Del. State Senate Approves $5.1-Billion FY ’23 Operating Budget
A Delaware Fiscal Year operating budget for Fiscal Year 2023 is moving forward in the General Assembly.
The State Senate has approved the spending plan, which totals $5.1-billion.
Spending would grow by 6.8-percent, while revenues are expected to increase by 7.3-percent.
“A healthy local economy that is producing good-paying jobs for more and more Delawareans combined with surging corporate tax revenues and a strong real estate market have put our state on solid ground for the coming year,” State Senator Trey Paradee, D-Dover, chair of the Joint Finance Committee said.
“The Joint Finance Committee had a difficult task of balancing numerous, worthwhile funding requests against the need to be responsible. We’ve been able to work together to provide a real raise for state employees and retirees and fund various programs that provide necessary services to residents up and down our state,” JFC Co-chair Representative William Carson, D- Smyrna / Dover said. “I’m proud of this budget and what it represents to Delawareans – that we value our workers, teachers, seniors, bus drivers, healthcare workers, parents and children. I’m grateful to the Senate for passing this budget, and I look forward to the House passing it in the coming days.”
Sponsors highlighted the budget’s increased support of the Purchase of Care program that helps low-income families afford early childhood and after-school education for children up to the age of 12.
The Senate has also approved and sent to the House a supplemental spending plan of nearly $379-million in one-time expenditures and contingency funds.
Other budget highlights, according to Democratic sponsors:
- $104 million to provide a 3% pension benefit increase for former state workers who retired between June 30, 1992 and June 30, 2017 and a 2% increase for those who retired after June 30, 2017.
- Approximately $55 million to help keep state employee wages competitive through increases ranging from 2.3% to 9% for the lowest pay grades, in addition to negotiated collective bargaining unit and statutory step increases.
- $38 million to increase pension benefits for volunteer firefighters, the first pension increase of its kind since the program was established in 1986.
- $21 million to fund start-up costs for the Delaware Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.
- $14.2 million to fund targeted education and support services for Wilmington students, as recommended by the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity and the Wilmington Learning Collaborative.
- $8 million to continue increasing mental health supports in Delaware elementary schools.
- $4.7 million to restore the Senior Property Tax Credit to a maximum of $500.
- $3.6 million to increase rates for private duty nurses and home health care workers.
- $2 million to create a Substitute Teacher Block Grant that wil