HJ723: Constitutional amendment; essential and emergency spending (first reference).

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 723

Offered January 17, 2019
Proposing an amendment to Section 7 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to essential and emergency spending.
Patron-- Cole

Committee Referral Pending

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, a majority of the members elected to each house agreeing, That the following amendment to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby is, proposed and referred to the General Assembly at its first regular session held after the next general election of members of the House of Delegates for its concurrence in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:

Amend Section 7 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia as follows:

ARTICLE X
TAXATION AND FINANCE

Section 7. Collection and disposition of State revenues.

All taxes, licenses, and other revenues of the Commonwealth shall be collected by its proper officers and paid into the State treasury. No money shall be paid out of the State treasury except in pursuance of appropriations made by law; and no such appropriation shall be made which is payable more than two years and six months after the end of the session of the General Assembly at which the law is enacted authorizing the same.

Other than as may be provided for in the debt provisions of this Constitution, the Governor, subject to such criteria as may be established by the General Assembly, shall ensure that no expenses of the Commonwealth be incurred which exceed total revenues on hand and anticipated during a period not to exceed the two years and six months period established by this section of the Constitution.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, in the event that a general appropriation act expires at a time when no other general appropriation act is in effect, the Governor is authorized to pay, from the State Treasury, with such funds as may be available, expenses related to the following essential and emergency services of the Commonwealth and any of its political subdivisions: law enforcement; firefighting; prisons and jails; courts of law; the Virginia National Guard; pension payments from the governmental employees retirement system to its members; medical and health care services; and debt service as provided in Article X, Section 9 of this Constitution. The Governor shall be prohibited from spending any such funds for the following purposes: hiring new employees of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, financing the issuance of any new debt of the Commonwealth, and entering into any new contracts on behalf of the Commonwealth. The Governor's authorization to pay certain expenses pursuant to the provisions of this section shall expire upon the effective date of the next general appropriation act passed by the General Assembly.