budget

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to strong-arm Republicans late Thursday as an impasse over a budget for the fiscal year starting Saturday continued to escalate.

Amid public criticism and partisan bickering over a decision by the Democratic-led budget committee Wednesday to zero out spending for an annual package of grants to nonprofit groups, community agencies and volunteer fire companies, Democrats drafted a bill to both restore that funding and increase personal income taxes to pay for it.

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Education and non-profits are taking a hit in Delaware’s budget process.

The Joint Finance Committee has voted to slash $27 million for the state’s public schools.

In addition, the committee has approved eliminating state grants-in-aid for non-profits.

Those were just some of the largest cuts approved by the budget writing panel.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that Democrats are hoping to still persuade Republicans to go along with some tax hikes to close a $350 million budget shortfall.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Legislative budget writers are scheduled to resume their work as negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders over a spending plan for the fast-approaching fiscal year have stalled.

The General Assembly's Joint Finance Committee was set to convene Wednesday, after a scheduled meeting on Tuesday failed to materialize.

Lawmakers are facing a gap of more than $350 million between estimated revenue and proposed spending for the fiscal year starting Saturday, according to Democratic Gov. John Carney's administration.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are giving initial consideration to host of proposals by Democratic lawmakers to increase taxes on Delawareans to help balance the state budget.

Among the bills up for discussion Wednesday in a House committee is a proposal to raise income tax rates across the board, eliminate itemized deductions and increase the standard deduction, and creating a new tax bracket for income above $150,000.

The committee also will consider a competing proposal to create two new tax brackets at $125,000 and $250,000.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A state panel has increased Delaware's revenue forecast for the current and upcoming fiscal years.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday boosted its current year revenue estimate by $12.5 million compared to its May projections. The revenue estimate for fiscal 2018, which starts July 1, increased by $13.5 million.

Adding reversions of unspent funds, available revenue for fiscal 2018 increased by $27.4 million. That still leaves a gap of more than $350 million between estimated revenue and proposed spending for next year.

sussex county seal

The Sussex County Council has given its blessing to a proposed $143 million budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1st.

The spending plan does not include any increase in the property tax but does provide new dollars from the cash reserves to pay for critical services and infrastructure.

The budget also provides money for additional Delaware State Troopers in Sussex County.

There’s also $8 million for a pilot project to start major upgrade at the wastewater treatment facilities that will double their capacity.

destateparks.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) - As Delaware lawmakers try to hammer out a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, much of the work is still being done in secret.

Republican and Democrat leaders of the House and Senate continue to negotiate behind closed doors after the Democratic House speaker and Senate president directed the budget-writing committee to halt its work last month amid public outcry about cuts the panel had approved.

Meanwhile, the budget committee and legislature's controller general are refusing to release documents outlining further potential cuts.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Republican lawmakers say changes to Delaware's prevailing wage laws need to be part of discussions with Democrats as lawmakers try to hammer out a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Under state law, the Labor Department sets minimum wage rates for laborers and mechanics on certain public works projects. The rates are based on employer surveys in each county and often driven by union wages.

Critics say the prevailing wage needlessly drives up the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects.

U.S. Navy

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - More than 1,000 shipyard workers are projected to be out of work in the coming weeks.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that layoffs are sweeping the region's shipyards and subcontractors.

They're tied to the stop-gap budget measure that Washington was operating under for several months. It led to a kind of hiccup in the awarding of new Navy contracts for ship-repair work.

bob culver campaign website

The Wicomico County Executive and Council are at odds over the changes made in the 2018 budget.

County Executive Bob Culver charges that the council may have violated the county charter when it altered the spending plan.

The council trimmed Culver’s budget proposal by nearly $685-thousand using the cuts to provide a reduction in property taxes and $328-thousand for the school district to buy laptop computers.   

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