Delaware Budget Writer Start in Earnest

May 17, 2013

Credit Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House and Senate are taking a break while legislative budget writers start nailing down a spending plan for next year.

The Joint Finance Committee meets Tuesday to begin marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed a $3.7 billion operating budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The mark-up process will continue for the next three weeks, and the House and Senate will reconvene June 4.

Markell's budget proposal includes about $7 million for new initiatives, including $3.3 million to expand mental health services in public schools and $2.2 million for after-school and summer programs to keep at-risk youth out of trouble.

Lawmakers paved the way for writing of the fiscal 2014 budget in March by approving several tax increases upon which Markell relied to balance his spending plan.