Delaware Budget Committee Cuts $51M to Balance Budget - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Budget Committee Cuts $51M to Balance Budget

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DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC)- Members of the legislature's budget-writing committee have agreed on more than $51 million in additional spending cuts to balance a budget for the fiscal year starting Saturday.
    
The committee also voted Wednesday to zero out spending next year for an annual package of grants to nonprofit groups, community agencies and volunteer fire companies to nail down a fiscal 2018 operating budget.

"Right now, I'm so overwhelmed I don't even know what's going to happen over there but you cannot sustain a loss like that and provide your service level," said Carolyn Fredricks with the Modern Maturity Center, a nonprofit serving seniors that has received more than $500,000 in state funding in the previous budget year.
    
The actions by the committee, which previously approved more than $80 million in spending cuts, come as budget negotiations between legislative leaders have bogged down amid disagreements over Democratic proposals to increase taxes on Delawareans and Republican demands that the state rein in spending.

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf said the impasse on hiking personal income taxes has left lawmakers with limited options to balance a budget ahead of the June 30 deadline.

"Take one of those pieces out of the equation, you only have one way left and that's to go down and find ways to get to a balanced budget," he said.
    
Republicans said Tuesday that they are drafting a continuing resolution to keep government operating in the event a budget agreement is not reached by Saturday.

House Minority Leader Danny Short (R-Seaford) said he was optimistic a deal could still be struck, likely during the early morning hours of July 1.

"We have until Friday, in the wee hours of the morning so we've got a couple days left," he said. "The deadline hasn't reached us yet."

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