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Senate committee signs off on AIM-supported resolutions

Associated Industries of Missouri supports voters having a say on imposing a constitutional spending limit, and the Association also supports the state legislature having a voice in fending off the federal government when it comes to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The Senate’s Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee this week held hearings on HJR 34 and HCR 32.

HJR 34 would allow voters to decide if they want the state of Missouri to have a constitutional cap on state spending. The result would be a limit on appropriations, with excess revenues put aside for times when revenues are insufficient until those revenues reach a certain limit. After that, any revenues would be used to lower income taxes.

“The bill is similar to language considered in previous years that would provide a constitutional limit on spending authority,” wrote AIM president Ray McCarty in testimony presented to the committee. “While the Hancock Amendment protects taxpayers against tax increases without voter approval, there is no limitation on spending authority.”

HJR 34 has already cleared the House, and approval in the Senate would send the resolution to the state’s voters.

HCR 32 is a non-binding resolution that puts the Missouri Legislature on record as opposing the EPA’s latest strenuous regulations on emissions from existing power plants.

The new rules would drastically cut emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. 80 percent of Missouri’s electricity is generated in such plants. The resolution objects to the federal government making arbitrary changes to the state’s energy policy.

The resolution goes on to say that the driving forces behind the EPA’s new rules are states that do not generate power using coal, and thus would not be impacted by the Clean Power Plan.

The Senate Committee heard testimony on the resolutions Tuesday, and did not take any further action.

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