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20 January 2012

Dugger: Protecting Missouri's Taxpayers, Ballot Boxes

Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security. The solution for America's problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God.—Norman Vincent Peale

Times of economic hardship highlight the importance of living within one’s means as well as the need to plan for the future. There is no denying the fact that Missouri faces and will continue to face numerous budget challenges. However, it is integral that as we weather the current economic woes, we not do it on the backs of Missouri’s hardworking taxpayers. That is why this week, the Missouri House moved forward with one of the key pillars of the Blueprint for Missouri, Missouri taxpayers, by passing House Joint Resolution (HJR) 43, also known as the Taxpayer Protection Act.

HJR 43 will put in place the same commonsense principles that families and businesses use when making budgetary and savings decisions. When times are good, it is important to tuck money away for those inevitable “rainy days,” rather than going on a spending binge. That way when times get rough, there is a cushion of savings to fall back on.

The Taxpayer Protection Act will limit the growth of the state budget, and thus the size and scope of government, by connecting it to the sum of population growth and the rate of inflation. Any excess money, above the allowable increase in spending, will be pooled for times when state revenue is lacking. In essence, HJR 43 will help ease the economic highs and lows while providing for long-term fiscal planning.

It is vital, even in these troublesome times, that Missouri remain economically wise. This means balancing the budget and doing so in a manner that does not place an added burden on you, the Missouri taxpayer. HJR 43, which now moves to the Senate for consideration, will provide peace of mind that not only will the rate at which the state government grows be sustainable, but that your hard earned tax dollars will be spent and saved in a responsible manner as well.

Next week, we will continue on with the Blueprint for Missouri. This time working to ensure that Missouri values are upheld. Several key pieces of legislation will be heard in various committees and face debate on the House floor. One such bill is House Bill (HB) 1104, introduced by Representative Shane Schoeller. Shoeller’s HB 1104, which will be heard in the House Committee on Elections, would require every voter to provide a form of state photo identification in order to vote. A similar bill passed both the House and the Senate last session, but ultimately was vetoed by the Governor.

For more information about the pieces of legislation mentioned above or about any others that have been introduced, please visit the House of Representatives website, As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House of Representatives.

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