Legislative Update, October 26, 2020
At the Monday, October 19 meeting of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC), revenue estimates for the current fiscal year (FY 2021) increased by roughly $227 million; and estimates for FY 2022 increased by $132 million. DEFAC relied substantially on anticipated strong income tax revenue. FY 2021 forecasts also include higher dividend and interest revenue as well as more anticipated lottery and realty transfer tax revenue. FY 2022 estimates include substantial increases in lottery receipts and unclaimed property revenue.
Carney Administration officials pointed out that the FY 2021 estimates are still $182 million lower for the current fiscal year than were projected in December 2019, prior to the pandemic and economic crises.
Based on current projections, the General Assembly will have $4.95 billion to appropriate in FY 2022, which begins on July 1, 2021. Based on current projections, without factoring the impact of any new stimulus package(s) that could be enacted between now and January 1, or in the first or second quarter of 2021, Delaware is on track for a $149 million structural surplus.
Relief Grant Program Expanded:
Governor Carney announced on October 15 that the Delaware Relief Grant program, which provides grants to small businesses to aid in mitigating the economic impact that the pandemic has had, has been expanded to $150 million. The second round for grant applications began on October 1. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit: https://business.delaware.gov/relief/
While the results of the presidential election may not be clear on November 3, down-ballot races will largely be decided. We will provide an election wrap-up report shortly after the election that details the results.
President and vice president, a U.S. Senate seat, a U.S. House seat, governor, lieutenant governor, a number of State Senate seats, the entire State House, New Castle County Executive, one-half of New Castle County Council, New Castle County Council President, Mayor of Wilmington and all of Wilmington City Council appear on the ballot. A complete list of candidates on the ballot can be found at this link: https://elections.delaware.gov/services/candidate/genl_fcddt_2020.shtml
Should you need any assistance in locating your polling place, you can call the Delaware Department of Elections in New Castle County at (302) 577-3464. The polls will be open between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Vote by mail information can be found at: https://elections.delaware.gov/services/voter/votebymail/index.shtml.
Absentee ballot information can be found here: https://elections.delaware.gov/services/voter/absentee/index.shtml
Supreme Court Confirmation
In a procedural vote of 51-to-48 yesterday, the United States Senate voted to end debate on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Supreme Court and other judicial nominations are not subject to the 60-vote cloture threshold to end debate.
The vote was largely along party lines, with only two Republicans voting against the measure, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), both of whom had expressed a preference that the winner of the presidential election fill the vacancy. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) was not present for the vote as she was on the campaign trail.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has scheduled a vote on the nomination today, Monday, October 26. Judge Barrett is expected to be confirmed.