Senate Joint Resolution 8221 would change the limits on the amount of money the state can borrow for bonds and revise the way the limit is calculated. Right now under the state Constitution, the state can sell bonds as long as the principal and interest it pays in any year is less than 9 percent of the general revenue the state takes in. SJR 8221 would drop that to 8.5 percent in fiscal 2014, 8.25 percent in fiscal 2016, and 8 percent in fiscal 2034. It would change that base amount to an average of revenues for the previous six years, rather than the previous three as law currently requires, but expand what’s counted as general revenues to include property taxes.
Supporters include State Treasurer Jim McIntyre and some of the Legislature’s capital budget leaders. They say the change will improve the state’s credit rating and even out borrowing that tends to spike when the economy is good and drop when it’s bad, which they argue is the opposite of what the state should do to create jobs in tough times. Opponents include the Labor Council and construction unions. They note that the state already has an excellent credit rating and say it will reduce state construction projects and shift the burden to local governments and school districts.
Should this constitutional amendment be Approved or Rejected?