Gov. John Carney and Sen. Harris McDowell and Rep. Melanie George Smith, the co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee, released statements May 21 on the latest revenue estimates from the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council.
“We’ve been focused since I took office on limiting spending growth, on directing one-time revenue into one-time investments, and on making sure we don’t spend beyond our means. These new estimates don't change our priorities,” said Carney. “The fact remains that our spending needs over the next several years will outgrow our ability to pay for them. If we fail to show restraint, we are setting ourselves up for difficult budget challenges next year or the year after that could require us to cut the very programs we’re funding this year. Over the next two weeks, we will work with chairs of the Joint Finance Committee on a sustainable budget plan that makes important investments but conserves resources, and sets us up for the long term.”
“During the Joint Finance Committee hearings this spring we heard from a number of Delawareans advocating for support for issues such as education, substance abuse treatment, corrections and investing in our workforce,” said McDowell. “Over the next two weeks we will debate these issues with the goal of producing a prudent, sustainable spending plan that limits base budget growth while addressing the needs of Delawareans for fiscal year 2019 and beyond.”
“We are fortunate that the DEFAC estimates have been trending upward this spring,” said Smith. “As a result, we will be able to address areas of highest priority for funding. However, this does not necessarily mean that we should irresponsibly increase ongoing spending, but look to limit ongoing costs and direct surplus revenue into one-time investments or savings.”