Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty last week proposed a constitutional amendment that would limit general fund spending to a level equal to revenue collections over the last two-year budget cycle.

Pawlenty wants the so-called Spending Accountability Amendment to be placed on the 2010 ballot. He said it is needed to force lawmakers to prioritize resources and for state government.

“We should let Minnesotans decide if government should live within actual revenues collected instead of predictions,” the governor said. “Doing so would force government to live within its means and stop the seemingly unending desire for more programs and more spending that put pressure on taxpayers’ wallets.”

The amendment would include a provision allowing for additional expenditures to provide for the public peace, safety, or health in the event of a national security or peacetime emergency.

The amendment needs legislative approval in order to make it on next year’s November ballot.

Democrats control the Legislature and Pawlenty, a Republican, is not seeking re-election next year. If the amendment makes it to the ballot, a majority vote would be needed for it to win approval.

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