Funding for Delaware’s capital projects is one step closer to the governor’s desk.
The Fiscal Year 2020 Bond Bill totals $863 million, a more than $40 million increase over the previous year. The state Senate unanimously passed the legislation Thursday night.
About $53 million goes to higher education initiatives and capital improvements.
That includes $20 million for the Higher Education Economic Investment Fund, up from the $11.3 million appropriated last year.
Access to the fund in Fiscal Year 2020 is expanding beyond the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Tech - allowing other higher education institutions serving Delaware residents to use it.
“That is one of those initiatives, in being able to see what opportunities exist just outside of… outside of our three state institutions, if there’s other opportunities,” said Office of Budget and Management Director Mike Jackson.
Bond Bill Committee Chair Dave Sokola (D-Newark) said another $20 million will go toward drinking water and clean water infrastructure.
“Which will leverage additional federal funding," he said. "Over $5 million will be dedicated to statewide drainage improvements and tax ditch maintenance.”
The increase in next year’s bond bill is mostly due to an increase in spending on roads projects. The Delaware Department of Transportation is spending about $300 million on roads in fiscal year 2020.
The House will vote on the Bond Bill Sunday. Both chambers need to pass the Grant-In-Aid bill, which is estimated to total about $53 million.