Delaware Gov. John Carney praised the relatively painless passage of a $4.2 billion state budget.
Thanks to swelling revenues, the state did not face the nearly $400 million gap that led to a deadlock in the final day of the legislative session. The budget was approved by near-unanimous votes in both houses.
“Delawareans rightly expect us to pass a balanced budget, to work together to protect taxpayer dollars and make investments that will move our state forward. We have more work to do, but this budget will accomplish those goals,” Carney stated. “We are responsibly limiting budget growth, and setting aside surplus revenues while making investments in our schools, our communities, and our state workplaces that will make our state more competitive over the long run. I want to thank members of the Joint Finance Committee and the entire General Assembly for their work on the budget. I look forward to signing it into law.”
In his statement, Carney was referring to a decision to set aside extra revenues from the budget, amid concerns that some of this year’s windfall consists of one-time items.
Critics believe the General Assembly needs to address a structural deficit that may return last year, due to rising employee health care and benefit costs.
The budget contains a pay raise for state workers.
Many new faces are expected in Dover to hash out next year’s state budget as many legislators decided not to run for another term.
The General Assembly still needs to pass a Bond Bill (capital budget) and Grant-in-Aid (assistance for nonprofits) by a July 1 deadline. Barring a big surprise or two, the legendary early morning sessions may not occur this year
Still, many will be on hand for the final hours of the session, which has been known to produce a surprise or two
Click here for votes and information on the budget bill.