Governor Carney Signs $863 Million Capital Budget to Complete 2019 Legislative Session

Opportunity Funding, raising tobacco age, plastic bag ban, early voting among highlights of six-month session

DOVER, Del. — Governor John Carney on Monday signed the largest infrastructure package in Delaware history, capping a 2019 legislative session that included action to invest in Delaware’s highest-needs schools, fix roads and bridges, raise the age to buy cigarettes, ban single-use plastic bags, and make it easier for all Delawareans to vote in elections.

Highlights of 2019 Legislative Session:

  • Opportunity Funding: $75 million/three years for English learners, low-income students, and new mental health supports in schools
  • Infrastructure: Record $863 million capital budget will invest in clean water, new roads and bridges, affordable housing, colleges and universities, and economic development projects
  • Plastic Bag Ban: Ban on single-use plastic bags will help protect Delaware’s environment, wildlife and communities
  • Tobacco 21: Raising the age to buy cigarettes to 21 will prevent younger Delawareans from smoking, improve the health of young Delawareans, and reduce health care costs
  • Early voting: New law allowing in-person voting up to 10 days prior to an election seeks to increase voter participation
  • Medicaid Waiver: New reinsurance program seeks to lower costs for Delaware families who get health insurance on the exchange
  • Safe storage: New law requires safe storage of firearms around children

The $863 million Fiscal Year 2020 capital budget signed by the Governor on Monday will fund new school construction, preserve open space and farmland statewide, invest in new drinking water infrastructure, and provide new funding for Delaware’s colleges and universities. Delaware’s capital budget also includes $425.3 million for the Transportation Trust Fund – part of a six-year, $3.2 billion plan to fix roads and bridges statewide through 2025.

“We are investing in the future of our state – improving schools for all Delaware children, fixing roads and bridges in every Delaware community, and responsibly managing taxpayer dollars so we’re prepared to keep investing where it matters most,” said Governor John Carney. “Our work with members of the General Assembly is paying off. Graduation rates are up, unemployment is down, and our state is on sound financial footing, just two years after climbing out of $400 million budget deficit. But we have plenty of work ahead to make sure that all Delaware families have an opportunity to participate in Delaware’s success. That’s why we’re investing in high-needs schools, in clean drinking water, affordable housing, open-space, and rural broadband infrastructure – to give more Delaware families a real shot to succeed in the Delaware of the future.”

Also on Monday, Governor Carney signed a $55.1 million grant-in-aid bill that supports volunteer fire companies, and nonprofit service providers statewide.

On June 25, Governor Carney signed a $4.4 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2020. The plan provides more than $100 million over three years to support students and teachers in Delaware’s highest-needs schools, and sets aside $125 million in savings to guard against future state or federal budget cuts.



Highlights from the Fiscal Year 2020 capital budget:

  • Bond bill totals:  $862.9 million
    • $437.6 million for state agency projects:
      • General Obligation Bonds:  $230.5 million
      • General Fund Cash:  $184.3 million
      • Other (Bond Premium):  $22.8 million
    • $425.3 million for Transportation Trust Fund    

Economic Development:  

  • Higher Education Economic Development Investment Fund:  $20 million
  • Research Collaborations:  $9.5 million
  • Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund: $10.0 million (combined GF and TTF)


  • New construction/renovation in the Cape Henlopen, Capital, Appoquinimink, Brandywine, and Indian River districts:  $122.2 million
  • Renovations to Christina schools in the City of Wilmington:  $12.1 million
  • School Safety and Security Fund:  $5.0 million

Higher Education:  

  • $33.5 million to support UD, DSU and DTCC:
  • Delaware State University campus improvements, technology upgrades and new Land Grant facility:  $13 million
  • University of Delaware deferred maintenance and combine purchase:  $10.4 million
  • Delaware Technical and Community College critical capital needs and deferred maintenance: $10 million

Clean Water:

  • Drinking Water, Clean Water, Conservation: $25 million

Affordable Housing/Communities:

  • Downtown Development Districts: $8.5 million
  • Housing Development Fund and Strong Neighborhoods Program:  $9 million
  • Libraries (Southern Regional, North Wilmington, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford):  $6.3 million
  • Volunteer Fire Service Revolving Loan Fund:  $2.0 million