Do State Budget Rules Affect Welfare Spending?

Research Report

Do State Budget Rules Affect Welfare Spending?

Abstract

Constitutional and legislated state budget rules limiting deficits, total spending, and total or particular tax burdens have a long history. Their existence suggests a belief that unfettered legislators would borrow, tax, and spend more than desired by a majority of voters. Rules details vary greatly among the states, with some easier to circumvent than others. The famous Proposition 13, enacted in California at the height of the tax revolt of the late 1970s in order to limit property tax burdens, has been largely offset by new fees and charges.

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