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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2018 10:08 AM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Taxpayer Protection Act – Constitutional Amendment
In the near future, I will reintroduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish the “Taxpayer Protection Act” to control future increases in state government spending. This legislation was Senate Bill 173 from last session.

My bill seeks to limit the growth of state spending by indexing it to two objective standards of measure, with the lower of the two determining the rate of spending. The standards of measure are:

· The average change in personal income for the three preceding calendar years, OR;
· The average inflation rate plus the average percentage change in state population over the three preceding years (with exceptions for certain extraordinary circumstances).

The “Taxpayer Protection Act” would allow the legislature to exceed this limit in any year with a two-thirds supermajority vote of both houses.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, thirty states operate under a tax or expenditure limitation. Pennsylvania is in the minority of states having no controls.

Because the proposal requires amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to make this change permanent, the legislation would require passage by the General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions before being placed on the ballot and receiving approval by voters.

Please join me in cosponsoring this bill.

Introduced as SB116