DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are entering the final day of this year's legislative session with plenty of work still left to do.

While the House and Senate have passed a $4 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that starts Friday, they must still sign off on a capital budget for construction projects and a grants budget for community groups and nonprofit agencies.

Meanwhile, a controversial school redistricting plan for Wilmington backed by Gov. Jack Markell is languishing in the Senate, much to the frustration of Wilmington-area lawmakers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - After months of warning that money is tight and even threatening funding cuts, members of the legislature's budget committee have approved almost $46 million in grants to nonprofit groups, community agencies and volunteer fire companies.

The proposed grant-in-aid budget approved Tuesday is $2 million higher than the current level of funding and Gov. Jack Markell's recommendation.

The grants package is one of three budget bills that must be approved by lawmakers each year.

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The clock is ticking down for this year’s legislative session in Delaware at the end of June.

The lawmakers are facing a $32 million reduction in funding for capital projects as well as non-profits and charities from the forecast at the beginning of the year.

So they will have to decide which capital improvement projects will get state money that range from construction to infrastructure.

Under the Grand-in-Aid legislation they must choose which charities and non-profits will get funding from the Grant-in-Aid bill.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Some nonprofit organizations say Maryland's estate tax is driving their wealthy donors out of state during retirement. They support a new bill raising the estate tax exemption to $5.34 million per spouse.

House Speaker Michael Busch testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on this bill Wednesday. Miller filed the bill with dozens of co-sponsors.

The federal exemption is $5.34 million, and Maryland's is $1 million.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Critics of a bill allowing fraternal organizations and veterans groups to operate slot machines say the legislation should be expanded to include other charitable organizations and private clubs.

The House gaming committee held a hearing Wednesday on the bill, which the Markell administration developed after telling veterans groups and fraternal organizations last year to stop operating illegal slot machines. After the groups complained, lawmakers in January fast-tracked a bill allowing them to temporarily resume slot machine gambling.

DE Charities See Red Ink

Jan 23, 2013

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A new report finds nearly half of Delaware charities spent more than they collected in 2010.

The Delaware Grantmakers Association commissioned the study. The new report says 48 percent spent more than they received in 2010, up from 35 percent the year before.

Association president Wil Sherk says the report should be a wake-up call because the current state of Delaware's charities can't be sustained for long.