The General Assembly reconvenes this week to consider budget and legislative admendments suggested by the Governor. They also will take up action on a bond package of approximately $1.6 billion. This package includes very worthwhile capital projects. Now however is not the time to advance this bill.
For the four years I recently served in the State Senate we were able to use surplus dollars to meet the state's capital needs. Now that the surpluses are no where to be found the response is well, just borrow the money and let our kids pay it back. Interesting isn't it that when state revenues drop the answer is to float bonds. It is what I hated about HB3202. That transportation bill "solved" transportation by putting out $3.0 billion in bonds for ongoing transportation infrastructure needs.
It has been interesting to me that none of the "conservative/libertarian" bloggers have commented on this bond package. Don't they know once you issue the bonds you have to pay the debt service. The current package considered will be about $150 million per year. That's if the issuance is successful. I guess as long as there is no tax increase to pay for the bonds some are happy. Well let me tell you, once you put the bonds out it takes funds out of your budget for many years regardless of the income picture.
Also this is a terrible time to go into the market with a bond issuance. The termoil in the credit markets have made some high quality bond packages priced far over the norm, hence driving up the cost of debt service.
If you guys, (legislators), have to put this forward at least have it go before the voters in the fall. Then you can make your case that this is a good idea for now. It would also allow me to vote no.