Joint Finance Committee approves $4.3 billion spending plan
The Joint Finance Committee has drafted its recommended operating budget for next fiscal year. But the fate of all Grant-In-Aid funding remains up in the air.
The JFC approved spending $4.32 billion for fiscal year 2019 - a five percent increase over last year.
Director of Management and Budget Mike Jackson said that leaves about $61 million in revenue left for lawmakers to allocate, enough to completely restore the 20 percent across the board cut to Grant-In-Aid funding last year.
Disclosure: Delaware First Media Corporation, the parent company of Delaware Public Media, received $72,000 from the grants-in-aid budget during the current fiscal year.
JFC Co-chair Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) said committee members will spend the next few weeks evaluating various nonprofits to see if they should get more money.
“I would like to see every agency in Grant-In-Aid that deserves to be fully reinstated because they’re making very good use of the money that we’re giving them," she said. "I would absolutely like to see all of them restored.”
But JFC Co-chair Harris McDowell (D-Wilmington) said he’s against fully restoring all the Grant-In-Aid money.
“I think what we need to do is look individually at the recipients and say do they really need," he said. "Full restoration you know would be a 20 percent increase over last year.”
JFC approved restoring money for Meals on Wheels and prescription drug help for seniors. The budget also includes $1,000 raises and $500 bonuses for state employees and $400 bonuses for retirees.
Delaware First Media Corporation, the parent company of Delaware Public Media, received $72,000 from the Grants-in-Aid budget during the current fiscal year.