Del. Operating Budget Passes Senate; Other Spending Plans Stall

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Delaware’s Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget has passed the State Senate, but two other spending bills are on hold.

Co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Harris McDowell (D- Wilmington), says it was one of the more difficult years to develop a budget due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and the complexity involved.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts next Wednesday July 1st totals $4.55-billion.

Spending increases 2.1 percent, down from the nearly four-percent increase originally proposed in Governor John Carney’s budget in January. It goes to the House of Representatives next for consideration.

Several senators withheld voting on the bond bill for capital projects and the grant-in-aid package that assists non-profits, volunteer fire companies and other organizations. Senator Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) says there has not been adequate time for constituents to review the measures, and he’s interested in any feedback.

Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore (D-New Castle) and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) in a statement criticized Republicans for not advancing what is a $700-million capital projects measure and $55-million in important grants.