4:16pm

Wed February 22, 2012
State Capitol

Limits on State Debt Poised to Pass

Kentucky lawmakers are once again ready to approve a bill capping the state’s debt at six percent of revenues. The issue has been in and out of committee multiple times this session. It started as a constitutional amendment, then changed to a regular bill. And state Senators have renamed the measure to show their commitment to it. It is now called Senate Bill 1.

Currently, Kentucky is just over the six percent debt-to-revenue ratio, and bill sponsor Joe Bowen says the bill is a safeguard.

“Senate Bill 1 builds in a discipline to address those issues where we fail to discipline ourselves,” he says. “It is a structural safeguard, it simply says the General Fund supported debt cannot exceed six percent of General Fund revenues.”

Bowen and other lawmakers promoted the bil today at what was called the first Tea Party rally of the year. At the rally, Lexington radio personality Leland Conway pointed out how much debt Kentucky currently carries.

“If you include our unfunded liabilities, our unfunded promises, [the debt] is $41 billion. That’s $9,447 per Kentuckian,” Conway said.

The bill has once again passed a Senate committee and is expected to pass a Senate floor vote soon.