Monday, November 21, 2005

TABOR trudging forward

A Republican-led effort to cap state spending has been underway (mostly under the radar) for a few weeks now (see prev. here), working via two simultaneous routes, legislative and constitutional. The Inquirer looked at these so-called TABOR measures over the weekend:
[T]he governor's office released a lengthy analysis arguing that a state cap could lead to increased local taxes to maintain programs, particularly in education.

The analysis also says that inflation is a bad measure for the needs of state government programs. The inflation index is based such consumer costs as food and housing, while state governments fund services like health care and education.
The efforts may be moving faster than they would otherwise because of leadership desire to shift attention from the pay-raise furor. Much of the debate right now centers on Governor Rendell, who could veto this measure if it gets approved, but might fear pressure over the issue in his re-election campaign next year.

There is much local concern that this measure could be a disaster, requiring slashes in government services and investments in the future; many point to the experience of Colorado, which is now repealing its similar legislation after feeling the pinch. Dan at YPP is sounding the alarm, and blog-mate BAM made the argument earlier here, also noting that these bills were rushed through without any public hearings. Expect this to get a bit more notice in coming days.

I missed this piece in the Phila Weekly about this topic -- a good overview with consideration of the pros, cons, and concerns. (via Dan at YPP)


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