The Delaware Senate on Wednesday voted to pass the largest bond bill in state history, weighing in at a whopping $1.4 billion.
The House of Representatives passed the spending package unanimously Tuesday afternoon.
The bill allocates $1.4 billion toward roadway enhancements, school construction, courthouse expansion, state building renovations, library upgrades, state park improvements and clean water investments.
“For the second year in a row, we are making a record-breaking investment in Delaware’s infrastructure, Delaware’s job market and Delaware’s future,” said Sen. Nicole Poore, D-Delaware City.
Poore is a co-chair of the Joint Committee on Capital Improvements, known colloquially as the Bond Committee.
She said the projects funded by the bill will create jobs by putting people to work building new schools and libraries.
The bill will also enhance water quality, preserve farmland, and support towns and non-profits, Poore said.
But not everybody was on board.
Sen. Dave Wilson, R-Lincoln, said he wishes the bill would include more money for the Food Bank of Delaware.
“While this bill funds many important and worthy organizations, I am disappointed in the bond bill as written,” Wilson said. “Yesterday, the federal government announced an additional $4.5 billion in aid to combat global hunger, but in our state, the Delaware Food Bank has been seriously overlooked, receiving just $6 million of a $20 million ask.”
Wilson said it’s more important now than ever to fully fund programs that put food on the tables of Delaware’s most vulnerable populations.
He abstained from the vote.
Last year’s bond bill, previously the biggest in history, totaled $1.35 billion.
What’s in the bond bill?
- $331.4 million in state transportation allocations to complete road projects statewide, including additional funds to address the roads in poorest condition.
- $285.2 million for school construction projects in the Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen, Capital, Christina, Colonial, Indian River, Milford, and Smyrna school districts, as well as funding for all three technical school districts Polytech, New Castle County Vo-Tech, and Sussex Tech school districts.
- $90 million in community reinvestment and redevelopment to help community nonprofits and municipal organizations fund critical infrastructure upgrades
- $80 million to the new Kent and Sussex Family Courthouses for the second year of funding.
- $40 million for the preservation of farmland and open spaces.
- $38.5 million for the new Troop 6 in Wilmington.
- $37 million for clean drinking water, drainage improvement and beach restoration projects.
- $30.4 million in statewide deferred maintenance, roof replacement, and capital improvement projects throughout state facilities.
- $30 million in minor capital improvement funding to address the backlog of maintenance projects throughout every district in the state
- $26.8 million for statewide library construction.
- $25.3 million dedicated to statewide park improvements including a White Clay Creek Nature Center, a splash pad at Trap Pond State Park, renovations to the Biden Center at Cape Henlopen State Park and cabins at Lums Pond State Park.
- $24.5 million for Wilmington area projects including the Riverfront Development Corporation, South Market Street Improvements, Frawley Stadium, a Riverside STEM Hub, and Fort Christina improvements.
- $10 million for the School Safety and Security Fund.
For a complete list of allocations, click here.
Gov. John Carney is expected to sign the bill into law.
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