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Reaction to State of the State Budget

House and Senate Republicans Respond

to Governor’s Budget Proposal


DOVER, DE - On Thursday, January 25, 2024, Governor John Carney presented his Fiscal Year 2025 recommended budget to the public and members of the Delaware General Assembly.

 

The nearly $6.1 billion General Operating Fund, an 8.25% increase from Fiscal Year 2024, includes 2% pay increases for state employees, $2.1 billion for public education, and fully funds the Rainy Day Fund.

 

Senator Dave Lawson (R-Marydel) and Senator Eric Buckson (R-Dover) serve on the Joint Finance Committee, which is set to begin its budget hearings next Tuesday, January 30th.

 

Both lawmakers issued the following statements.

 

Senator Dave Lawson

 

“I appreciate that Governor Carney continues to allocate revenue to the Budget Smoothing Fund which will better prepare Delaware for lean budget years. I do think, however, we should look for more areas where we can spend less money. This year’s budget is just over $6 billion, $2 billion more than Governor Carney’s first signed budget in 2017 and 8.25% more than Fiscal Year 2024. I am afraid that this continued growth, especially if a more progressive administration assumes office next year, will come back and bite us.”

 

Senator Eric Buckson

 

“I understood the high spending last year as we were still digging our way out of the pandemic and, in many ways, playing catch up. We now have to look forward and, in doing so, the proposed 8.25% budget growth concerns me. By most measurements, and based on recent DEFAC projections, the next few fiscal years could be quite lean. We should focus our attention on saving money now while we can instead of continuing to spend as if near-future shortfalls will never occur.”

 

House Republican leadership offered the following statements.

 

House Minority Leader Representative Mike Ramone


Disappointed with the growth of state spending


“The pace of state spending growth is troubling. I would have liked to have seen more from the governor about addressing inefficiencies in government operations.  I believe we could be making better use of technology, taking steps to consolidate partially used schools and facilities, and reducing the cost of regulatory compliance.  That might have reduced inflationary pressures and allowed us to consider some modest tax relief for citizens and small businesses.”


Applauded the inclusion of some items in the budget


“I was gratified to see that the Aglands Preservation and the Open Space programs were fully funded.  I think the proposed two-percent across-the-board raise for state employees and the appropriation to continue paying down our underfunded state retiree pension obligation were good expenditures.  I was also pleased to see that we will be maintaining our retiree’s current health care benefits.”


House Minority Whip Lyndon Yearick


Concerned about the rise in health care costs for state employees and retirees:


“We’re on an unsustainable track. We need to bend that cost curve.  I will be again sponsoring a resolution to help state employees and retirees make more informed choices on their health care coverage, to educate them about the costs, and so they can save money, maintain the coverage with which they feel comfortable, and reduce taxpayer expenses.”


Concerned about the rise in state spending overall:


“The proposed operating budget is about $468 million more than the current spending plan, or more than an 8.3% increase.  That’s on top of a 9.9% hike last year.  The proposed budget for FY 2025 is $6.074 billion, which is nearly 50% higher than the governor’s first budget in FY 2018.  That is a trajectory that concerns me, especially when state revenues are flagging.”

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CONTACT

Matt Revel, Communications Director, Senate Republicans

 

Joe Fulgham, Director of Policy and Communications, House Republicans

 

 

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