Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Big Tea Party advance today

Nine months ago, Kentucky's state Senate President openly mocked tea partiers who wanted to limit the state's debt. On Wednesday, the Senate's top priority -- Senate Bill 1 -- was announced as, you guessed it, a state debt ceiling bill.

The bill prohibits the accumulation of any additional general fund appropriation-supported debt when the ratio of that debt exceeds six percent of general fund appropriated revenues. An exception in the bill for "emergency" situations requires a request by the governor and approval of majorities of both chambers of the legislature.

The current debt ratio is over six percent.

I'd prefer to see the ratio set lower -- like five percent -- and I'd prefer to do without the "emergency" escape hatch. But if it takes giving some on these two points to get the bill through, it looks like a step in the right direction.

If we can keep them below six percent, we can go for five percent later. And get ready to resist any bogus "emergency" debt bills.

This is a great issue for House candidates to start making noise about right away.