grants bill

2025 grants budget that benefits nonprofits rises 27% over ’24

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

grants bill

The state’s grants-in-aid bill will be $98 million for 2025, well more than double what it was for 2015. File photo by Charlie Megginson)

The record-busting $98.5 million grants-in-aid budget bill for fiscal year 2025 sailed unanimously  through the Delaware Senate Sunday, even though it is nearly 27% higher than the last one.

The 2024 budget, which ends today, June 30,  was $98.5 million.

Senate Bill 327 was one of hundreds before the Delaware House and Senate on the final day of the 2024 session.

The state’s General Assembly ends its session each year on June 30, and both houses were hard at it from 2 p.m. well into the evening, breaking for dinner.

Sen. Trey Paradee, D-Dover, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, which is charged with creating the state budgets, acknowledged how big the budget was.

“This bill is significantly larger than years past, and a significant reason why is all the pass-through funding that had appeared in the operating budget bill has been moved into the grant-in-aid bill,” Paradee said. “What we are really merging are these different organizations that receive pass through funding to do is one of two things. Stay in grant-in-aid, file an application every year and go through that review process or work with a state agency to essentially go through the normal state procurement rules and and sign the contract. “

The bill likely will look different next  year, he said, depending on how that process plays out.

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Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, who is a member of the Joint Finance Committee, reminisced about the start of the grants-in-aid program.

“Grants-in-aid started out in 1982 — I know that’s before some of you were born, or most of you, for that matter, and it was $125,000,” he said. “It’s $98 million today. Wow, that’s a big one.”

The grants-in-aid budget invests in government agencies and nonprofits, such as fire companies and senior citizens. Many of the recipients care for animals, children, the disabled, drug addicts or the elderly, or work in the arts and culture arena, “things that are important to all of us and really increase the quality of life here in our state,” Paradee said.

The 2025 budget breaks down like this:

  • Government Units and Senior Centers $ 34,521,948
  • Section 2 – One-Times and Community Agencies $ 51,643,425
  • Section 3 – Fire Companies and Public Service Ambulance Companies $ 11,634,433
  • Section 4 – Veterans Organizations $ 698,220

FY25 GIA Act — 0211520022

Grants honor work

“I’m very proud of this,” said Sen. Trey Paradee, D-Dover, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, which is charged with creating the state budgets after receiving the governor’s suggested one.

The committee wanted to help fire companies, he said, and gave each of them $100,000 “right up front,” as well as large increases to help them buy equipment, especially for the larger companies who do a significant amount of runs.

He said he was sure everyone in the room recognized the importance of ambulance services, and that bill gave each county $1 million for paramedic services.

Paradee said the budget gives senior centers a 5% increase across the board, and sent money to more than 300 different nonprofits providing critical services in our community.

With the 2025 budget, the grants-in-aid budget’s annual total has doubled in the last 10 years:

  • 2024– $71.9 million
  • 2023 — $69.4 million
  • 2022 — $63.2 million
  • 2021 — $ 54.5 million
  • 2020 — $55 million
  • 2019 — $52.1 million
  • 2018 — $37.2 million
  • 2017 –. $45.9 million
  • 2016 — $43 million
  • 2015 — $45.4 million

In the House, SB 327 also passed unanimously.

Rep. Kim Williams, D-Marshallton, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, said the bill will make a tangible difference in the life of Delawareans.
“Whether it’s our dedicated paramedics, fire services, or community health centers, the organizations funded through Grant-in-Aid provide essential services that sustain and save lives in our state,” Williams said. “This year, we were fortunate to fund and invest in these critical organizations at a historic level, extending their reach and ensuring they can continue the vital work they do day in and day out on behalf of Delawareans.”


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