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First State lawmakers set aside some revenue for Fiscal Year 2020

Delaware Public Media

Members of the budget writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) moved Tuesday to hold back on spending some available funds.

JCF decided unanimously to only appropriate 97 percent of 2019 state revenues - rather than the usual 98 percent.

That will save about $46 million for use in fiscal year 2020.

JFC Co-chair Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) said if lawmakers overspend this year, they’ll have to cut funding next year.

“Nobody here wants to have to incur that, so the responsible thing to do is to spend only what we consistently believe we’re going to be able to maintain,” she said.

George Smith said she supports the additional funding Gov. John Carney (D) requested for City of Wilmington schools, pay rate increases for disabilities support workers and higher school bus driver pay.

Delaware has about $180 million more than Carney anticipated when he delivered his budget proposal in January. But about $96 million of that is already earmarked for raises and bonuses for state workers, and the savings for the 2020 budget cycle.

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