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Delaware Lawmakers Approach End of Days


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are entering the final day of this year's legislative session with plenty of work still left to do.

While the House and Senate have passed a $4 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that starts Friday, they must still sign off on a capital budget for construction projects and a grants budget for community groups and nonprofit agencies.

Meanwhile, a controversial school redistricting plan for Wilmington backed by Gov. Jack Markell is languishing in the Senate, much to the frustration of Wilmington-area lawmakers.

House and Senate lawmakers were scheduled to convene Thursday evening and work into the early morning hours of Friday before bringing down the gavel on this year's legislative session.

Operating Budget

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Delaware lawmakers have given final approval to a $4 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that starts Friday.

The spending plan cleared the House on a 31-to-8 vote Wednesday and now awaits Gov. Jack Markell's signature.

The spending plan is slightly less than Markell's proposal but is still about $175.5 million, or roughly 4.5 percent, higher than this year's budget.

Meanwhile, members of the committee charged with fashioning a capital budget for roads, schools and other construction projects continued discussions Wednesday evening on their spending options.

Each year, leftover cash from the operating budget gets directed to the capital budget, but there was only about $3.5 million available after this year's operating budget was drafted, far less than the $31.3 million included in Markell's proposed $487 million capital plan.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.