Gov. John Carney signed on June 25 a $4.4 billion fiscal 2020 budget plan that limits operating budget growth to 4.2%, invests in education and gives state employees a raise, while setting aside more than $100 million in projected reserves.

The budget signed by Carney will fund a $100 million, three-year plan to invest in Delaware’s most vulnerable students and highest-needs schools. Carney’s Opportunity Funding initiative will provide additional, targeted resources for low-income students and English learners while setting aside additional funding for mental health and literacy supports.

“This is a responsible budget that focuses on Delaware’s future, with important investments in education, in our state employees, and in health care,” said Carney. “We are making historic investments in the students who need our help the most, funding well-deserved raises for our state employees and educators and fully funding important services for Delawareans and Delaware families who rely on them every day. Importantly, we also set aside additional reserves, to protect Delaware taxpayers from future budget cuts. I want to thank members of the General Assembly, and specifically the members of the Joint Finance Committee, for their work on this budget plan, and their continued partnership on behalf of the people of Delaware.”

Carney introduced his recommended budget in January, and members of the General Assembly approved the budget the week of the signing. Members of the Delaware Senate voted to approve the fiscal 2020 plan on the afternoon of June 25. The Delaware House of Representatives approved the budget June 20.

“We work hard to make sure that the First State’s budget matches the values that define our state and the mission our constituents send us here to accomplish,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride. “Ten years out from the worst of the Great Recession, I’m proud to report that the General Assembly continues to maintain a ledger that spends wisely, collects more revenue in an equitable way, saves for the future and prepares Delaware for a bright future of fiscal health.”

“This budget is the result of months of hard work from the members of the Joint Finance Committee, staff and the countless advocates who come to Legislative Hall to make their case for many worthwhile programs,” said Rep. Quinn Johnson, who chairs the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. “Delaware’s operating budget touches nearly every resident across the state, and we are proud to have put together a spending plan that maintains our core state services and even increases funding to many of these programs. We’ve added funding for providers that care for our state’s most vulnerable populations and have pledged to continue work on improving funding in more consistent and sustainable levels. We have an obligation to try to help our residents whenever possible, and I think we have done that while being fiscally responsible.”