Pay Raise for Delaware Lawmakers Unlikely, as General Assembly B - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Pay Raise for Delaware Lawmakers Unlikely, as General Assembly Begins

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Delaware House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth) gavels in the 149th session of the General Assembly. Delaware House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth) gavels in the 149th session of the General Assembly.

DOVER, Del. -- Delaware lawmakers began the 149th General Assembly on Tuesday, opening a legislative session that will see a new governor take office as the state faces a proposed $350 million budget shortfall.

The tough financial situation awaits Gov. Elect John Carney, who won't be sworn in until next week. Bridging the fiscal gap was on the minds of many lawmakers as Tuesday's session started.

It's one reason why lawmakers are poised to reject raises for themselves as part of a package of recommended pay increases to numerous state officials and judges that was proposed by the Delaware Compensation Commission. The governor would not be among those receiving raises this year, but the commission proposed that he would receive one in 2021 after his current term. Without action from the General Assembly they would automatically go into effect.

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach) said it was the worst possible time for the proposed raises and noted that many state employees have not received "substantial" raises in years.

"It's not going to happen. This whole package is going to be rejected," he said.

House Minority Leader Dan Short (R-Seaford) said the proposal was also opposed in the Republican caucus and that all 16 members were expected to sign a resolution opposed to the pay increases.

"I think that the recommendation from the commission is not going to happen," he said.

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