DOVER – Governor John Carney on Sunday night signed a $4.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018, a plan that balances a nearly $400 million budget shortfall through a nearly equal mix of spending reductions and new revenue, while maintaining funding for key public services.
Carney signed the budget in his Legislative Hall office flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. He also signed a $590 million capital spending plan and a $37.2 million grant-in-aid bill.
The budget funds a number of key priorities, including:
- $24.2 million to fully fund new teachers in Delaware’s classrooms to match enrollment growth.
- $16 million to fund pay increases for correctional officers.
- $7.8 million to fully fund growth in the Medicaid program for low-income Delawareans, Delawareans with disabilities, and seniors in long-term care.
- $4.7 million to maintain funding for early childhood education.
- $2.3 million to authorize new correctional officer positions.
- $1 million to add funding for substance abuse treatment programs.
Savings and other reductions include:
- $11 million reduction to the Educational Sustainment Fund.
- $5 million savings by eliminating 200 vacant positions across state agencies.
- $2 million target savings in employee health costs.
- $1.6 million reduction by modifying double state share for employee health insurance rates.
Revenue increases include:
- $116 million: Corporate franchise tax increases.
- $11.6 million: Raise taxes on cigarettes 50 cents per pack, and increase taxes on other tobacco-related products.
- $5.2 million: Raise taxes on beer, wine and spirits, including by one penny per beer.
- $44.7 million: 1 percent increase in the realty transfer tax.
- $4.5 million: Across-the-board increases to the filing fees associated with Department of Insurance filings.