Kentucky's General Assembly should add to its two proposed constitutional amendments limiting state debt by simply seeking to pass a bill to do the same thing.
The two main advantages to this approach are that simple majorities are necessary to pass a bill -- as opposed to super majorities for constitutional amendments -- and that a new law created in this fashion could take effect immediately rather than next year.
We need to not wait any longer than is absolutely necessary to start the process of getting Kentucky's debt crisis under control.
And it doesn't have to be complicated at all. Take a look at KRS 58.020. This brief paragraph in state law could be improved greatly just by adding the following language:
"General fund appropriation-supported debt service" means the amount appropriated by the General Assembly for interest or other required periodic payments associated with general fund appropriation-supported debt, whether or not the debt has actually been issued.
The authorization of general fund
appropriation-supported debt service by the General Assembly shall not at any
time result in a ratio of authorized general fund appropriation-supported debt
service to revenues of greater than five percent.
If the amount of authorized general fund
appropriation-supported debt service exceeds five percent at the time of adoption of this provision, no
new debt shall be authorized by the General Assembly until the level of
authorized general fund appropriation-supported debt service falls below five percent.