Westerman's spending cap bill passed over again | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 4, 2013

Westerman's spending cap bill passed over again

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Arkansas House Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Westerman image
  • Westerman
House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman's bill to limit general revenue spending is up for a vote in the House today after being passed over on Friday. That means Westerman at least believes he has the votes.

UPDATE: I was wrong. The bill was passed over again.

The bill has been amended several times. Initially, it arbitrarily used 3 percent as a cap, or in hard times, if the three-year average rate of change of GDP was lower, that number. Now, it's based on the rate of change of personal disposable income (here's what that looks like over the last couple of years). I haven't run the numbers to see what it would look like this year, but Westerman said on "Arkansas Week," if we used this year's numbers it would mean a 3.8 percent growth cap.

Host Steve Barnes pressed Westerman on the need of such a bill, when the legislature already controls spending through appropriations and the Revenue Stabilization Act.

"We've got two methods right now," Westerman said. "I'm proposing a third method which allows more control and more input from the General Assembly on what the growth in revenue spending is."

Of course, what the bill actually does is offer small-government lawmakers an out from spending money on programs that need funding. Sure there's an emergency clause, but the measure is obviously designed to slow the growth of government and build up massive surpluses, in order to keep the tax cuts coming.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has nicely encapsulated the damage it could do:

"Because of the recession we are investing less in education, transportation and other services — like child protection and prisons — than we have in prior years. Under HB 1041 future recessions will be even worse. By forcing the state budget to grow by a fixed amount, Arkansans will have fewer options the next time they are out of work or in need of health coverage. Economic downturns require the government to stabilize the economy when private entities decide to hoard their money and stop spending. HB 1041 prevents the state from providing for the general well-being of all Arkansans. Capping state spending now will make it impossible for us to regain the ground lost during recessions like the one we just experienced."

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The First Amendment, Yo Edition

    The latest in the legal fight to stop a law that would prevent Planned Parenthood from performing abortions in Arkansas, the cancellation of a rap show in Little Rock and its First Amendment implications, a stunning investigative report on drug court defendants being forced to work for free for Arkansas poultry companies and bellicose Tom Cotton — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Oct 13, 2017
  • Come with the Arkansas Times to the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival

    After several years of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro hosting benefit concerts to raise money for the restoration of Johnny Cash's boyhood home, this year the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival debuts in Dyess just outside the Cash homeplace. And of course the Arkansas Times is chartering a bus to be there. The lineup is spectacular: Kris Kristofferson (one of the greatest songwriters of all-time easily), Rosanne Cash, Joanne Cash and Tommy Cash and Buddy Jewel.
    • Oct 13, 2017
  • Arkansas State Fair opens the midway

    and much more.
    • Oct 12, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Arkansan on Obama's latest commutation list

    President Obama today announced commutations of the sentences of 111 federal prisoners, including one from Arkansas.
    • Aug 30, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation