Dover moves smaller proposed FY2021 budget forward

DOVER — It was far from an easy chore for Dover City Manager Donna Mitchell and her staff to draft a fiscal year 2021 budget amid the uncertain economy that has unfolded throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, they obviously did something right as Dover City Council, which had allocated three nights of meetings to […]

Under financial pressure, budget committee kills employee pay raises, with caveat

DOVER — Delaware’s budget-writing committee voted Thursday not to fund contractually mandated pay raises for certain employees, at least for now. The Joint Finance Committee unanimously opted to waive collectively bargained “step” increases, which are given annually to educators, state troopers and deputy attorneys general, among others. At the same time, they put in place […]

In the midst of unprecedented challenges, JFC begins unusual budget markup

DOVER — The General Assembly’s budget-writing committee began diving into the COVID-ravaged spending plan on Tuesday, reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of potential cuts. While the Joint Finance Committee would normally convene in May to make significant changes to the governor’s January recommendations, this is not exactly a typical year. The 12 members […]

Kent County Levy Court approves budget with tax rates unchanged

DOVER — With COVID-19’s impact serving as an uncertain backdrop, Kent County officials kept tax rates unchanged and approved an employee pay raise on Tuesday night. Approving the $32.2 million fiscal year 2021 General Fund budget effective July 1 came with the caution since the financial picture may look far different when a six-month review […]

Virus impact on state revenue may be less than feared

DOVER — New estimates show that the coronavirus epidemic’s impact on Delaware’s government coffers may not be as bad as officials initially feared. The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Thursday increased its revenue estimate for the current fiscal year by $92 million compared to April projections. The panel also increased its revenue estimates […]

Sussex County budget proposal takes cautious approach

GEORGETOWN — Sussex County’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 differs substantially from its predecessors, reflecting a cautious, conservative approach in times of uncertainty. “This is definitely a different budget entering an unknown time,” said Sussex County Finance Director Gina Jennings. “We needed to get creative and we needed to decide; what do we do […]

Health agency details Medicaid, opioid efforts

DOVER — The first round of Joint Finance Committee hearings just about wrapped up this week, with the Department of Health and Social Services presenting to lawmakers across three days. Over the course of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the committee heard about the agency’s many focuses, challenges and budgetary needs, with members from the public […]

Carney’s budget plan funds schools, family court construction, state raises

DOVER — Gov. John Carney’s budget proposal includes what would be both the largest operating and capital sums in state history. It contains a 2 percent pay raise for state employees and directs much of the state’s expected excess revenue to one-time projects like construction, building maintenance and water treatment. The governor’s recommended operating budget […]

General Assembly departs on time with business complete

DOVER — Gov. John Carney signed the capital bond and grant-in-aid bills Monday around 1:30 a.m., allowing lawmakers and others in Legislative Hall to head home for a well-deserved rest. The Senate unanimously passed the grant-in-aid bill at 1:01 and broke about 10 minutes later, marking the successful completion of the first leg of the […]

House passes $4.45B budget but bond bill remains unfinished

DOVER — The House of Representatives approved the $4.45 billion operating budget Thursday, along with a $62 million supplement. By a 41-0 vote, the chamber sent the measure to the Senate. Senators could consider the bill Tuesday, one of the four regularly scheduled legislative days remaining. The spending plan, Rep. Quinn Johnson told his colleagues […]