By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio
The Kentucky House is poised to vote today on a 367-page biennial state budget bill approved Tuesday night in committee.
The $17.5 billion spending plan cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on a 19-5 vote. The only Democrat voting no was Louisville Rep. Jim Wayne. He’s concerned about the two-point-two billion dollars in total bonded indebtedness in the budget.
“The news this evening that we have a historically high debt at 7.43% ratio is just appalling in this time. And so I don’t think it’s a responsible thing to vote for this, so I vote no,” Wayne said.
But House budget chairman Rick Rand says bond rates are low and it’s a good time to borrow. And he’s confident the bond rating agencies will be pleased to see the budget includes a $21 million surplus in the second year.