A False Cap on State Spending
H.3152 is a reintroduction of last session’s H.3533. Just like its predecessor, H.3152 would create a new spending limit reserve fund into which all General Fund revenues beyond the appropriations limit (106 percent of the General Fund revenue estimate given by the Board of Economic Advisors on February 15) would be placed. The fund would replenish the General Fund if its balance is less than that required by law, but could also be drawn from for a number of select projects, including temporary tax reductions, infrastructure improvements, schools buildings, school buses, and expenses incurred by the state from natural disasters. So while spending appears to be capped, in reality all that is accomplished is pushing spending from one year to the next and directing a higher percent of state spending to favored programs.
The state doesn’t need yet another special fund. The only meaningful spending cap would be one above which all additional revenues were returned to the taxpayers.