Governor Carney Presents Fiscal Year 2019 Recommended Budget

“Responsible Investment” plan advances priorities outlined in State of the State including public education, state workforce

DOVER (DE): Governor Carney on Thursday presented his Fiscal Year 2019 Recommended Budget, sending the General Assembly a balanced $4.2 billion financial plan that will make important investments in Delaware’s economy, workforce, and public schools – while ensuring budget sustainability.

Governor Carney’s “Responsible Investment” proposal limits budget growth to 3.49 percent and allocates $100 million of surplus, one-time revenue into one-time investments in the capital budget.

“We are proposing responsible investments while keeping an eye on Delaware’s future,” said Governor Carney. “These proposals will help make our economy more competitive, prepare all Delaware children to succeed, bolster our workforce, and strengthen communities across our state. Importantly, this plan will limit operating budget growth, and ensure that we invest responsibly, in ways that can be sustained. I look forward to discussing this plan, and how it will move our state forward, with members of the General Assembly and with Delawareans across our state.”

“This budget allows us to continue working toward long-term financial sustainability for our state, limiting operating budget growth to 3.49 percent,” said Mike Jackson, Director of the Office of Management and Budget. “It makes fundamental investments in areas of need by allocating $100 million in surplus revenues into one-time investments in the Bond Bill. This is a responsible budget that will keep Delaware on the right track.”

Key portions of Governor Carney’s financial plan:

Financial Sustainability

Limits operating budget growth to 3.49 percent
Savings in areas such as energy, fleet services and restructuring of the Department of Education
Restores $20 million of earmarked revenue for farmland preservation and open space
Funds long-term liabilities such as pensions and debt service

Funds “door openers” such as:

• $20.9 million for school enrollment growth
• $8.8 million for quality child care for more children
• $7.1 million for school transportation
• $3.0 million for fair and efficient elections open to all qualified voters

Continues a commitment to identify efficiencies and long-term cost savings through the Government Efficiency & Accountability Review (GEAR) Board

Better Schools for All Delaware Students

$10.2 million for annual salary steps for educators
2 percent salary increase for educators statewide
$3.8 million to fund growth in Delaware’s early learning centers through the STARS program
$6.0 million for Opportunity Grants – non-competitive funding for Delaware public schools with large populations of low-income students and English language learners
$1.5 million for five Christina School District schools located in the City of Wilmington for school-based wellness centers and professional development for educators
$15 million in capital investments to modernize Wilmington schools in the Christina School District to enhance the learning environment and educational experience in these facilities

Investing in Our People

$1,000 raise for state workers
$7.8 million for one-time investments to fund capital improvements in state offices including $2.8 million for Carvel office upgrades
Support for 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all state workers

Department of Correction:

• Funding for second year of correctional officer raises to $43,000 starting salary
• $3.6 million for implementation of correctional officer career ladder
• Over $4 million to fund implementation of Independent Review recommendations

Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families:

• $2.6 million to add 30 new casework staff in the Division of Family Services to bolster child         welfare, abuse and neglect hotline investigations

• $2 million to add 29 new staff members in the Division of Youth Rehabilitative services to meet      staffing needs in six secure facilities, and reduce mandatory overtime

A Healthier Delaware:

$1.4 million for additional resources toward substance abuse treatment
$285,000 of resources for substance-exposed infants
$2 million in prescription assistance for Delaware seniors

Delaware Reinvest

Turning surplus revenues into one-time investments in the Bond Bill in a package called Delaware Reinvest:

• Economic Development: Funding for the Delaware Strategic Fund, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, research collaboration, new funding for capital upgrades at Delaware Tech, Delaware State University, and the University of Delaware, and funding for roadway infrastructure upgrades statewide

• Environment: Funding for open space and farmland preservation, clean water/drinking water investments and
shoreline and waterway management

• Strong Communities: Funding for affordable housing subsidies, Downtown Development District investments, library upgrades, and school construction

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