Delaware Senate passes $5.1 billion operating budget

DELAWARE–The Delaware Senate made some strides Tuesday as they passed a $5.1 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2023. The Senate also approved a nearly $379 million supplemental spending plan consisting of one-time expenditures and contingency funds.

Representative Ruth Briggs King told us this budget reflects one of the largest that Delaware has ever seen. Some things that were highlighted are increasing mental health supports in Delaware schools, restoring the Senior Property Tax Credit, as well providing more money to help low-income families afford early childhood and after-school education. With that said, Representative Briggs King said overall she thinks budget planning went fairly smoothly. “There wasn’t a lot of argument about many of these things as there can be as you’re having to make cuts it’s more difficult then agreeing on how to spend the money; but doing that prudently because you don’t just want to spend and then next year have to cut because you want to prevent that,” Rep. Briggs King said.

We also spoke with Delaware Senator Trey Paradee about the budget passing. He said he’s also proud of the budget and thinks lawmakers took a responsible approach. Sen. Paradee was happy to see wage increases for employees and increases in medicaid reimbursement rates. Also, the spending plan for July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2023 would add nearly $19 million to Delaware’s 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 state faced a lot of challenges going into this budget year,” Sen. Paradee said. “When we had our budget hearings at the beginning of the year, we had agency after agency come in and express their difficulties in attracting and retaining quality employees and so a lot of those same challenges that are effecting private employers right now are also effecting the state of Delaware.”

Lawmakers told us they had to make this budget in a time when inflation is high and there is rising costs, so some of that is reflected in this budget.

To find out more information on this budget, click here.

Categories: Delaware, Local News