2006 Initiative Petitions
Approved for Circulation in Missouri
Constitutional Amendment to Add a New Article XIV – Pertaining to Finance and Spending
THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT
Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:
To add a new Article XIV with subsections to the Missouri Constitution. The entire section is new matter underlined as follows:
FINANCE AND SPENDING
Section 1. Notwithstanding limitations in any other article of this constitution, the Missouri legislature is prohibited from making appropriations for the expenditure of state funds in amounts in excess of the provisions contained herein without direct voter approval as provided by this constitution. The terms of this Article are intended to be in addition to and complementary of those of Article 10 and are specifically not intended to alter, reduce or enlarge the limitations contained therein.
Section 2. As used in the Article:
(1) “Inflation” means the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Midwest Region of the United States, or its successor publications, as defined and officially reported by the United States Department of Labor, or its successor agency.
(2) “Population” means the number of people residing in the state, excluding armed forces stationed overseas, as determined by the annual Federal Census estimates as calculated according the procedures established as of the effective date of this Act, or successor procedures, and such number shall be adjusted every decade to match the Federal Census.
(3) “Fiscal year spending” means the total amount of spending limit revenues legislatively appropriated to be expended in a fiscal year.
(4) “Fiscal year” means any designated accounting period consisting of 12 consecutive months.
(5) “State” means the state government including all branches, state offices, authorities, agencies, boards, commissions, institutions, instrumentalities and any division or unit of state government which are directly supported, in whole or in part, with tax funds.
(6) “Multi-year indebtedness” means any bond, note, debenture, interim certificate, grant and revenue anticipation note, lease-purchase agreement, lease, certificate of participation or other evidence of indebtedness which, in any such case, is entered into or establishes a debt obligation for longer than one fiscal year, whether or not the interest on which is subject to federal income taxation.
(7) "Emergency" means an extraordinary event or occurrence that could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented and that requires immediate expenditure to preserve the health, safety, and general welfare of the people. A shortfall in expected revenues shall not constitute an emergency.
(8) “Spending limit revenues” means all money received by the state from any source except:
(a) money received from the federal government;
(b) proceeds borrowed by means of multi-year indebtedness;
(c) revenues designated exclusively for the payment of principal and interest on all multi-year indebtedness incurred on or before November 7, 2006, and multi-year indebtedness incurred thereafter if also approved by a majority of voters casting ballots at a statewide general election in an even-numbered year;
(d) money distributed from unemployment and disability insurance funds, the Facilities Maintenance Reserve Fund, permanent endowment funds, trust funds or pension funds in the administration of those funds;
(e) money transferred from the Emergency Fund pursuant to this Article;
(f) payments of discretionary user charges or fees to the extent that such charges or fees do not exceed the approximate cost of providing specific goods or services to the user where purchase by the user is voluntary and not a requirement to operate a business, seek employment in a trade or practice in a profession;
(g) proceeds from the sale of government property to non-governmental entities at real market value;
(h) proceeds of gifts or bequests with purposes specified by the donor.
Section 3. The state is prohibited in any fiscal year from increasing fiscal year spending above the State Spending Limit established herein.
(1) For any state fiscal year that commences on or after January 1, 2007, increases in fiscal year spending shall be subject to a State Spending Limit that is: (i) the total amount of fiscal year spending in the preceding fiscal year increased by a percentage amount equal to the result obtained by adding the percentage change in inflation plus the percentage change in state population from January 1 of the year in which the immediately preceding fiscal year began to January 1 immediately preceding the start of the fiscal year for which the appropriation is to be made OR, (ii) the State Spending Limit for the previous fiscal year; whichever amount is greater.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the State Spending Limit calculation for a fiscal year may be increased if the following conditions are met:
(a) The decision to increase the State Spending Limit receives the approval of a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber and the approval of a majority of voters casting ballots at a statewide general election; and,
(b) The maximum total dollar amount of the proposed increase in the State Spending Limit is predetermined legislatively, limited to altering the spending limit for a specific fiscal year and a prominently placed ballot advisory instructs voters: ‘A “YES” VOTE ON THIS MEASURE WILL AUTHORIZE THE STATE TO INCREASE GOVERNMENT SPENDING BEYOND CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS BY [insert proposed spending limit increase stated in dollars and cents].’
(3) Whenever spending limit revenues exceed the State Spending Limit for a fiscal year, those excess revenues not otherwise rebated to taxpayers pursuant to Article 10, Section 18(b), or specifically distributed or reserved by a provision of this constitution shall be designated as “surplus” and assigned as follows:
(a) To the Emergency Reserve Fund, which fund is hereby created, until such point where the balance of the fund is an amount equal to 3% percent of the State Spending Limit. The Emergency Reserve Fund shall be in addition to, and shall not be used to meet, any other reserve requirement of this constitution or of law. Money in the Emergency Reserve Fund may be expended only for an emergency declared by law that meets the definition within this Article. Appropriation from the fund may only occur upon a three-fourths approval vote of all elected members of each house of the General Assembly. Interest or other income earned on the emergency reserve fund shall accrue to the fund and unused revenues shall carry forward to the next fiscal year. If any transfers from the Emergency Reserve Fund are determined illegitimate in a legal proceeding, such transfers must be replaced, with interest, from spending limit revenues in proceeding fiscal year.
(b) After any amount required to be transferred to the Emergency Reserve Fund an amount of any remaining surplus, if any, shall be transferred in a manner prescribed by the legislature by law to the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund, which fund is hereby created in the state treasury.
(i) The amount transferred to the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund in accordance with this subsection shall be equal to the lesser of (1) the amount necessary to bring the total of the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund to an amount equal to 10% of the State Spending Limit for the ensuing fiscal year, or (2) the amount equal to 50% of any such remaining excess amount of total state revenues. Income earned on the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund shall accrue to the fund.
(ii) For any fiscal year that commences on or after July 1, 2008 if the total amount of spending limit revenues is less than the amount of the State Spending Limit, the state treasurer may transfer money from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund to the general fund from available funds in the minimum amounts necessary to offset the shortfall. Under no other circumstances shall the state treasurer transfer money from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund.
(iii) Any remaining surplus shall be rebated to those individual taxpayers who have filed personal income tax returns with the state in proportion to the tax liability of all such taxpayers equal to the amount of any remaining surplus. Rebates shall be in the form of checks payable to each taxpayer for any amounts not offset by an existing tax liability and exceeding $25 for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, and adjusted for inflation thereafter. Otherwise rebates may be in the form of individual credit against present or future tax liability to the state. Any rebate amounts not distributed or credited to individuals as described in this subsection within 180 days of the end of a fiscal year shall bear interest of 4% per annum above the Federal Funds Rate established by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from the end of that fiscal year until the debt is repaid. Any such interest shall be counted as fiscal year spending for the purposes of the State Spending Limit for the fiscal year in which it accrues. In the event the surplus exceeds the total amount of state individual income tax receipts or the state individual income tax is eliminated, the Legislature shall adopt another method of affording proportionate relief to Missouri taxpayers.
Section 4. Notwithstanding other provisions of this constitution or other law, any taxpayer of the state, county, or other political subdivision shall have standing to bring suit in a circuit court of proper venue and additionally, when the state is involved, in the Missouri Supreme Court, to enforce the provisions of this Article, and, if the suit is sustained, shall receive from the applicable unit of government his costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in maintaining such suit.
Section 5. The provisions for voter approval contained in this Article do not abrogate or alter other provisions of the constitution requiring voter approval to incur bonded indebtedness and to authorize certain taxes.
Section 6. The provisions contained in this Article are self-enforcing; provided, however, that the general assembly may enact laws implementing such provisions that are not inconsistent with the purposes of said sections.