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NC House panel passes idea to limit budget growth

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A popular idea among conservatives to attempt to limit the growth of government spending has been approved in a North Carolina legislative committee despite arguments it could hurt the state's ability to borrow money cheaply.
    
The panel voted mostly along party lines Thursday for a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" that ultimately would have to be approved by citizens in a constitutional referendum in November 2014.
    
The measure would limit spending growth annually to no more than population growth and inflation. Excess revenues would be placed in the state's rainy day reserve fund. Once the fund is full, extra revenues would be returned to taxpayers.
    
Deputy State Treasurer Vance Holloman told the committee the measure could tie the hands of legislators to raise revenues during difficult fiscal times.

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