Delaware state budget
|Signed into law||July 1, 2011|
Deleware 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. The operating budget represents a 2.2 percent increase over state spending in FY2012. The governor also then signed into law the state's $429 million capital budget into law on July 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. The number is very similar to the prior year's budget total of $14,424,923,000.
Delaware's total state debt per capita is $16,011.86.
A new Fraser Institute report on economic freedom ranks Delaware ranks 1st in economic freedom. New Mexico ranks 50th. The study examines the impact of economic freedom on both the level of economic activity and the growth of economic activity. According to the study, the freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying upon personal choice and markets to answer basic economic questions. More governmental restrictions on those choices curbs economic freedom. The study looks at three major categories per state – size of government, taxes and regulations. 
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):
|Delaware||20.37% (#47)||23.53% (#48)||28.15% (#47)||25.87% (#43)|
Figures are calculated by dividing each state’s intergovernmental revenue into its general revenue. Data is available at in U.S. Census.
FY2013 State 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. The [[ballotpedia: Delaware House of Representatives|House]] passed the bill one day later, on June 28, 2012, with a vote of 36-to-5. 
Highlights of the budget include:
- $1.2 billion for public schools;
- more than $1 billion for health and social services;
- 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;
- $10 million more than originally proposed by the governor for retiree health care benefits;
- a 1 percent salary increase for state workers costing $21 million.
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%. It does not include any tax increases.
Additions to the budget include:
- $50 million in additional funding for state employee pay and pension increases that lawmakers granted last year,
- $27 million in funding for school staffing, previously funded with federal stimulus money that is now no longer available,
- $22 million in additional spending for Medicaid to meet enrollment growth,
- $9 million in new funding to hire teachers and other school staff to meet growth in school enrollment, and
- 5 percent funding boosts for fire companies.
Lawmakers also approved a a $429 million capital budget.
Highlights of the capital budget:
- $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.
FY2012 State Budget
- See past state budgets
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. 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. 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.
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.
Delaware 's Medicaid costs had grown more than 140 percent over the previous 11 years to $600 million annually.
For FY2012, Arkansas devoted 34.7% of its total spending to education, up from 36.0% in FY2009.
|Fiscal Year||Total Spending||Education Spending||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. The Department of Education's request totals $1,109,696,500. The request is nearly $10 million more than the department received in FY2011.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following table is helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:
|State Database||Searchability||Grants||Contracts||Line Item Expenditures||Dept/Agency Budgets||Public Employee Salary|
|Delaware Online Checkbook|
- Checkbook expenditures are searchable.
- Grants are viewable as an expenditure category.
- Line item expenditures are available by department.
- Awarded contracts can be viewed in the State's awarded contracts directory.
- Department and agency budgets are not available.
- Public employee salaries are not available.
Support for creation of the database
The Caesar Rodney Institute recently launched an independent government spending transparency website, DelawareSpends.com, 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.
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. 
|Fiscal Year||General Funds Expenditures||% Change from Previous Year|
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.
General Fund Revenue Sources
|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|
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.
Delaware has received $0.48 billion in federal funding.
According to 2008 Census data, the state of Delaware employed a total of 31,994 people. Of those employees, 23,424 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $97,842,620 per month and 8,570 were part-time employees paid $12,035,914 per month. More than 39% of those employees, were in education or higher education.
The 17,700 state employees not involved in education are slated for a pay freeze in FY2012.
- State Budget Solutions, Delaware
- Model transparency legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council is available at this link.
- Caesar Rodney Institute
- Delaware Office of Management and Budget
- Delaware General Assembly
- Delaware state site
- Information on Delaware's Budget Development
- FY 2009 Budget, as enacted by the legislature at the end of June 2008.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Delawareonline.com "Speaker Gilligan won't seek re-election" July 1, 2012
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Delawareonline.com "Delaware House gets budget bill" June 28, 2012
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' third annual State Debt Report shows total state debt over $4 trillion" Aug. 28, 2012
- ↑ State Budget Solution “Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion” Oct. 24, 2011
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "State debt more than $37,000 per private worker, $13,000 per capita" Oct. 2, 2012
- ↑ Fraser Institute, Economic Freedom of North America 2012
- ↑ Delaware Legislature Senate Bill 260
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 CBSnews.com "Delaware lawmakers approve $3.6B budget" June 29, 2012
- ↑ News.Delaware.Gov "Meets Growing Demands without Raising Taxes" Jan. 26, 2012
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 CBSNews.com "Del. gov proposes $3.5B budget with no tax hike" Jan. 27, 2012
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Delmarva Public Radio "Delaware House of Representatives Approves $429 Million Capital Budget" July 2, 2012
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 DelawareOnline.com "$3.5B budget sent to Markell" June 30, 2011
- ↑ The Repubic "Delaware Gov. Markell delivers State of the State speech to joint legislative session" Jan. 19, 2012
- ↑ State Budget Solutions "Throwing Money At Education Isn't Working" Sept. 12, 2012
- ↑ USGovernmentSpending.com "Arkansas Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
- ↑ http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1997_2017ALb_13s1li111mcn_20t USGovernmentSpending.com "Arkansas Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 The Dover Post "Budget breakdown: The Department of Educations FY 2012 funding requests" Nov. 30, 2010
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 Delaware Online "Delaware Joint Finance Committee wraps up budget debate" June 9, 2011
- ↑ The News Journal "Budget calls for raises for 19 judges" Feb. 1, 2011
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Delaware Online Checkbook
- ↑ Awarded Contracts
- ↑ National Taxpayers Union,"An Open Letter to the Delaware State Senate: Taxpayers Support Spending Transparency Web Site (SB 184)," March 7, 2008
- ↑ Delaware State Education Association,"The budget process," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2005," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2006," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2007," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 State of Delaware,"FY 2008 Recommended Budget," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 State of Delaware,"FY 2009 Recommended Budget," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 State of Delaware,"Financial Summary FY 2010," retrieved March 24,2009
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Financial Overview FY2011
- ↑ Delaware State Auditor Web site, retrieved October 13, 2009
- ↑ Delaware General Assembly Web site, retrieved October 13, 2009
- ↑ Gov. Jack Markell Press Release, "Delaware Receives Triple-A Rating," October 7, 2009
- ↑ California State Treasurer, “Comparison of Other States’ General Obligation Bond Ratings”
- ↑ Recovery, "Stimulus Spending by State"
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 36.2 2008 Delaware Public Employment U.S. Census Data
- ↑ The News Journal "Budget calls for raises for 19 judges" Feb. 1, 2011