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Bill would cap state spending

File photo
The Missouri state house floor

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would cap state spending, based on each year’s inflation rate and population growth.  The vote split almost entirely along party lines.

Democrats argued that placing caps on state spending would tie the hands of future lawmakers and cripple social service needs that are already critically underfunded.  House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey of Kansas City disagreed.

“This legislature is not hamstringing anybody, because ultimately this goes on the ballot, and the people that elect us would decide what the limits on our power is, which, by the way, is what a constitution is…it’s the people deciding what the limits on the government are supposed to be,” Silvey said.

Democrats, however, including Leonard Hughes of Kansas City, argued that the proposed ballot measure would be redundant:

 “It doesn’t make sense…we are required already to have a balanced budget in a way that already limits what state appropriations are…44 percent of Missouri’s major highways are already congested and they’re already in poor or mediocre condition…is that efficient?” Hughes said.

The proposed ballot initiative faces one more House vote before moving to the State Senate.  If it passes the General Assembly it could go before Missouri voters this fall.

Missouri Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi (a.k.a., Ole Miss), and has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off the old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Mason, and their cat, Honey.
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