(AP) — Democratic Gov. John Carney wants to increase Delaware’s state operating budget by 3.5 percent next year, an election year proposal that includes pay raises for teachers and other state employees, more money for roads and buildings, and the restoration of cuts in grant funding to nonprofit organizations.
In addition to a $4.25 billion operating budget, Carney on Thursday proposed a $677.5 million capital budget for construction projects that features $100 million in additional spending using surplus cash — part of an estimated $170 million in unencumbered funds that would be carried over from this year.
Carney’s proposal includes $41.7 million in grants for nonprofit organizations, community groups and volunteer fire companies, a powerful political constituency in Delaware. Those groups saw a 20 percent reduction in funding this year.