The Carney Budget

The General Assembly is entering its second week of its six week Joint Finance Committee Hearings break, where that committee holds various hearings on Governor Carney’s proposed budget as well as hearings on other issues that require funding, such as projects and organizations that will eventually be addressed by the Bond Bill and the Grants-in-Aid Bill for the new fiscal year that begins July 1st.

Let’s take a look at Governor Carney’s budget proposal, which, at $5.482 billion, would be the largest in state history, a 7.4% increase over last year. The state has a robust $662 million surplus.

  • Increases the state share of teacher pay by 9% and other public education employees pay by 3%. (The state typically pays about 70% of these wages, with the local school districts responsible for the remainder.)
  • Variable pay increase for state workers (3% – 9%), with the lowest wage-earners receiving the highest percentage.
  • Invests $101.5 million in affordable housing programs and incentives. (About 60% of this expenditure is federally funded.)
  • Allocates $194 million for state employee health care and other post-retirement employee benefits.
  • $191.7 million for public school construction.
  • $60 million for college and university campus improvements.
  • $10 million each for Farmland Preservation and Open Space program purchases
  • Increases “purchase of care” subsidies that pay for childcare services for qualifying Delawareans and expands the eligibility for such assistance. This will allow facilities to hire more people at better wages, with the hopes they can then take care of a greater number of children.  
  • Raises the raise the minimum wage for full-time public sector workers to $15 per hour to maintain and recruit new employees amid workforce shortages. 
  • Adds another $19 million into a “budget stabilization” fund, which would bring the fund’s total to $421.5 million.
  • Implements new middle class tax reforms, including a proposal to increase the standard deduction for personal income tax filers by 75% to $5,700 for individuals and $11,400 for joint filers, starting in tax year 2024. 
  • Increasing the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to 7.5% of the federal credit, beginning in the 2023 tax year, which state budget writers say would cost nearly $25 million in fiscal year 2024, and $55.7 million in the following fiscal year. 
  • $322 million in work on roads and highways;
  • $116 million for court, police, and prisons
  • $60 to the University of Delaware, Delaware State Univ. and Delaware Tech for deferred maintenance, capital improvements and technology upgrades
  • $34.3 million dollars to complete work on Kent and Sussex County Family Court facilities.
  • $30 million for mental health services for elementary and middle school students, funding HB 100 and HB 300 passed by lawmakers.
  • $25 million to the state’s Strategic Fund for economic development
  • $10 million each for Ag Land and Open Space preservation
  • $2.9 million for Lead assessment and remediation as the state grapples with high levels of lead found in public schools

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

4 comments on “The Carney Budget

  1. Zero money for the accounts in arrears for retired state worker health care..”there was nothing we could do…”

  2. Rep Paul Baumbach

    That is 100% incorrect. The Governors recommended budget includes $51,000,000 specifically for the underfunded OPEB fund.

  3. $60 million for college and university campus improvements…Audit these fine establishments first to see if they are not buying toilet seats for $450

  4. $60 to the University of Delaware, Delaware State Univ. and Delaware Tech for deferred maintenance, capital improvements and technology upgrades…. This is the Del Tech slush fund !

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