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Lawmakers pass 2022 operating budget

Delaware Public Media

State lawmakers are sending next year’s operating budget to Gov. John Carney.


After passing the House Wednesday, the state Senate approved the 

$4.77 billion spending plan.  It’s almost 5% bigger than this year’s budget.


The only “no” vote came from State Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover South), who historically opposes most budget bills. 


He says although he voted against the budget again, he is happy to see the state didn’t spend it’s surplus unwisely.


“Everybody in the committee and the controller general, everybody, you guys did an amazing job," said Bonini. "The reality is that this could’ve been for lack of a better term, a feeding frenzy, right? Lots of needs in this building.”


Senate lawmakers also passed the one-time supplemental bill, which allocates much of the state’s surplus to one-time spending.


In a statement, Gov. Carney says he looks forward to signing the bill.


"This is a responsible, sustainable financial plan that protects taxpayer dollars and invests in the future of our state," Carney said. "In this budget, we’re investing more than ever in our classrooms, and in direct services for low-income students and English learners. These are the children who need our help the most. We’re adding to our budget reserves so we’ll again be ready if we face a crisis or revenue downturn. And we’re investing in our state workers, who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since Day 1."


Lawmakers now focus on the Bond and Grant-in-Aid bills, which also need approval before the end of session this month.


The Bond Bill is facing contentious committee meetings, and it’s still unknown if there’s enough Republican support to get it passed.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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