The House on Tuesday unanimoulsy approved a state-record $1.4 billion capital budget that will fund investments in school construction in all three counties, transportation projects across the state and various initiatives to protect Delaware’s natural resources.
House Bill 475, known as the fiscal 2023 Bond Bill, is the product of weeks and hearings by the Joint Bond Bill Committee, 12-member panel of representatives and senators from both parties charged with drafting the state’s capital budget. The Bond Bill funds various construction, planning and repair projects for state infrastructure, buildings and grounds.
The Bond Bill includes $90 million for the Community Reinvestment and Redevelopment Fund, which will provide funding for capital projects throughout Delaware community nonprofit and municipal organizations.
The fiscal 2023 capital budget includes:
- $331.4 million in state transportation allocations to complete road projects statewide, including additional funds to address the roads in poorest condition.
- $285.2 million for school construction projects in the Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen, Capital, Christina, Colonial, Indian River, Milford, and Smyrna school districts, as well as funding for all three technical school districts Polytech, New Castle County Vo-Tech, and Sussex Tech school districts.
- $80 million to the new Kent and Sussex Family Courthouses for the second year of funding.
- $38.5 million for the new Troop 6 Wilmington.
- $30.4 million in statewide deferred maintenance, roof replacement, and capital improvement projects throughout state facilities.
- $26.8 million for statewide library construction.
- $25.3 million dedicated to statewide park improvements including a White Clay Creek Nature Center, a splash pad at Trap Pond State Park, renovations to the Biden Center at Cape Henlopen State Park and cabins at Lums Pond State Park.
- $24.5 million for Wilmington area projects including the Riverfront Development Corporation, South Market Street Improvements, Frawley Stadium, a Riverside STEM Hub, and Fort Christina improvements.
- $17.1 million in Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds leveraging federal dollars.
- $11.1 million for capital improvement projects in Legislative Hall.
- $10 million for the School Safety and Security Fund.
- $10 million dedicated to statewide drainage improvements.
- $10 million to address beach and dredging needs throughout the state –epilogue ensures priority is given to those dredging projects in the Inland Bays.
- $10 million for Farmland Preservation.
- $10 million for Open Space.
HB 475 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
|House Bill 475 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Heffernan, Bennett, Matthews, Osienski, Gray, Ramone||House Passes 41-0. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Friel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick||None|
|Poore, Brown, Mantzavinos, Walsh, Bonini, Wilson|
|Current Status:||Sent to Senate|
“Delaware has been fortunate to have strong revenues in recent years, and we have been smart to invest those funds in various projects throughout the state, rebuilding our infrastructure, making our schools safer, improving our state parks, preserving open space and farmland, and addressing drainage, beach and dredging needs in our state,” said Rep. Debra Heffernan, who chairs the Joint Bond Bill Committee. “These projects and others will ensure students attend new and upgraded schools, that our roads are easier to travel, and that our environment is protected. I’m grateful to the hard work and input from fellow committee members and advocates to produce this capital budget.”
“For the second year in a row, we are making a record-breaking investment in Delaware’s infrastructure, Delaware’s job market and Delaware’s future,” said Sen. Nicole Poore, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Capital Improvements. “Every single project funded through the Capital Budget will help create good-paying jobs that will put Delawareans back work building new schools, new libraries and upgrading our world-class parks, while also providing clean drinking water, preserving farmland and open space, and supporting the towns and non-profits who provide the services our most vulnerable neighbors depend on. I want to thank my colleagues in the House for passing this year’s Capital Improvement Plan and I look forward to House Bill 475 passing the Senate later this week.”