1992 and incorporated into Article III of the Connecticut Constitution as part of a compromise with the newly enacted state income tax.

In order for the cap to increase within a year, the increase cannot be more than the five-year average of personal income growth or the 12-month rate of inflation – whichever is greater.

The goal of the spending cap was to keep state budgets in line with increases in personal income or inflation. However, the General Assembly never defined the spending cap leaving the 28th Amendment meaningless.

Over the last four years spending has increased by $2.8 billion or nearly sixteen percent. The current fiscal year deficit is projected at $219 million, and the estimated deficit for the next biennium is $4.6 billion.

The bill: Proposed H.B. No. 5086 An Act Concerning the Constitutional Spending Cap – This proposal would implement the constitutional limitation on expenditures by the General Assembly.

The legislature’s Appropriations Committee held a public hearing on this proposal during their March 4 meeting, and the proposal now await further action.

State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

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