Joint Finance Committee restores Grants-in-Aid budget, but cuts funding by 20 percent

House chambers Friday night

Days ago, non-profits and fire departments were looking at the possibility of a total loss of their Grants-in-Aid funding out of the Delaware budget. As Delaware neared the end of its second day without a Fiscal Year 2018 budget, the Joint Finance Committee took a step Sunday night to restore the grants, but with a 20 percent reduction from FY '17 levels.

Co-chairs of the panel, Representative Melanie Smith and Senator Harris McDowell, said the package developed out of hours of discussion involving leadership of each caucus in the House and Senate.

Thursday, representatives of various non-profit agencies and many of their clients lobbied state lawmakers to restore the lost funding. They kept up their presence during a marathon Friday session that resulted in no budget but the adoption of a continuing resolution.

The amount going to Grants-in-Aid is about $37 million.

Votes are still to come in the House and Senate on this and other components of the budget plan. However, JFC's action on the Grant-in-Aid budget and to reverse some previously-approved spending cuts appear to be signs of a deal.

Reporter - Anchor

Mark Fowser is a veteran journalist in Delaware.