Carney outlines nearly $5 billion proposed operating budget

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Gov. John Carney on Thursday presented a nearly $5 billion  Fiscal Year 2023 Recommended Budget in a virtual address as the state deals with a Covid-19 surge that shows signs of abating.

The budget presentation is the second recent address by Carney. Earlier, Carney gave the annual State of the State address at Legislative Hall. The State of the State offers an update and a general outline of the governor’s priorities.

The budget comes with none of the tax cuts proposed by Republican legislators or two additional tax brackets for higher-income families proposed by progressive Democrats.

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Tax cut advocates have pointed to a nearly $800 million budget surplus. However, the governor’s budget presentation shows slowing revenue growth.

2023 Budget highlights from the Governor’s office

  • General Fund Operating budget totals $4.9 billion, limiting growth to 4.6%
  • Sets aside over $15.2 million in reserves (after projected cash to bond bill and grant in aid)
  • Appropriates $215 million toward one-time items in a separate supplemental appropriation bill
  • Takes continued steps toward providing compensation and pay equity for state employees
  • Increases Opportunity Funding  for low-income students and English language learners
  • Continues investments in clean water, economic development and fulfills commitments to new school construction in all three counties
  • Continues to fund secure and modern spaces for Kent and Sussex County courthouses

Economy

  • $60 million in economic development, including:
    • $30 million in strategic fund
    • $10 million in site readiness
    • $10 million in graduation lab space
    • $10 million for the  transportation infrastructure fund

Environmental initiatives

  • $404.7 million, including:
    • $30 million in agricultural land  preservation and open space
    • $7.5 million in shoreline and waterway resiliency
    • $367.2 million in clean water, including federal support from the American Rescue Plant Act

Delaware’s children

  • $339.9 million in funding school projects, including $19.8 million for the Wilmington Learning Collaborative and Redding Consortium
  • Funding by $4.5 million for low-income students and English learner students towards achieving the goal of doubling opportunity funding by 2025
  • $20.6 million to support mental health service units for elementary schools
  • Millions of dollars in Delaware’s higher education institutions including capital improvements, technology upgrades, scholarships, and investments into the Higher Education Economic Development Investment Fund

Delaware families

  • $1.4 million to support extended post-partum Medicaid coverage
  • $1.5 million for the development of a therapeutic foster care program
  • Nearly $1 million to support the growth of Delaware Healthy Children Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • $3.7 million to support expungement programs

Workforce

  • Investing $88.7 million in compensation and pay equity to move toward a $15 minimum wage for state workers, increase to merit pay scales, or 2% pay increase
  • Supporting Health Care Workers
    • $500,000 to increase funding for the Health Care provider State loan repayment program
    • $300,000 to permanently fund the mental health services loan forgiveness program
  • Supporting Child Care Providers & Workers
    • $11.5 million in increased support for child care providers and workers

Click here to download the budget presentation.

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