State Debt
4:23 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Lawmakers Promote Bill Capping State Debt

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 bill 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 passes the Senate late Wednesday and now heads to the House for consideration.