Carney Budget: Raises All Around

Filed in Delaware by on January 25, 2018

Gov. John Carney unveiled his budget earlier today, and the decent DEFAC numbers have him feeling expansive. His blueprint calls for $4.25 billion in spending, an increase of 3.5% that he claims is sustainable but would be even more sustainable if the General Assembly had granted all his requests, which he won’t repeat in an election year.

The bulk of the increase goes to long-deferred salary increases for state workers — a 2 percent raise for schoolteachers, a $1,000 pay increase for other state employees, and $10 million for higher prison guard salaries. Randall Chase runs down more of the numbers for the Associated Press.

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  1. Kelly says:

    It is about time the State workers are getting a raise. I am surprise he didn’t use that money for some program we don’t need. I saw on delawareonline that Stephanie Bolden is going to be the receptionist for City Council. Are you kidding me. She is really going to take that job away from a person who needs a job. She makes $50,000. And she needs a part time job. Maybe she needs to get rid of her BMW and buy a Kia.

  2. chris says:

    Everyone admits there is a serious long term structural budget problem and looming deficits in the out years, with some revenue sources shrinking. No steps look like they are being taken to deal seriously with that in this budget. Looks like another gutless ‘kick the can’ in an election year.

  3. John kowalko says:

    I’ve got one step to take. Put the recently released from committee HB 106 on the damn agenda and let the Governor and House leadership support passage. Two additional PIT brackets are not a panacea but a helluva lot more than sitting on a park bench (apologies to Aqualung)
    Representative John Kowalko

  4. puck says:

    “I am surprise he didn’t use that money for some program we don’t need.”

    Define “we.”

  5. Redneck says:

    Did anyone notice 10 million for farmland preservation? I wonder what Wilson had to do to cut that deal. Will he finally be switching parties?

  6. mediawatch says:

    What I get from this is that Carney believes there is absolutely nothing that the state needs (oh, better schools, better infrastructure, for instance) that he thinks is important enough for us to consider paying a couple bucks more each month to obtain.

  7. jason330 says:

    That checks out.

  8. John kowalko says:

    Mike Jackson (Director of OMB) presented Governor Carney’s proposed budget to us yesterday. He was asked if the Governor’s budget restores any or all of the $26 million in cuts made to public schools in last years budget. His answer was an unequivocal NO. This is not a good place to start claiming that we are headed to a balanced budget with no need to raise taxes or create a stable and sustainable tax bracket restructuring. $1 million for “Math” specialists in high needs schools and no proposed money for the more sorely needed “Reading” specialists in those schools. Lest you’ve forgotten, in 2009 Governor Markell cut funding for reading and math specialists (and other programs) by more than $30 million that was never restored. In fact Indian River School District (then under the tutelage of now Ed Secretary Bunting) had won a “Superstars in Education” award for its performance in reading achievements two years prior. Indian River (due to the cuts) was forced to furlough its 13 Reading specialists and the District (students) never again reached that level of success. Lots more damaging potential in this “balanced” budget with existing revenue expectations and “no taxes”.
    Representative John Kowalko

  9. Alby says:

    @Kelly: The Stephanie Bolden story is exactly why the Democrats in this state need to lose, and lose badly, before they’ll change their ways.

    She’s 71 years old and has been sucking off the public teat basically forever. At that age she should be retired from both these positions.

    The hell of it is that there’s no actual upside to the party. They won’t win a single extra vote by depriving someone else of the job and giving it to a loyal functionary instead.

    At least half the Democrats in office in this state are there because they couldn’t get jobs otherwise.

  10. mouse says:

    We need a 100 million for farm land preservation in Sussex County alone

  11. Alby says:

    @mouse: It’s a scam. Instead of giving money to farmers whose land is actually under development pressure, they steer it to places is western Sussex that will stay undeveloped until the Atlantic swallows everything up to Georgetown.

  12. SussexWatcher says:

    Alby: It goes to farmers who apply and who discount the value of the land so it’s a good bargain for both taxpayers and farmers. If development is coming full steam down the road from a farm (think the Middletown area explosion) and a farmer has an offer for mega millions but doesn’t apply for preservation, there’s nothing the state can do about it. They can’t force a farmer to sell their development rights. So your complaint may be valid in the big picture, but what’s the solution short of the state taking land use away from the counties?

    If the choice is between preserving 300 acres near a development and 1,000 acres somewhere else, both for the same cost, what should the state do?

  13. Alby says:

    Answer: Nothing. None of this land is being preserved permanently. It’s a payout to farmers, and it helps to be connected, don’t try to pretend it doesn’t. Molly Murray did a story about it years ago and nobody has reported that it’s changed.

    The answer to runaway development is electing LOCAL (meaning county) officials who’ll put more restrictions on it. I shouldn’t have to spend my tax money trying to put state restrictions on the greed of your local politicians.

    And yes, I know they do it up here, too.

    If the state wants to buy this land, it should do so. As it is, we get nothing of lasting value for the money. We’d be better off buying golf courses, and we shouldn’t do that, either.

    Funny you should mention Middletown, as the problem is similar there, but local politicians overrode the limits the county had imposed elsewhere. Why the mooks who make up the electorate of Middletown thought this was a good idea is something you’ll have to ask them; I suggest huffing a substantial amount of butane before you talk with them so you’ll be on their level.

    You can’t fight greed with money.

  14. Alby says:

    On the budget, WDEL has a a pretty thorough rundown that’s not behind a paywall.

  15. Arthur says:

    So Boulden is now in a sity job while holding office and collecting SS and needs to make ends meet. roughly with her salary and SS she makes between 60-70k a year and cant make ends meet? the story says she needs the extra money becuase ONE of her properties (that she rents) needs repairs after a fire. so lets call it an even 100k she makes a year. and she said the damage isnt covered by insurance. did she not have insurance on the property? didnt her buddy charles potter sell her some insurance?

  16. Kelly says:

    Thank you for agreeing with me. What I don’t understand is how is she going to work a part time job and drive to Dover every day to Represent her District. This looks like a no show job. She said that she needs the money for a property that she owns that caught on fire and it is not covered by insurance. I thought you had to have home owner insurance when you purchase a house. That sound a little shaky to me.

  17. Paul says:

    John Kowalko. Thank you for your post. Someone needs to keep their eye on the education “pea” in one of the 3 shells on the legislative table. The money for education, that is stripped to the bone already, disappears and never comes back. We are clearly in the era of austerity politics practiced now by the “Delaware Way” party, which includes the Speaker of the House. If anyone averts their gaze, public education will disappear completely, leaving the natives to “go native”

  18. mouse says:

    Not sure about all this. All I know is that virtually all the farm land from where I live 3 miles from the coast in a 5 mile radius around me is approved and waiting for new transplants to move into 3 models of beige plastic houses on treeless lots. It sickens me. I don’t see anything other than farmland preservation happening and Sussex County isn’t funding that. Sussex County council is is comprised of 5 rich white selfish greedy arrogant men all of whom pander totally to development interests. Their constituents are mostly bigoted rubes who admire pos maggots like Arlett and his right work religious Trump bs.

  19. Bane says:

    Last I checked Representative Kowalko, it’s your caucus where tax increases go to die. Get off the blog and whip a vote or two. Start with Bennett.

  20. The Bolden story is an outrage and a disgrace:

    Bolden says that she’s a mere senior just trying to earn a little extra income to get by. You know, like a bag lady. She’s a bleeping state legislator with a vested pension. Who’s gonna do the receptionist job when she’s in Dover? That’s a rhetorical question. She’s not gonna do this job even when she COULD do this job. I mean, is this Hanifa Shabazz as utterly corrupt as she appears at all times? BTW, guess what ethically dubious family Bolden belongs to? If you guessed the bleeping Holloways, you’d be correct.

  21. SussexWatcher says:

    Make that two pensions:

    “Bolden makes just under $50,000 annually as a state legislator, according to state salary data. A state public disclosure form shows she also receives social security checks, a state school retirement pension and a Wilmington pension for her service as a city councilwoman.”

    She’s working 20 hours a week. As a receptionist, she’ll be working when the office is open, so normal business hours. During session, she has to be in Dover Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so she’ll be putting in time for City Council on Monday and Friday, one presumes. So if you see her at any events as a legislator on those two days through the end of June, it’s a safe bet she’s not doing her city job.

    Hanifa Shabazz has the political instincts of a road-killed possum. How dumb can she possibly be?

  22. And she’ll have a third pension coming to her as a legislator. Neither Shabazz nor Bolden run for elective office to serve the public. They run to line their pockets. Shabazz may or may not be dumb, but she’s blatantly corrupt. So is Bolden.

  23. John kowalko says:

    I’m on the blog to try to educate the ignorant folks on here (such as you). Bennett voted to release it from committee and she is willing to vote for it on the floor. In fact the other 6 votes to release were my caucus colleagues and if you had even the slightest knowledge of the system I work in you would know that the Speaker can keep it off the agenda. Since it would have the necessary 25 votes to pass in the House (with all 25 D’s voting for it) you may want to direct your queries to the Speaker and ask who he is protecting. You may also care to look at which Dems did not sign for release of the other bracket bills. And here’s a free hint on those prior votes to release the other bills. Bennett was not a “no” vote. Maybe you should get off the blogs and your lazy butt and check which committee members voted against release when the other two bracket bills were released from committee and presume they would have voted “no” on the floor. Unfortunately until the bills are put on the agenda for a vote of the full House there will be no record available.

    Representative John Kowalko

  24. Bennett’s vote, and ONLY Bennett’s vote, prevented higher taxes on Delaware’s biggest earners from being part of a budget deal last year.

    You know that, John, and any protestation to the contrary goes against the facts. To put it mildly, sometimes your condescension is misplaced.

  25. SussexWatcher says:

    The Wilmington Dems bitch-slapped Shabazz and Bolden. The link got blocked but here’s the post text:

    Good government means a government that works for everyone – and gives everyone a fair shot. While we sympathize with the loss of Representative Bolden’s second home and understand why she is seeking a second job, there should have been a formal, open process used to fill the position. At a time in Wilmington when so many — young people especially — are looking to find work and jumpstart their careers, a more prudent course of action for Council would be to find a Wilmingtonian who could benefit from the excellent experience this position with Council offers. The Wilmington City Democratic Executive Committee urges Council President Shabazz to reconsider the appointment of a sitting legislator to office receptionist. Let Rep. Bolden focus on the wonderful work she does on behalf of her constituents and give a deserving Wilmingtonian a chance to start an impactful career in public service.

  26. chris says:

    Darius Brown should skip the State Senate run and primary Rep. Bolden, the same way Bolden primaried and took out Rep. Hazel Plant years ago. It would be a perfect what goes around comes around story.