Delaware Lawmakers Approve Record $98.5 Million Grants Package for Community Organizations

Delaware lawmakers unanimously approved a record-breaking $98.5 million grants package for community organizations, nonprofit groups, and volunteer fire companies for the upcoming fiscal year. The “grant-in-aid” package surpasses this year’s record of $72 million and the recommended $66.5 million by Democratic Gov. John Carney. The package includes funding for nearly 50 nonprofit agencies and community organizations that were not included in the previous fiscal year’s grants legislation.

Representative Kim Williams, a co-chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, expressed gratitude for being able to fund these critical organizations at a historic level, ensuring their continued ability to serve Delawareans. This approval concludes the legislature’s work on budget measures for fiscal 2025.

In addition to the grants package, lawmakers previously approved a $6.13 billion general fund operating budget for the new fiscal year, representing a more than 9% increase from the current operating budget. The budget allocates $2.1 billion for public education, up from $1.98 billion, and increases spending by the Department of Health and Social Services from just under $1.5 billion to $1.63 billion.

Alongside the operating budget, lawmakers also passed a separate supplemental budget bill of over $168.3 million for operations, utilizing one-time appropriations. The operating budget exceeds Governor Carney’s January recommendation by approximately $54 million, while the supplemental spending bill surpasses his proposal by $76 million.

This marks the third consecutive year of pay raises for state employees, with most rank-and-file employees receiving a 2% increase. Last week, lawmakers also unanimously approved a $1.1 billion capital budget for construction, transportation, maintenance, and economic development projects. The capital budget is approximately $300 million less than the current year’s budget but exceeds Governor Carney’s proposal by roughly $160 million.

The capital budget includes $329 million for transportation projects, down from $354 million this year, while authorizations for non-transportation projects amount to $787.4 million, a decrease from slightly over $1 billion in the current year.

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