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2012 General Assembly
Tue March 20, 2012
Debt Bill Hits Block
A proposal to cap Kentucky's debt has hit a roadblock in the House.
The House Appropriations and Revenue committee took up Senate Bill 1 today. The bill wouldn't allow the state to accrue debt worth more than six percent of the general fund revenue, but doesn't cap debt in the road fund or most education budgets.
The bill easily sailed through the Senate, a point bill sponsor Senator Joe Bowen made to the House committee.
"And the reason why it did is because they saw this as a structural safeguard. They saw this as a built-in discipline, sometimes something we have a hard time doing up here is disciplining ourselves," Bowen says.
Those exclusions, as well as details on how the debt is calculated, has led many House members to resist the bill. House Budget Chair Rick Rand asked bill sponsor Joe Bowen how effective the bill would really be.
"You said twice in your testimony this bill has no teeth, so if it has no teeth why are we doing it?" Rand asked.
Bowen says that he doesn't think the bill is pointless.
"No, no. That's not my words, that was comments made to me. And I submit to you, that's their opinion of it. I'ts our obligation and responsibility to give it teeth," Bowen says
The bill did not receive a vote in committee today. And it is unlikely to get a vote, either in committee or in the full House, this session.