A spending limitation plan endorsed by Gov. Norm Bangerter barely made it out of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday. The bill, passed by a 9-7 vote, prohibits the state from spending more than allowed by a formula that includes the inflation rate and the state's population.
Bangerter and Republican leaders believe the bill satisfies concerns of voters who believe government and taxes are growing too fast.Before committee members approved the bill, however, they softened it. The bill now would allow the state to spend more than the limit under any circumstances the governor and Legislature consider to be emergencies.
Education officials and advocates for the poor are among the most vocal opponents of the bill. They contend that the state would be unable to respond to needs that do not necessarily correlate with inflation and population.
"Formulas and quotas may be good politics, but they are generally bad policy," said Steve Erickson, a lobbyist for the concerns of the poor.
The bill now goes to the House Rules Committee.