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Legislation giving Del Tech bonding authority moves to Senate vote

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Legislation allowing Delaware Tech to finance capital projects appears to have new life.

State Sen. Harris McDowell  (D-Wilmington North) is trying a new approach to help Del Tech address its deferred maintenance needs.

Last month, McDowell abandoned his original bill that would have allowed DelTech to issue bonds and implement a statewide property tax. It also created an infrastructure fund.

His new measure drops the property tax and directs the Bond Bill committee to appropriate money to the infrastructure fund. Funding would be capped at 10 percent of the total capital funding provided to the state’s public schools the previous year.

McDowell said lawmakers will maintain oversight of money going into the fund.

“And every year will have to, just as they do now, have to decide how much of this appropriation or that appropriation goes to public education," he said. "This doesn’t force it one way or another. Leaves that in place.”

McDowell said he believes the changes address the concerns critics had about the previous language.

The legislation is set for a vote by the state Senate Thursday afternoon.

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