Delaware state budget (2009-2010)

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Policypedia-Main-Logo-no background.png This Policypedia-related article about state budgets requires extensive tense and style updates. You can help readers by editing the page.

Delaware passed a $3.3 billion balanced budget bill for FY 2010 and as of May 2010 was not operating in a deficit.[1] In May 2010, however, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council's revenue subcommittee met and determined that the state would have an extra $100 million.

Delaware had a total state debt of $8,723,729,509 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap.[2]

2010 state spending and deficit in billions[3]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Deficit Budget gap
$6.87 $0.39 $1.94 $1.51 $0.62 $0.65 $0.81 $6.5 $0.55
2010 local spending and deficit in billions[3]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Deficit
$3.09 $0.04 $0.05 $1.79 $0.06 $0.24 $0.12 $2.8

FY 2010 state budget

In July 1, 2009 the state closed an $800 million shortfall for FY 2010 by passing a budget smaller than FY 2009, cutting spending more than raising taxes, and setting appropriations at 98% of revenues. The 2% margin was set aside for a “rainy day fund.”[4]

The Delaware General Assembly passed and Gov. Jack Markell signed a FY 2010 budget with $3.1907 billion in revenues and $3.1269 billion in appropriations. The budget reserve was $186.4 million as of August 15, 2009. Delaware saw a reduction in revenue projections by $303.6 million for FY 2009 and $648.4 million for FY 2010 before adopting its final budget. Delaware's top three revenue sources were 31.8% from personal income tax, 28.2% from corporate franchise tax and fees, and 10.1% from the state lottery. The state's top three general fund appropriations were 36.3% for public education, 30.5% for health and family welfare, and 16.5% for corrections.[5]

FY 2010 budget was a 5.1% decrease from FY 2009. The FY 2009 general fund was $3.363 billion, a 2.35% increase over FY 2008.[6]

Budget background

See also: Delaware state budget

Delaware's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. The state budget process begins in September when the budget office requests that each department in state government submit budget requests for the next year's budget. These requests are generally presented to the State Budget Office at public hearings held in October and November. Between November and January the governor compiles a recommended budget which is then presented to both the House and the Senate in January.

According to the State Constitution, the governor must present a budget which is balanced at 98 percent of the state's projected revenues. The Delaware Financial and Economic Advisory Council is charged with making revenue projections, which are made in September, December, March, April, May and June. The governor's budget is assigned to the Joint Finance Committee. The budget bill is typically introduced and voted on during the last week in June, just before the General Assembly adjourns.[7]

Budget figures

Fiscal year General funds expenditures  % change from previous year
2003 $2,454,100,000[8] --%
2004 $2,553,700,000[9] 4.0%[9]
2005 $2,822,300,000[10] 10.5%[10]
2006 $3,180,500,000[11] 12.7%[11]
2007 $3,389,900,000[12] 6.6%[12]
2008 $3,421,600,000[13] 0.9%[13]

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council made revenue and expenditure estimates on which the FY 2011 budget was based and which the governor used in his Financial Overview for FY 2011.[14]

General fund revenue sources[14]

Source FY2010 estimate FY2011 estimate
Personal income tax $879.0 million $951.7 million
Franchise tax and limited partnership/limited liability company tax $760.7 million $737.5


Business and occupational gross receipts tax $190.5 million $190.5 million
Lottery $288.7 million $226.2 million
Corporation income tax $47.5 million $68.6 million
Bank franchise tax $42.2 million $35.6 million
Abandoned property $400.0 million $380.0 million
Realty transfer tax $40.4 million $27.4 million

Accounting principles

See also: Delaware government accounting principles

Audit reports are published online.[15]

The Controller General reports directly to the Legislative Council, a joint committee comprised of the leaders of both houses of the legislature.[16]

The country's three major bond-rating agencies affirmed Delaware's triple-A ratings based, in part, on the state's strong fiscal management practices. The agencies specifically cited state officials' decisions to appropriate only 98% of available revenue for the fiscal year 2010 budget, which allowed for a cushion if revenues fell, and the decision to maintain the rainy day fund. The agencies also praised the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council for its revenue forecasts.[17]

Credit rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Delaware[18] AAA Aaa AAA

Economic stimulus package

Delaware received $76 million from the federal government as part of H.R. 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010.[19]

Delaware received $802 million, not counting tens of millions of dollars in tax cuts, increased unemployment benefits, student grants and other initiatives, of the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package.[20] According to White House officials, the package was expected to create approximately 59,000 jobs.[21]

According to preliminary reports, Delaware was expected to receive:

  • $3.6 million for mandatory transportation enhancements[22]
  • $21.7 million for urban areas[22]
  • $11.7 million for suburban areas[22]
  • $3.2 million for rural areas[22]
  • $81.6 million for transportation[22]
  • $11 million for state and local law enforcement agencies[23]
  • $38 million to make homes and businesses more energy efficient[24]

Budget transparency

See also: Evaluation of Delaware state website

As of 2009, Delaware had no statewide, official spending database online, despite multiple attempts to pass legislation which would require such transparency. However, in May 2009, Governor Jack Markell announced that by July 30, 2009 citizens would be able to see the state's expenditures online in a searchable database. Said Markell, "During these historically challenging financial times, it is critical Delawareans are confident their state tax dollars are being spent as effectively and efficiently as possible."[25]

The Caesar Rodney Institute launched an independent government spending transparency website,, which allows users to search state employee payrolls and vendor payments. Visitors to the site can also post their own data, thoughts, questions, and concerns.

Economic stimulus transparency

  • The Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 designated $787 billion to be spent throughout the nation. Of that $787 billion stimulus package, it was estimated that 69%, or over $541 billion, would be administered by state governments.[26]
  • It was estimated that Delaware would receive at least $502 million in federal funding.[27]

Error in ARRP

According to, funds were going go to 884 congressional districts, though there are only 435.[28][29]

According to ARRP's tracking website, $10 million dollars were pumped into four congressional districts that did not exist.[30]

Government tools

The following table is helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State database Searchability Grants Contracts Line item expenditures Dept./agency budgets Public employee salary
None Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
  • The website had a search function.
  • Grants were posted, but they must be searched for individually, and information on awarded grants was not available.[31][32][33][34][35]
  • Contracts were not available. Bid results were posted.[36]
  • The operating budget contained line item detail.[37]
  • Department and agency budgets were not available.
  • Public employee salaries were not available.

Support for creation of the database

The National Taxpayers Union urged legislators in Delaware to support SB 184, which would have created a state spending transparency website.[38]

Public employee salary information

See also: Delaware state government salary

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. "Del. governor signs budget" July 1, 2010
  2. State Budget Solutions “States Hide Trillions in Debt” July 22, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 USA Spending, State Guesstimated* Government Spending
  4. Gov. Jack Markell Press Release, "Markell Signs Budget That Responsibly Closes Historic Shortfall," July 1, 2009
  5. Delaware Office of the Controller General, "FY 2010 Highlights," September 28, 2009
  6. Delaware Office of the Governor, "Fiscal Year 2009 Highlights," July 1, 2008
  7. Delaware State Education Association, "The budget process," accessed March 24,2009
  8. State of Delaware, "Financial Summary FY 2005," accessed March 24,2009
  9. 9.0 9.1 State of Delaware, "Financial Summary FY 2006," accessed March 24,2009
  10. 10.0 10.1 State of Delaware, "Financial Summary FY 2007," accessed March 24,2009
  11. 11.0 11.1 State of Delaware, "FY 2008 Recommended Budget," accessed March 24,2009
  12. 12.0 12.1 State of Delaware, "FY 2009 Recommended Budget," accessed March 24,2009
  13. 13.0 13.1 State of Delaware, "Financial Summary FY 2010," accessed March 24,2009
  14. 14.0 14.1 Financial Overview FY2011
  15. Delaware State Auditor Web site, accessed October 13, 2009
  16. Delaware General Assembly Web site, accessed October 13, 2009
  17. Gov. Jack Markell Press Release, "Delaware Receives Triple-A Rating," October 7, 2009
  18. California State Treasurer, “Comparison of Other States’ General Obligation Bond Ratings”
  19. Federal Fund Information for States “ARRA FMAP Extension & Education Jobs Fund Totals” Aug. 11, 2010
  20. Governor of Delaware, "Stimulus Package Would Create Jobs, Fund Critical Infrastructure Improvements ," February 18,2009
  21. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, "Estimated job effect," accessed March 24,2009
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Philadelphia Business Journal, "Feds release $1.8B in infrastructure funds for tri-state area," March 3,2009
  23. During National Police Week, Kaufman Urges Expeditious Infusion of Funds for State and Local Law Enforcement," March 12, 2009
  24. Community Pub, "Feds pledge $38 million to make Delaware greener," March 24,2009
  25. State of Delaware, "Delaware State Government Would Open Checkbook to Public," May 7, 2009
  26. National Taxpayers Union, "A Letter to the Nation's Governors: Ensure Transparency and Accountability by Posting Stimulus Expenditures Online," March 10, 2009
  27. Wall Street Journal, "Stimulus Spending by State"
  28. $6.4 Billion Stimulus goes to Phantom Districts,, November 17, 2009
  29. Stimulus Creates Jobs in Non-Existent Congressional Districts,, November 16, 2009
  30. Delaware,, November 17, 2009
  31. OHS Grant Information
  32. Loans/Grants/Cost-Share Division of Soil & Water Conservation
  33. EECBG Program Sub-Grants to Local Governments
  34. Grants for Wastewater Facility Planning
  35. Delaware Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund Grant Program
  36. Bid Results
  37. Operating Budget, 2011
  38. National Taxpayers Union, "An Open Letter to the Delaware State Senate: Taxpayers Support Spending Transparency Web Site (SB 184)," March 7, 2008