Senate Republicans attempted to seek clarification from Delaware’s Supreme Court on recent appropriation decisions made by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, only to be shut down by the chamber’s Democrats on a 11-9 party vote, with one member absent.

Senate Republicans attempted to seek clarification from Delaware’s Supreme Court on recent appropriation decisions made by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, only to be shut down by the chamber’s Democrats on a 11-9 party vote, with one member absent.

“We are shocked that our Democratic colleagues chose to protect their own elected officials instead of seeking clarification from the Supreme Court on this important issue,” said Sen. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley. “The Constitution is crystal clear as to the fact that the Legislature holds the power of the purse, and that an Act of the General Assembly is required to appropriate money.”

Senate Resolution 63, sponsored by 22 General Assembly members of both parties, asked whether any entity in Delaware can spend state funds without authorization from the full General Assembly.

Specifically, the resolution asked about the disbursement of $52.350 million in settlement money that Bank of America and Citigroup paid to Delaware. The JFC voted to approve the settlement funds, held by the attorney general, to be spent on communities affected by the mortgage crisis.