Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Gov. Carney signs largest ever state budget at $5.1 billion

Paul Kiefer
Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney signed the state’s 2023 state operating budget Tuesday.

The $5.1 billion spending plan is the largest in state history.

The budget—which cleared the Senate with minimal opposition and passed the House unanimously—is a more than $400 million increase over last year.

There’s new spending for hiring and retaining state employees, including pay raises ranging from 2.3% to 9% focused on the state's lowest earning employees—and a one time $500 for all state workers.

There’s also additional money for school bus drivers.

Carney said revenue increases in both personal income and corporate taxes supported the boosted spending plan.

“The most important part of this budget… is that it is responsible and forward looking. We have extraordinary revenues this year. And it would have been really easy to do things frankly that would have been irresponsible for future years. And we did not do that,” Carney said.

Carney also signed a bill setting aside $378 million in one-time spending, including $38 million for volunteer firefighter pensions.

Lawmakers still need to pass the Bond Bill for capital spending and the Grant-in-Aid bill and send it to Carney by Thursday’s end of session.

The $1.4 billion Bond Bill passed the House unanimously Tuesday. It now heads to the Senate

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.