Delaware Nonprofits and Firefighters Want Funding Cuts Restored - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Nonprofits and Firefighters Want Funding Cuts Restored By Legislature

Posted: Jan 08, 2018 7:09 PM Updated:

DOVER, Del. --- As Delaware's legislature prepares to resume its work on Tuesday, many nonprofits, volunteer fire companies, and organizations that saw cuts to their Grant in Aid funds are hoping to see the money restored in the coming year.

State lawmakers cut grant in aid funding by 20 percent across the board. Worth millions of dollars, the reductions helped balance a $4.1 billion budget after negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over a possible hike to personal income tax rates failed.

Lawmakers would eventually balance the budget using hikes to realty transfer and excise taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and vapor products.

But Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company Chief Buck Dougherty said the cuts meant the company had to postpone the construction of an addition for its EMTs. He noted every dollar the company gets through grants or donations is important.

"It does everything from keeping the lights on to buying us gear. So every drop helps," he said.

Senior centers also saw cuts to Grant in Aid Money. The Modern Maturity Center in Dover saw more than $100,000 cut from its grant-in-aid funds, and member Jim Brown said lawmakers should restore the money.

"You're damn right they should because they have the money," he said.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said they want to restore grant in aid funding. Rep. Sean Lynn (D-Dover) said he'd support reversing the cuts in this year's budget but also said it's too soon to tell if enough money will be available by the end of June.

"There's a lot of things going on with the budget," he said. "You have (Delaware Attorney General) Matt Denn who's looking for a certain amount of money. We have the prescription plan for seniors. We have grant in aid. We have the casinos. There's a lot of stuff that are kind of up there." 

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