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Outcomes of 2021 Legislative Session (151st Delaware General Assembly)
Special thanks and gratitude go to former DLLG Executive Director Carl Luft, League Lobbyist Lincoln Willis, the Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC), and Executive Committee for their diligent review and guidance of all bills potentially impacting local governments during the 2021 Legislative Session (GA 151).
While the pandemic has strengthened cooperation between the State of Delaware and local governments, several proposed bills were opposed by the League on the grounds of preemption of municipal and county home rule. The League strongly protects the rights of municipalities and counties to control local issues at a local level.
As Carl often reminds League members: “Advocacy is a team sport!” It’s essential to come together as one voice to to protect, preserve, and advance the principles of home rule to ensure that institutions of local democracy can respond to the needs of their local residents/constituents.
Record-Setting State FY2022 Operating and Capital Budgets
On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, Governor Carney signed into law a record-setting Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 spending plan that includes a $4.77B operating budget, a $1.3B capital bill and a $221M supplemental appropriations bill, House Bill 251, containing $221.1M in “one-time” spending.
Community Transportation Fund (CTF) Allocation Increases
The Joint Capital Improvement (Bond Bill) Committee increased appropriations for suburban street improvements. A total of $52,1150,000 was approved for the Community Transportation Fund. This includes doubling the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) pilot program from $5M to $10M for the pilot program, which was established three years ago to improve streets most in need of repairs and a $20M one-time allocation for the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) to tackle the priority roads.
Municipal Street Aid Level Remains at $7M
The League submitted a request to the Joint Capital Improvement Committee to request that the appropriation for Municipal Street Aid (MSA) be fully funded at the level of $7M to $10M million per year beginning in FY 2022. MSA is the most important State funding program with direct benefits to all incorporated cities and towns. It provides a great opportunity to share resources and reduce the burden on DelDOT to handle some of the smaller local street services. The request for MSA to be increased was not approved and the FY 2022 MSA funding level remains at $7M.
This Act establishes Juneteenth as a State holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans in the United States. The Act adds Juneteenth as a legal holiday and reduces the number of floating holidays from 2 to 1. The two floating holidays were created by the 145th General Assembly as replacements for Presidents Day and Columbus Day. This Act replaces the floating holiday that replaced Columbus Day with a legal holiday to celebrate Juneteenth.