Governor’s Recommended Budget Introduced, Key Budget Committees Set to Work
On January 24, Governor Carney delivered his budget address, which was followed by the introduction of the Governor’s Recommended Budget in legislative form by leadership in the House and Senate.
The recommended operating budget this year is House Bill 50. The recommended capital budget is Senate Bill 20. Both bills comprise the culmination of work done in the autumn by the Office of Management and Budget and the administration, including hearings where agencies present their priorities and stakeholders offer input.
The recommended operating budget proposes the appropriation of roughly $4.433 billion. This constitutes operating budget growth of 3.88 percent. The recommended capital budget comes in at $678.6 million. Recommended appropriations fall into two broad categories: State Capital Projects, which would receive $345.7 million, and Transportation Authorizations, which are slated for $332.9 million. In his presentation, Governor Carney recommended the appropriation of $48.4 million for the Grants-in-Aid.
Based on Executive Order #21, Governor Carney recommended setting aside $92.1 million over and above the constitutionally required limit of 98 percent. This would create a budget smoothing fund. It is unclear whether legislators will agree to the proposed set-aside, as legislation which would have created a budget smoothing fund last year faced opposition from key legislators.
A link to the Governor’s Recommended Budget presentation follows:
A link to the Governor’s press release on the recommended budget can be found here: https://news.delaware.gov/2019/01/24/governors-recommended-budget-fiscal-year-2020/
The General Assembly is currently on break to allow for budget hearings, which will conclude at the end of the month. This is the next step in the process of crafting the final budget package (operating, capital, and grant-in-aid) which will come before the General Assembly at the end of session.
A list of these hearings for the Joint Finance Committee, and a list of its members,can be found here: http://www.legis.delaware.gov/Committee/JointFinance
A list of capital budget hearings, as well as committee members, can be found here: http://www.legis.delaware.gov/Committee/CapitalImprovement