Vote button trans.png
April's Project of the Month
It's spring time. It's primary election season!
Click here to find all the information you'll need to cast your ballot.

Difference between revisions of "Delaware state budget"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Text replace - " (Sunshine Review)]]" to "]]")
Line 64: Line 64:
'''Capital Budget'''
'''Capital Budget'''
Lawmakers also approved a a $429 million capital budget.<ref name=capital>[ Delmarva Public Radio "Delaware House of Representatives Approves $429 Million Capital Budget" July 2, 2012]</ref>
Lawmakers also approved a $429 million capital budget.<ref name=capital>[ Delmarva Public Radio "Delaware House of Representatives Approves $429 Million Capital Budget" July 2, 2012]</ref>
Highlights of the capital budget:<ref name=capital/>
Highlights of the capital budget:<ref name=capital/>

Revision as of 19:32, 10 February 2014

Delaware state budget

Flag of Delaware.png
Budget calendar:  Annual
Fiscal year:  2013
Date signed:  July 1, 2012
Financial figures
GF expenses:  $3.58 billion
Other state budgets
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming
Delaware operates on an annual budget cycle. Its fiscal year begins July 1.

The Delaware legislature passed a $3.58 billion operating budget for FY2013 on June 29, 2012, and the governor signed it into law on July 1, 2012.[1] The operating budget represents a 2.2 percent increase over state spending in FY2012.[2] The governor also then signed into law the state's $429 million capital budget into law on July 1.[1]

Delaware has a total state debt of approximately $14,524,921, when calculated by adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Unemployment Trust Fund loans, and the FY2013 budget gap.[3] The number is very similar to the prior year's budget total of $14,424,923,000.[4]

Delaware's total state debt per capita is $16,011.86.[5]

See also: The Delaware State Budget on State Budget Solutions

Federal Aid to State Budget

The chart below represents how much of the state’s budget comes from the federal government. The number is the corresponding ranking in relation to the rest of the nation (if #1, the state receives the highest percentage of federal funding in the nation):

State 2008 2009 2010 2011
Delaware 20.37% (#47) 23.53% (#48) 28.15% (#47) 25.87% (#43)
  • Figures were calculated by dividing each state’s intergovernmental revenue into its general revenue.[6][7]

FY2013 State Budget

Jack Markell signed the FY2013 state operating and capital budgets as approved by the legislature into law on July 1, 2012, the first day of FY2013.[1]

Operating Budget

The Senate approved with a vote of 17-4 the state’s $3.58 billion FY2013 state budget, Senate Bill 260, on June 27, 2012.[2] The House passed the bill one day later, on June 28, 2012, with a vote of 36-to-5.[8] [9]

The legislature's budget spends $20.7 million more than originally proposed by the governor.[2] The budget as passed increases spending by 2.2 percent over FY2012,[2] approximately $78 million.[9]

Highlights of the budget include:

  • $1.2 billion for public schools;[9]
  • more than $1 billion for health and social services;[9]
  • an additional $21.7 million to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services for higher Mediciad costs;
  • $8.7 million to fund 111 new teaching positions;[2]
  • $10 million more than originally proposed by the governor for retiree health care benefits;[2]
  • a 1 percent salary increase for state workers costing $21 million.[2][9]

Gov. Jack Markell released his recommended $3.58 billion operating budget on Jan. 26, 2012 and the proposal can be found here. The budget increase spending over FY2012 by 1.025%.[10] It does not include any tax increases.[11]

Additions to the budget include:

  • $50 million in additional funding for state employee pay and pension increases that lawmakers granted last year,[11]
  • $27 million in funding for school staffing, previously funded with federal stimulus money that is now no longer available,[11]
  • $22 million in additional spending for Medicaid to meet enrollment growth,[11]
  • $9 million in new funding to hire teachers and other school staff to meet growth in school enrollment,[11] and
  • 5 percent funding boosts for fire companies.[1]

Capital Budget

Lawmakers also approved a $429 million capital budget.[12]

Highlights of the capital budget:[12]

  • $173 million for roads and other transportation projects;
  • $256 million for non-transportation projects, including $120 million for public schools;
  • $36 million for economic development, including $30 million for the state's strategic fund;
  • $10 million each to farmland preservation and open-space preservation.

The governor had initially introduced a $448 million capital budget, with $213 million targeted for transportation improvements and $235 million for schools and other construction projects. Officials are proposing to use about $38 million in general fund cash for the capital budget, down from $115 million this year.[11]

FY2012 State Budget

The Delaware legislature passed a $3.5 billion budget for FY2012 on June 29, 2011. The budget is the largest in state history and represents a 6.15 percent increase over state spending in FY2011.[13] The operating budget bill, found here, is $76 million more than what the governor had proposed in January, which is due in part to $344.1 million in surplus tax and abandoned property revenue that materialized in the spring of 2011.[13] Some of the surplus went to fund a $41.23 million grant-in-aid bill, funding nonprofit organizations ranging from senior centers to volunteer fire companies.[13]

The Bond and Capital Improvements Act, totaling nearly $664 million, can be found here.

State employees received a 2 percent raise, and pensioners benefits increased 2 percent.[13]


Delaware 's Medicaid costs had grown more than 140 percent over the previous 11 years to $600 million annually.[14]


For FY2012, Arkansas devoted 34.7% of its total spending to education, up from 36.0% in FY2009.[15]

Fiscal Year Total Spending[16] Education Spending[17] Percent Education Spending
2009 $9.3 billion $2.9 billion 31.1%
2010 $9.8 billion $3.1 billion 31.6%
2011 $9.8 billion $3.1 billion 31.6%
2012 $9.8 billion $3.1 billion 31.6%

The budget permitted the University of Delaware to administer its nearly $14.8 million grant, rather than dictating which programs the money must fund, in exchange for the university agreeing to 15 percent less funding.[13] The Department of Education's request totals $1,109,696,500.[18] The request is nearly $10 million more than the department received in FY2011.[18]

Legislative Proposed Budget

The Joint Finance Committee drafted a $3.5 billion state budget, which was sent to the full House of Representatives on June 8, 2011. That version of the budget increases spending 6.15 percent over this year's budget and spends approximately $100 million more than Gov. Jack Markell proposed in January. After Markell unveiled his proposal, the state's financial advisers predicted that the state would see $320 million more revenue than previously expected.[19]

The Committee approved Markell's proposal to shift 10 percent of the cost of pupil transportation to school districts, saving the state $7.1 million, but it did provide $1 million to the transportation contractors.[19]

Ann Visalli, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the Markell administration was pleased with the bill, in part because it includes the majority of the governor's recommendations, including $22 million for early childhood education. Not everything Markell wanted was included, though, as lawmakers restored some of the cuts made by Markell earlier in the year, such as $95 monthly general assistance checks to the state's poorest residents, a 2 percent raise to state employees and retirees and increases nonprofit care provider reimbursement rates by 2 percent.[19]

Governor's Proposed Budget

Gov. Markell presented his $3.4 billion proposed budget for FY2012. The proposed budget includes $3.2 million in cuts to employee benefits, though the governor did not specify how the state should achieve those savings. It also freezes most state employee pay, although it included a raise for 18 judges and some teachers will get contractual step increases in their salary.[20]

Budget transparency

See also: Evaluation of Delaware state website or Constitutional provisions regarding reading of bills

The Delaware state constitution does not provide for a review period or any length of time between when a bill is introduced and when it may be voted on, meaning that the legislature can pass a budget bill without time for citizen review.

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
Delaware Online Checkbook Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
  • Checkbook expenditures are searchable.[21]
  • Grants are viewable as an expenditure category.[21]
  • Line item expenditures are available by department.[21]
  • Awarded contracts can be viewed in the State's awarded contracts directory.[22]
  • Department and agency budgets are not available.
  • Public employee salaries are 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.[23]

Independent transparency sites

The Caesar Rodney Institute recently 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 on the DelawareSpends Forum.

Multi-Measure Budget Transparency Profile

The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois has created a multi-measure transparency profile for Delaware, which measures state transparency as of September 2011 using indicators from a range of organizations, including Sunshine Review. These indicators measure both website transparency and other recognized facets of governmental transparency. In addition, IGPA presents four unique indicators of non-transparency based on the observation that transfers or reassignments between general and special funds can obscure the true fiscal condition of a state.

In addition to the individual state profile, IGPA offers a 50-state comparison and profiles for other states.

Budget background

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. [24]

Budget figures

Fiscal Year General Funds Expenditures  % Change from Previous Year
2003 $2,454,100,000[25] --%
2004 $2,553,700,000[26] 4.0%[26]
2005 $2,822,300,000[27] 10.5%[27]
2006 $3,180,500,000[28] 12.7%[28]
2007 $3,389,900,000[29] 6.6%[29]
2008 $3,421,600,000[30] 0.9%[30]

See Delaware state budget (2008-2009) for more information.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council makes revenue and expenditure estimates on which the FY2011 budget is based and which the Governor used in his Financial Overview for FY2011.[31]

General Fund Revenue Sources[31]

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

The Delaware State Auditor since 1989 is R. Thomas Wagner, Jr.. Audit reports are published online.[32] Russell T. Larson is the Controller General. The Controller General reports directly to the Legislative Council, a joint committee comprised of the leaders of both houses of the Legislature.[33]

The country's three major bond-rating agencies have 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 2010 budget, which allows for a cushion if revenues fall, and the decision to maintain the Rainy Day Fund. The agencies also praised the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council for its revenue forecasts.[34]

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Delaware[35] AAA Aaa AAA


Delaware has received $817 million in federal stimulus funding between February 2009 and June 2013.[36]

Public Employees

See also: Delaware public employee salaries or Delaware public pensions

According to 2011 Census data, the state of Delaware employed a total of 31,294 people.[37] Of those employees, 23,182 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $98,304,766 per month and 8,112 were part-time employees paid $10,981,384 per month.[37] More than 41% of those employees, were in education or higher education.[37]

The 17,700 state employees not involved in education are slated for a pay freeze in FY2012.[38]

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Speaker Gilligan won't seek re-election" July 1, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Delaware House gets budget bill" June 28, 2012
  3. State Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' third annual State Debt Report shows total state debt over $4 trillion" Aug. 28, 2012
  4. State Budget Solution “Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion” Oct. 24, 2011
  5. State Budget Solutions "State debt more than $37,000 per private worker, $13,000 per capita" Oct. 2, 2012
  6. US Census Federal Aid to State and Local Governments
  7. Tax Foundation' "Monday Map: Federal Aid to State Budgets. Accessed October 15, 2013
  8. Delaware Legislature Senate Bill 260
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Delaware lawmakers approve $3.6B budget" June 29, 2012
  10. News.Delaware.Gov "Meets Growing Demands without Raising Taxes" Jan. 26, 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 "Del. gov proposes $3.5B budget with no tax hike" Jan. 27, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 Delmarva Public Radio "Delaware House of Representatives Approves $429 Million Capital Budget" July 2, 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 "$3.5B budget sent to Markell" June 30, 2011
  14. The Republic "Delaware Gov. Markell delivers State of the State speech to joint legislative session" Jan. 19, 2012
  15. State Budget Solutions "Throwing Money At Education Isn't Working" Sept. 12, 2012
  16. "Arkansas Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
  17. "Arkansas Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Dover Post "Budget breakdown: The Department of Educations FY 2012 funding requests" Nov. 30, 2010
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Delaware Online "Delaware Joint Finance Committee wraps up budget debate" June 9, 2011
  20. The News Journal "Budget calls for raises for 19 judges" Feb. 1, 2011
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Delaware Online Checkbook
  22. Awarded Contracts
  23. National Taxpayers Union,"An Open Letter to the Delaware State Senate: Taxpayers Support Spending Transparency Web Site (SB 184)," March 7, 2008
  24. Delaware State Education Association,"The budget process," retrieved March 24,2009
  25. State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2005," retrieved March 24,2009
  26. 26.0 26.1 State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2006," retrieved March 24,2009
  27. 27.0 27.1 State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2007," retrieved March 24,2009
  28. 28.0 28.1 State of Delaware,"FY 2008 Recommended Budget," retrieved March 24,2009
  29. 29.0 29.1 State of Delaware,"FY 2009 Recommended Budget," retrieved March 24,2009
  30. 30.0 30.1 State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2010," retrieved March 24,2009
  31. 31.0 31.1 Financial Overview FY2011
  32. Delaware State Auditor Web site, retrieved October 13, 2009
  33. Delaware General Assembly Web site, retrieved October 13, 2009
  34. Gov. Jack Markell Press Release, "Delaware Receives Triple-A Rating," October 7, 2009
  35. California State Treasurer, “Comparison of Other States’ General Obligation Bond Ratings”
  36. Recovery, "Stimulus Spending by State"
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 2011 Delaware Public Employment U.S. Census Data
  38. The News Journal "Budget calls for raises for 19 judges" Feb. 1, 2011