Political Notebook

SALEM — Tax activists have filed a proposed initiative that would ask voters in November to limit state spending.

The activists, including Russ Walker of Citizens for a Sound Economy, concede that there might not be enough time to gather the 100,000 signatures needed by the July 2 deadline and that they might urge the Legislature to take up the issue.

Some lawmakers are circulating a plan for a June special session that combines a new spending limit with creation of a rainy day fund to protect programs during economic downturns.

The initiative, filed by Don McIntire and Jason Williams, would create a new spending limit to replace the one tied to Oregonians’ income. They say the current limit is so loosely drawn that it doesn’t curtail spending.

Their proposal would limit state spending to the percentage change in inflation plus the percentage change in population growth. An override of the limit would require a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate, plus approval of Oregon voters.

Key Republicans in both chambers said Tuesday they are circulating a plan that would impose a new spending limit. Some of the revenue the state collects beyond the spending limit would go into a rainy day fund, and the rest would provide income tax kicker refunds to taxpayers.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski supports a rainy day fund but isn’t ready to back a new spending limit, spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn said.

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