GOV. JACK MARKELL (D) • March 19
Despite a grim fiscal picture, Gov. Markell told lawmakers in his annual budget address that his spending plan will attempt to “spread our sacrifices” so that no one group bears a disproportionate part of the needed cuts.
“Delaware’s reliance on manufacturing and financial services made our hit particularly hard,” the first-year governor said. Revenues from sources such as bank-franchise taxes have dwindled, he said, as have store revenues because of a slowdown in purchases by out-of-state shoppers.
Mr. Markell recommended saving $91 million from the $3 billion proposed state budget by cutting the salaries of state employees, including teachers, by 8 percent. Such a cut would be temporary, he said, and would prevent layoffs. Another $10.3 million would be saved by the proposed suspension of salary-step increases. The governor also proposed saving $7.7 million by reducing the number of in-service days for teachers from six to three.
The K-12 budget proposal is $1.1 billion, down from $1.15 billion for fiscal 2009.
A proposed alcohol-tax increase would generate an estimated $9.5 million over two years, which would cover the cost of the state’s health-insurance program for children.
A version of this article appeared in the April 29, 2009 edition of Education Week as State of the States