Gov. John Carney virtually presented the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget on Jan. 28. The spending plan focuses on rebuilding the economy, education, and investment in community.
“When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we were able to balance our budget without cutting critical services because we kept our promise to build a long-term, sustainable financial plan,” Carney said in a statement. “This budget proposal will continue to protect taxpayer dollars while making investments where they’re needed most.
“Our priorities remain the same,” he said. “We will rebuild our economy and create good jobs, invest in our public schools for all Delaware children, and strengthen communities across our state. This proposal includes the largest infrastructure program in Delaware history, historic investments to support disadvantaged students, and additional investments to clean up our drinking water and preserve farmland. We’ll also continue to support our state workers, who have stepped up for their neighbors time and again throughout this crisis.”
Carney presented a year-in-review of FY 2021, showing that the state has allocated $965 million from the federal CARES Act, which Congress passed in March to provide aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that, 83% was spent supporting small businesses in the state, per the state. Some of the other programs supported by Delaware CARES funds include learning pods, broadband infrastructure, a Delaware State University diagnostics lab, fast-track workforce development, and a help desk for students, parents and teachers.
For 2022, the proposed budget includes investments in Opportunity Fund projects for low income, ESL and disabled students (a $10 million increase); support for school infrastructure statewide; clean water; mental health support; and tax relief for low income residents who have lost their jobs, as well as continuing funding of COVID-19 relief. There will also be $3.6 million in one-time contingency funding for police body cameras.
You can view and download a PDF of the full budget presentation on Delaware.gov, or watch the 50-minute video below. The Joint Finance Committee will hold hearings to discuss the budget items in February and March. Meetings will be virtual and can be accessed by members of the public via the Delaware General Assembly committee meetings page.-30-
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