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John's Public Policy Blog
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First of many

Posted By John Baker, Friday, April 5, 2013

Welcome to my new Public Policy Blog and thank you for checking in! I’ll be keeping you up to date on important public policy matters and activities of the Governor, Delaware’s General Assembly, City and Local issues, hearings and meetings, as well as legislation that is part of the DANA Public Policy Agenda.

Since this is a new blog, I’ll bring you up to speed with a few items from earlier this year, like the Governor’s Proposed Budget for FY 2014:

The Governor presented his proposed 2014 budget on January 24 with the following new initiatives:

  • Expand in-school behavioral health services $3,300,000
  • Statewide targeted prevention programs for youth $2,225,000
  • DSCYF – Youth aging out of foster care $515,000
  • Delaware National Guard Youth Challenge $93,000
  • Accelerate the development of school safety plans $300,000
  • Six State Police Troopers $530,000
  • Total New Initiatives $6,963,500

The Governor’s budget is paid for based on the December Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) Revenue Projections. The DEFAC projection for March was up by $11.1 Million. The final DEFAC projection will be in June, prior to the Delaware Legislature finalizing the 2014 Fiscal Year Budget Bill.

The Governors proposed budget has a deficit of $56 Million, which is paid for with $28.7 million in Agency and Program cuts, and continuation of certain 2009 tax changes. This results in an additional $27.3 million. Between cuts and retaining some tax increases, the budget proposal is balanced for FY2014.

Grant-In-Aid (GIA)

The GIA included in the Governor’s budget includes a $1.2 million elimination of a "one-time” GIA line-item, which leaves the GIA proposal level at $43 million.

The March (ultimately June) DEFAC projection will impact the final GIA and overall budget bills as economy strengthens or weakens.

The March 18 DEFAC meeting revealed an increase in revenue projections of $11.1 million, and I expect June to tick up some more. This is all good news for the budget and GIA.

Joint Finance Committee Hearings (JFC)

The JFC hearings took place in January and February with the State Agencies, Divisions, and Departments presenting their budgets to the JFC. Their budgets were all in line with the Governor’s proposed budget discussed earlier.

Their first mark ups of the budget, including the GIA and the Bond Bills, will be May 21, 22, and 23. The final mark up should be the second week of June, after the June DEFAC projection. Keeping in line with their trend of recent years, the budget bills should get to the legislators in time for a thorough review before they vote on the last day of June.

You can find the Joint Finance Committee meeting schedule HERE.

It was good to see so many of you during the DANA Annual Budget Update at the Medical Society in Newark on February 14, and at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover on February 15, where we had presentations by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), DHSS, and DSCYF (Kids Department). Thanks for your solid turnout!

A few dates to note:

  • March 28 marked the end of the three-week General Assembly session. The two weeks following is their Spring Break. The Assembly will reconvene on April 16.
  • Make sure you mark down May 15 for Delaware Nonprofit Day! Join us as we demonstrate the cohesive, coordinated, and collaborative nature of our Delaware Nonprofit Community. You’ll have a chance to chat and mingle with our elected officials. More details can be found on our website calendar.

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments.

-John

Tags:  Bond Bills  budget  Delaware Nonprofit Day  General Assembly  Governor  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee 

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