Budget Impasse Continues in Delaware as GOP Lawmakers Prepare Te - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Budget Impasse Continues in Delaware as GOP Lawmakers Prepare Temporary Spending Bill

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DOVER, Del. -- Republican lawmakers in Delaware on Tuesday said they plan to introduce a temporary spending bill to fund the state government past June 30 in the event budget negotiations with Democratic leaders don't result in a balanced spending plan by that date.

The move comes after lawmakers returned to session with just four days to pass a budget and deal with an overall revenue gap of more than $350 million. Deals have been struck on issues like hiking the corporate franchise tax for the largest of corporations and getting rid of the estate tax, though Republican lawmakers are opposed to a Democratic proposal to erase the gap by raising personal income tax rates.

House Minority Leader Danny Short (R-Seaford) and Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson (R-Milford) said in a news release they want to see more done to control or cut government spending.

“We are committed to bringing real, structural reform to our state government and if that takes extra time, we believe that continuing to fund operations is the right thing to do," Short said.

The Republican spending bill, which has not been formally introduced, would maintain the current levels of government spending in July. Lawmakers are required to have a budget in place by the end of June 30 and reaching that point typically takes the General Assembly into early morning hours of July 1.

Democrats do not have enough votes to unilaterally pass a tax bill in the Senate, meaning Republican votes would be needed to advance the legislation.

Senate Majority President Pro Tempore Dave McBride said in a statement that he was disappointed in the Republicans' announcement but was still committed to negotiations. 

"We hope that in the days to come, we’ll be able to reach a compromise on the matters at the heart of our Republican friends' objections—matters ancillary to the budget—so we can meet our collective obligation of putting our state on sound financial footing for years to come," he said. 

Jonathan Starkey, a spokesman for Gov. John Carney (D), said the Republicans' move is the wrong one.

"The Governor proposed a long-term, balanced budget plan in March. It's the General Assembly's responsibility to pass a budget by June 30," he said. "The people of Delaware and the Governor expect them to do that."

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