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Gov. John Carney signs $4.4 billion 2020 budget

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Gov. John Carney on Tuesday signed a $4.4 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget plan.

“This is a responsible budget that focuses on Delaware’s future, with important investments in education, in our state employees, and in health care,” said Carney.

The Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes:

  • General Fund Operating budget totals $4.4 billion, limiting growth to 4.2%
  • Sets aside over $100 million in reserves (after projected cash to bond bill and grant in aid
  • Appropriates $62 million toward one-time items in a separate supplemental appropriation bill
    Funds “door openers” such as:
    • $19.5 million for K-12 enrollment growth
    • $14.6 million for salary steps (Education, DSP, DTCC, agency)
    • $9.4 million for pupil transportation
    • $9.8 million for Medicaid growth
    • $2.2 million for debt service
    • $1.3 million for elections machine maintenance
    • $1.1 million for inmate medical/pharmacy inflation

Education funding:

  • Investing $100 million in High-Needs Schools
  • Opportunity Funding: $75 million over three years for:
    • $20 million/year in weighted funding for low-income students and English learners (EL) across all grade levels
    • $5.0 million/year to provide mental health and reading supports for grades K-5
  • $500,000 to evaluate the results of this program and identify best practicesProviding Resources for Early Grades – Student Success Block Grant: $26 million over a three year period for the following:
    • $4.5 million/year in support for K-3 Basic Special Education
    • $4.0 million/year to provide an estimated 45 reading teachers targeted to elementary schools with high percentages of students in poverty
    • $350,000/year to establish Wellness Centers in elementary schools
  • $1 million for yearlong residencies to prepare incoming teachers and improve retention in high-needs schools
  • $850,000 for the DE Literacy Plan providing professional development and micro-credential bonus
  • $560,000 to provide 4 additional middle school math coaches bringing the total funding for this program to $1.6 million

Workforce investment:

  • $1,000 annual raise for state workers
  • Successfully completed negotiations with several collective bargaining units
  • 2% raise for educators and bus drivers statewide, on top of annual step increases
  • $150,000 for the First State Quality Improvement Fund
  • $85,000 for recruitment and retention efforts

Public safety:

  • $1.5 million in additional funding for the second year implementation of the Department of Correction Independent Review recommendations
  • $508,600 and 18.0 FTEs for pending legislation expanding the availability of expungement for selected categories of adult arrests and convictions (SS1 to SB 37)

Children’s services:

  • $3.3 million to add 34 casework staff and contractual support in the Division of Family Services
  • $5.0 million in a contingency to address department-wide caseload growth

Health care:

  • $4.2 million for contractual increases for partners providing services to those with disabilities
  • $3.6 million for attendant care services waiting list
  • $3.2 million for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) due to decreased federal funding
  • $2.9 million for a Behavioral Health Consortium Contingency
  • $1.3 million for Medicaid Dental services

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