For a while now, the Senate and House have been arguing about whether the state debt ceiling should stay the same — 9 percent of state revenue — or be lowered to 7 percent.
Now they’re inching toward each other.
Senators are offering 7.25 percent and agreeing to let the rate fall more gradually over many years; House members offer 8.5 percent as the rate to be enshrined in the state constitution and propose a more informal rate of 8 percent.
Rep. Hans Dunshee‘s proposal, the 8 percent lid that could be adjusted over time, passed the House Capital Budget Committee today on a 6-5 vote that broke across party lines.
GOP Reps. Hans Zeiger of Edgewood and Norma Smith of Coupeville said it didn’t go far enough to reduce unsustainable levels of debt. Attacking it from the other end of the spectrum, Rep. Kristine Lytton of Anacortes said lawmakers’ hands shouldn’t be tied in tough economic times, and her fellow Democrats Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma and Steve Tharinger of Sequim said they don’t think state debt levels are such a big problem. Read more »