By Tyler Micik
Today wraps up the last day of session for the General Assembly before Joint Finance Committee (JFC) hearings begin next week. The General Assembly will return to session on Tuesday, March 5, which is the date of the Governor’s State of the State address.
The Governor delivered his FY25 recommended budget address today in Dover. You can view a copy of the presentation here. The Joint Finance Committee will hold hearings throughout February to discuss the Governor’s recommended operating budget. The proposed $6 billion operating budget includes $66 million in grants-in-aid, $943 million for bond and capital improvements, and $91 million for the one-time supplemental budget.
The Governor’s recommended budget also includes $52 million towards economic development. This investment supports the site readiness fund and Ready in 6-like programs, among others – which is a top priority of the State Chamber. Since 2017, investments in economic development have helped add 32,100 jobs to Delaware's economy – which is the best job growth the state has seen in the past twenty years.
Lastly, one particular area the Governor emphasized is Delaware's rising health care costs. The budget calls for nearly $2 billion dollars to be spent on Medicaid and insurance plans for state employees and retirees. Which is a $200 million dollar increase from FY24 and accounts for nearly 40% of operating budget growth. Unless this is addressed health care costs will continue to crowd out investments in other areas like economic development, affordable housing, and childcare among others.