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Senate panel OKs Colorado-style revenue cap

On a party-line vote, the Senate Budget Committee passed a proposed constitutional amendment Wednesday that asks voters to put a new revenue cap in the state Constitution. The vote was 14-6, with all Republicans voting yes and all Democrats voting no.

The bill (SJR 958) by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale,  is commonly known as TABOR, an acronym for Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and is similar to a Colorado revenue cap that was approved in 1992 but suspended in 2005. Bogdanoff's proposal ties future revenue limits to a growth factor based on population and inflation and curbs future borrowing. It does not apply to counties and cities.

Supporters hailed the proposal as necessary fiscal restraint and a brake on excessive spending. Opponents said it's unnceessary because a revenue cap already exists in the Constitution and that basic services could be crippled. The AARP, AFL-CIO and League of Women Voters all testified in opposition.

Both houses would have to pass the proposal by a three-fifths margin, and 60 percent of voters would have to say yes in the 2012 general election. 

-- Steve Bousquet