Florida lawmakers are preparing to start next week's legislative session with a bang. Several controversial bills are ready for votes. That includes legislation that would limit state spending.
Republican Senate President Mike Haridopolos is pushing a joint resolution aimed at making it tougher to raise taxes in the state.
"The constitution is a limiting document on government, you're not supposed to take, extract rights from individuals,” said Haridopolos, “when you take more money from individuals, that's extracting their rights."
This new legislation, dubbed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights would cap the amount of revenue the state can take in, basing it on population growth and inflation.
But Ben Wilcox, a lobbyist with the Florida League of Women Voters says this kind of legislation was tried in Colorado in the 1990s, with disastrous results.
"Funding for schools went to the bottom, funding for public health went to the bottom, public safety,” said Wilcox, “it just really hampers government's ability to provide services that government needs to provide."
Wilcox says it ties the hands of future lawmakers, and could cripple state funding for critical services.
But Haridopolos says the state can exceed the cap in emergencies.
"If there is a unique circumstance or a super majority of members of the legislature in the future who want to extract more wealth from individuals, they can do so, it's just going to take a higher majority vote to do so," said Haridopolos.
The legislation is ready for debate on the floor of the Florida Senate next week.If approved by both chambers, voters would still have to pass it.