UPDATED: DE Proposed FY 2024 Budget Passes in Senate – Waits for Governor’s Signature


Delaware is ready to begin the FY 2024 on Saturday now that the State Senate has passed the proposed $5.6-billion budget and a $194.5-million supplemental spending plan of one-time expenditures and contingency funds. The budget provides full-time state workers with raises, increases mental heath support in elementary and middle schools as well as other education investments. The vote was 17 in favor and 3 against with Senator Bryant Richardson absent. The three ‘no’ votes were from Senators Gerald Hocker, Brian Pettyjohn and Dave Wilson. The measures now wait for the Governor’s signature.

Additional information from the Senate Majority Caucus:

The operating budget, House Bill 195, is the result of months of public hearings and meetings to review the recommended spending proposals Governor Carney unveiled in January and solicit input from state officials, lawmakers and the public about how to best invest state revenue. The FY 2024 budget passed by the General Assembly represents a 9.9% increase from the budget for the current fiscal year. 

HB 195 will provide full-time state workers with raises ranging from 3% to 9%, depending on their pay grade, with the lowest grades receiving the highest percentage raises. Collective bargaining units would receive previously negotiated pay increases. Education employees will receive a 3% raise and applicable step increases, while teachers will receive a total pay increase of 9%. The budget also establishes a $15 minimum wage for full-time merit state employees. 

The spending bills also allocate an additional $30 million to increase mental health supports in elementary and middle schools, a $21 million investment in early childhood education programs, $2.3 million for the creation of a comprehensive residential lead paint remediation program and $1.3 million to provide free legal representation to struggling families facing eviction

Other notable highlights of the FY 2024 operating budget include: 

  • An additional $160 million to cover inflation and volume increases in statewide Medicaid service needs; 
  • Nearly $49 million to cover the state’s share of state employee and state retiree health insurance premiums; 
  • $29 million to cover projected growth in the pre-K to Grade 12 student population; 
  • $20 million combined for the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity and Wilmington Learning Collaborative to provide targeted education and support services; 
  • $5 million for long-term care skilled nursing facilities, funding that will leverage another $7.5 million in federal funding; 
  • $2.7 million to increase the minimum hourly rate for school bus drivers; 
  • $2.2 million to create the Office of the Marijuana Commissioner and other startup needs for the regulation of the legal marijuana industry; 
  • $1.5 million to expand group violence intervention services in Kent County. 

House Bill 196, the one-time supplemental budget, also includes funding for various initiatives and statewide needs, including: 

  • $69 million in contingency funds for Medicaid; 
  • $51 million to address outstanding long-term liability costs associated with retiree health benefits; 
  • $30 million for statewide housing investments to address Delaware’s housing crisis; 
  • $13 million to fund new technology purchases across state agencies; 
  • $3.8 million for the filter first initiative to address lead remediation in public schools; 
  • $2.7 million for the 2024 Presidential Primary election, including pay increases for poll workers; 
  • $1.9 million to implement the Marijuana Control Act. 


UPDATED – 6:40pm – Governor John Carney on Tuesday released the following statement on House Bill 195 and House Bill 196, which passed in the Delaware State House and Senate.

“Delawareans expect us to pass a responsible, sustainable budget that protects taxpayer money and makes our state more competitive. This budget does exactly that. We are raising salaries for teachers, getting more resources in our highest-needs classrooms, investing in affordable housing, and continuing to save for more difficult years. I want to thank members of the General Assembly and the Joint Finance Committee – especially the committee chairs, Representative Carson and Senator Paradee – for their hard work and partnership.”