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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate passes $1.4B Capital Budget for FY 2024 

June 28, 2023

DOVER — The Delaware Senate on Wednesday passed one of the largest infrastructure-improvement and job creation acts in Delaware history. 

The Fiscal Year 2024 Capital Budget allocates more than $1.4 billion toward roadway enhancements, school construction, courthouse expansion, state building renovations, economic development initiatives, state park improvements and clean water investments across the First State. 

“With this legislation, we are making a major investment in Delaware’s future by funding dozens of infrastructure projects that support our state’s economy for years,” said Sen. Jack Walsh, who chairs the Joint Committee on Capital Improvement. “Every single one of these projects make our infrastructure safer and more reliable for thousands of working families, while also creating good-paying jobs that will put Delawareans back to work building new schools, roads, libraries and parks that will benefit us and our children and grandchildren.” 

Introduced on Friday, Senate Bill 160 is the product of multiple hearings held by the Joint Committee on Capital Improvement, a 12-member panel of Senators and Representatives from both parties who are charged with drafting the state’s capital spending plan, commonly referred to as “the Bond Bill.” 

“Delaware has been fortunate in recent years with our capital budget, and we have been smart to invest those funds in various projects throughout the state, rebuilding our infrastructure, making our schools safer, improving our state parks, preserving open space and farmland, and addressing drainage, beach and dredging needs in our state,” said Rep. Debra Heffernan, who co-chairs the Joint Bond Bill Committee. “These investments have a real, tangible impact on people’s lives throughout our state, whether it’s students attending new and upgraded schools, roads that are easier to travel, or clean water projects moving forward. It also gets people working on these projects to better our state. I’m looking forward to passing this bill in the House and sending it to Governor Carney to make taxpayer dollars work for all Delawareans.” 

The capital spending plan for FY 2024 invests $170 million more in Delaware’s infrastructure than Governor John Carney had initially proposed in January, thanks to higher-than-anticipated revenues and budget decisions made by the Legislature. Much of Delaware’s $960 million surplus is now being directed to one-time spending on deferred maintenance and capital projects that otherwise would not have been undertaken for several years. 

Notable items in the FY 2024 Capital Budget include: 

  • $354.2 million to complete road projects statewide, including additional funds to address roads in the poorest condition; 
  • $200 million for new school construction projects in the Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Colonial, Milford, New Castle County Vo-Tech and Sussex Tech school districts, along with the state share of funding for school construction projects already underway;  
  • $177 million for deferred maintenance, roof replacement and other capital improvement projects at state facilities; 
  • $60 million for capital needs at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical Community College; 
  • $54 million for continued investment in economic development projects through the Strategic Fund, the Site Readiness Fund, Lab Space, the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund and the new Sports Tourism Capital Fund; 
  • $45 million for the Community Reinvestment Fund that supports capital projects undertaken by nonprofits and municipalities; 
  • $44 million for maintenance projects at Delaware’s correctional facilities; 
  • $34 million for the new Kent and Sussex Family Courthouses; 
  • $27 million for upgrades and renovations of the Customs House Facility in Wilmington; 
  • $24 million for Wilmington area projects, including the Riverfront Development Corporation, Frawley Stadium and various park and neighborhood improvements; 
  • $21 million for the new Troop 4 in Georgetown; 
  • $21 million for Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds; 
  • $20 million for statewide park improvements, including Bellevue State Park, White Clay Creek Nature Center, Killens Pond Water Park, the Fort Miles Museum, Lums Pond, Fort Delaware, a Cape Henlopen boardwalk project and Trap Pond dock repairs; 
  • $17.5 million for projects in the City of Dover, City of Newark, Town of Newport, and City of Seaford; 
  • $16.5 million for statewide library construction; 
  • $15 million in minor capital improvement funding that will leverage $7.1 million in local funding for maintenance projects at public school buildings; 
  • $12 million for beach replenishment and dredging needs, including $4 million that will leverage federal funding for renourishment of Delaware’s Bay Beaches; 
  • $10 million for statewide drainage improvements; 
  • $9 million for the School Safety and Security Fund. 

SB 160 now heads to the House for final consideration.