State spending limit offers opportunity for fiscal discipline in the state

Washington— A tax and expenditure limitation appears to be on the move in the Ohio legislature. The measure is expected to come to a vote within the next week. Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell, House Speaker Jon Husted and Senate President Bill Harris have reached a compromise to enact into state law a statutory spending limit. The legislative version will contain components of the ballot measure that is set to appear on the ballot in November, including limiting the state’s general revenue growth at 3.5 percent a year.

“Due to the leadership of Ken Blackwell, Ohio is taking an important first step towards fiscal responsibility,” commented Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, “By forcing big spenders to live within their means, Ohio taxpayers will reap the benefits of controlled spending.”

Since 1994, Ohio state government spending has grown at a rate of 71 percent; while Ohio’s state and local tax burden has remained among the worst in the nation.

“Experience has shown that statutory spending caps are easily ‘suspended’ and tossed out when they become inconvenient for tax and spenders," continued Norquist. "While any spending limitation is a positive step for Ohio, there is no question a constitutional amendment put in place by legislators or voters at the ballot box will hold up stronger against the forces of rampant spending.”