Cavaletto Helps Sponsor Balanced Budget Amendment

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Published on March 22 2013 6:24 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

State Representative John Cavaletto of Salem joined his House Republican colleagues stressing the need for a new, effective Constitutional Amendment that will require lawmakers to pass a budget that is truly balanced – or not be paid.

“I went to Springfield to work to pass a balanced budget and fight for lower taxes. This proposed Constitutional Amendment that I’m co-sponsoring will force our government to stop overspending and start living within its means,” Rep. Cavaletto said.

House Republicans introduced House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 32 to put real “teeth” into the state’s balanced budget requirement. It demands that within 30 days of the enactment of a budget, the Auditor General’s Office must certify that the budget will be balanced with expenses not exceeding expected revenue. If the Auditor General declares that the budget is not balanced then the Comptroller will:

o    Stop payment for the salary of General Assembly members and Constitutional Officers; and

o    Stop all payments, besides those affecting public safety of the State, required by law, or required by the federal government

HJRCA 32 also requires that within 10 days of the Auditor General declaring the budget is not balanced, the General Assembly must convene to address the unbalanced budget. Upon passage of a new budget, the Auditor General must certify if it is balanced, and only then will the Comptroller be allowed to continue payments. 

If at any time the current fiscal year budget becomes unbalanced, the Comptroller must alert the General Assembly and Governor.  The same protocol must then be followed as if the Auditor General declared the budget unbalanced.

If adopted by the General Assembly, the new constitutional balanced budget amendment would then be placed on the ballot for approval by voters statewide in 2014.