budget

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the state's economy is improving and he won't have to cut as much from the state budget as previously thought.
    
McAuliffe told reporters that he and other state officials are "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of the state's economy, in part because of an increase in state payroll tax revenues in recent months.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the state's economy is improving and he won't have to cut as much from the state budget as previously thought.

McAuliffe told reporters Monday that he and other state officials are "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of the state's economy, in part because of an increase in state payroll tax revenues in recent months. The governor made the comments following a private meeting with state budget officials and business leaders.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The University of Delaware is seeking a modest increase in next year's operating budget from state lawmakers, pledging that any increase will go to scholarships for Delaware students.
     
UD president Dennis Assanis presented an operating budget request of $122.4 million on Friday. That's about $4 million more than the school's current general fund appropriation, which includes $10.3 million for scholarships.
    

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Department of Education is asking for a 7.7 percent increase in its operating budget.

Education Secretary Steven Godowsky presented state budget officials Tuesday with a budget request of about $1.49 billion, roughly $107 million higher than this year's DOE operating budget.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware budget officials are continuing to lay the groundwork for the final budget proposal by Gov. Jack Markell.

Budget director Brian Maxwell and his staff will reconvene meetings Tuesday as they hear budget requests from various state agencies.

Among the agencies making budget presentations on Tuesday are the Department of State and the economic development office.

The public hearings will continue through next week.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia's Medicaid program will need an additional $281 million in the current two-year budget.
    
Local news organizations report that the cost projection was disclosed to legislative budget leaders on Tuesday, two months after Gov. Terry McAuliffe revealed a $1.48 billion revenue shortfall.
    
The McAuliffe administration says the forecast is driven primarily by higher costs for services to the elderly and disabled.
    

msa.maryland.gov

With the retirement of Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski this year another woman is vying for her seat. Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga is seeking to succeed the longest serving woman on Capitol Hill. But, she is up against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen who has been a rising star in the House leadership. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at her candidacy. 

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Democratic congressman John Carney and Republican state Sen. Colin Bonini agree that Delaware faces significant budget challenges, but the two gubernatorial candidates disagree on the approach to a solution.

At a debate Friday, Carney called for a complete budget reset, starting with a comprehensive review of both spending and revenue. He did not rule out tax increases.

Bonini, on the other hand, says Delaware has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and that there is no need to raise taxes.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's leading budget analyst says state lawmakers and policy makers need to "get real" about addressing ongoing budget shortfalls.

Warren Deschenaux, the legislature's chief budget analyst, told a panel of lawmakers on Tuesday that the state appears to be in a period of comparatively slow economic growth. He says the state needs to trim its sails in order to accommodate that.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers will be getting a briefing on the state budget.

Analysts with the Department of Legislative Services will give an overview on Tuesday in Annapolis. They'll be speaking to lawmakers who are on legislative committees that focus on financial issues.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to announce actions to close a state budget shortfall.

The governor is set to make an announcement Thursday at Capitol Square.

McAuliffe announced a $1.5 billion budget shortfall in August, which has threatened planned raises for state employees and required state agency heads to come up with proposals for cutting their budgets by 5 percent.

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Nonprofits and capital projects in Delaware are looking at some serious cut in the state budget.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that lawmakers now have 40% less in grant money after the reduced projections by the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council.

Originally the capital projects and the non-profits were budgeted for $74 million total but after the forecasts there is only $41 million left.

The paper reports there is uncertainty as to which programs and projects will be on the chopping block.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Legislative budget writers have voted unanimously to spend more than $20 million to give state government workers a pay raise.

Members of the Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to give most state employees a pay raise of 1.5 percent or $750, whichever is greater. Gov. Jack Markell in his budget proposal had recommended a smaller raise of 1 percent, or $500.

The panel also voted to approve pay hikes for employees of the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers who meet this week to begin marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $4 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 have almost $36 million less to work with than they did last month.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday lowered official revenue projections for the current and upcoming fiscal years by about $18 million each compared to April's estimates.

The changes were largely driven by lower expectations for personal and corporate income taxes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's lagging revenues could delay a 3 percent pay raise scheduled for state employees and college faculty.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the pay raises could be affected if the state's revenues don't catch up to projections by the end of June.

Secretary of Finance Richard D. "Ric" Brown said Monday that revenue collections through April were trailing projections by 1.9 percent. The collections had also declined by 6.7 percent from the previous April.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A state panel is updating Delaware's revenue forecast as the time approaches for lawmakers to begin marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Monday's update follows a meeting last month in which the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council lowered the official revenue projection for the current fiscal year by about $38 million.

The decline was mostly offset by a corresponding increase in the upcoming fiscal year because of an accounting change involving abandoned property.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver unveiled his $135 million budget this week – a 5 percent increase over last year.

Under the plan county employees will get a 3 percent raise with a major contribution to the public school system to meet the rising number of new students.

On the education front high school grads would receive free tuition at Wor-Wic Community College.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Culver keeps a lid on estate taxes and business property taxes.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A glance at some of the legislation that has cleared the Maryland General Assembly, as lawmakers near the end of their 90-day session Monday at midnight:

BALTIMORE-AID

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The New Castle County citizen’s board that looks into ethics violations says it needs more funding.

The County Council is expected to debate the increase request this month that would go from $216-thousand to $366-thousand.

The Ethics Commission says that it has received a record number of complaints creating a backlog.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Julie Sebring, an attorney on the panel, says that the number of complaints has jumped from an average 8 per year to double that figure.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Wilmington's mayor says he is not planning to have any tax increases in the city's upcoming budget.

Mayor Dennis P. Williams said during his State of the City address to the City Council on Thursday that he hopes to eliminate five vacant positions and transfer funds to cover a $5.16 million increase in employee health care costs.

Williams says those moves will be enough to not require any tax or fee increases to balance the upcoming budget.

The $155 million spending plan Williams introduced is up 1.9 percent from the current fiscal year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly has passed the state's $42 billion budget.

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday for the spending plan for the next fiscal year, after House and Senate negotiators worked out some minor differences.

They agreed on $5 million in state money for scholarships based on need for students who attend private schools.

The House voted 130-7 for the budget a short time later.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed the state's $42 billion budget.

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday for the spending plan for the next fiscal year, after House and Senate negotiators worked out some minor differences.

They agreed on a $5 million initiative for tax credits for businesses to donate to private schools that serve low-income students.

The House could take a final vote on budget later Tuesday.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has passed the state's $42 billion budget.

The House passed the bill on a 133-5 vote on Wednesday. The next step is for the House and Senate, which are both controlled by Democrats, to work out differences in the two versions of the budget measure they have approved.

The differences are minor compared to ones the two chambers have had to reconcile in recent years. After a panel of negotiators iron out their differences, the two chambers will vote again on the final bill.

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There will be no property tax increase for New Castle residents.

That’s the word from County Executive Tom Gordon who presented his $267 million operating budget which is an increase of around 4 percent over last year.

In the operating budget Gordon has proposed $184 million for the general fund.

It constitutes a 6 percent increase which is due to higher salary and benefits cost.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that local officials believe revenue form building permits and other fees will be sufficient to meet budgetary needs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Leaders in the Virginia General Assembly have reached a compromise on a $100 billion state budget proposal that includes no new taxes or fee increases and raises state worker pay by 3 percent.

Republican leaders in both the House and Senate announced Wednesday they have agreed on a two-year state spending plan.

As expected, the budget does not include provisions related to expanding Medicaid. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has pushed for expanding the publicly funded health care program for the poor, but Republicans have rejected the idea.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware volunteer firefighters are asking state lawmakers to provide dedicated funding for local fire service companies.

Currently, volunteer fire companies receive state funds in an annual grants budget that also provides money to nonprofit groups and other community organizations.

But officials with the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association told legislative budget writers Monday that the life-and-death work done by volunteer firefighters sets them apart from other local groups, and that they deserve their own source of funding.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Just months after fellow Democrats expressed concerns about Delaware's dire financial situation and a potential $160 million shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, Gov. Jack Markell is proposing to increase the state's operating budget by more than 5 percent.

The $4.1 billion proposal unveiled Thursday includes $18 million in new spending for a general pay increase for state employees, and an additional $16 million for other salary increases, including $9 million in annual pay increases for teachers.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Senate president is bracing his colleagues about "very difficult" budget work after reviewing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's budget plan.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller told senators Monday night he predicts the Democratic-led General Assembly will be arguing about the budget down to the last day of the session.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing a billion dollar increase in education spending, small tax cuts, and a 2 percent raise for state employees.

The Democratic governor is also renewing his long-shot push to convince the GOP-controlled General Assembly to approve an expansion of Medicaid.

McAuliffe unveiled his $109 billion two-year budget proposal Thursday at the Capitol. He says he took a conservative approach to spending that will help improve Virginia's long-term economic outlook.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawmakers plan to hold four regional public hearings on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposed biennial state budget.

The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have scheduled two hearings on Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and at Wytheville Community College in Wytheville. Two other hearings will be held Jan. 7 at noon at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake and at the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

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