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Cautious Optimism as Grant-in-Aid Restoration Approved

In the final days of legislative session, there is a flurry of activity as funding bills are finalized and priority bills for legislators make their way through the process.  Keep reading for updates on issues important to the nonprofit sector.

Budget and Grant-in-Aid bills

In stark contrast to where the General Assembly was at this time last year, the General Operating Budget Bill for FY 19, SB 235, is complete.  The Senate passed the budget on June 20th and it is scheduled for consideration by the full House on June 26th.

As for Grant-in-Aid, the Joint Finance Committee met on Tuesday, June 26th to discuss allocations for FY19.  The meeting started with the motion to restore Grant-in-Aid across the board to 2017 funding levels and to restore the paramedic funding ratio to 30% state/70% county. In addition, the JFC requested a study to fix the paramedic ratio before the FY20 consideration for paramedics begins.

The Grant-in-Aid bill will not be finalized until Saturday, the final evening of session.

While restoration of Grant-in-Aid is a positive development, as a nonprofit sector we need to remain vigilant until the final Grant-in-Aid bill is complete on Saturday.

I’ll plan to tweet updates from JFC Budget Markup as they are happening, so please follow DANA on Twitter to gain insights or join the conversation.

In addition to monitoring progress on the FY19 Budget and Grant-in-Aid bill, below are other bills that DANA is tracking:

HB 260 w/ HA2, HA3: Creates a Grant-In-Aid Committee (Representative Longhurst/Senator Townsend) Passed the House unanimously.  Assigned to Senate Finance Committee.
HB 341 (Briggs King): Proposes a constitutional amendment that requires the General Assembly to wait 48 hours from the introduction of the budget appropriation bill, bond and capital improvement act, and act making appropriations for certain grants-in-aid bill, or any substantive amendment or substitute bill to such bills before voting on such legislation unless the General Assembly by a three-fourths vote waives this requirement. Assigned to House Administration Committee.
HS 1 to HB 360 (Keeley): Defines sexual harassment as an unlawful employment practice and clarifies the definition of employee to include state employees, persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or unpaid interns. Employers having more than 50 employees must provide sexual harassment training to their supervisory employees six months after they assume the supervisory role, and the training must be conducted every two years. Out of Committee and awaiting consideration in the House.
 HB 416 (Ramone): Creates a tax exemption for non-profit owned swimming pools in New Castle County and Kent County. Out of Committee and awaiting consideration in the House.
HCR 61 (Postles): Requests the JFC reinstate GIA funds removed from current fiscal year. Assigned to House Administration Committee.  Not scheduled for hearing.
HS 1 to HB 104 (Smith): Mandates an increase in the rates paid to service providers according to the recommendations of the market study, so that by fiscal year 2021 the state would fund service

providers at 100% of the benchmarked rate. Also requires that the adequacy of the rate system be evaluated against performance measures that are commonly used to assess program quality.

Out of Committee and awaiting consideration by the House.
SB 170 (Marshall): Increases the minimum wage in the State beginning in 2018 and ending in 2021. Out of Committee and awaiting consideration in the Senate.
SB 235 (McDowell/Smith): This Bill is the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriation Act. Passed the Senate.  Awaiting consideration by the House.
SB 263 (McDowell/Smith): This Act amends the Delaware Governmental Accountability Act to make the annual budget process part of a performance management system of strategic planning, performance metrics and performance budgeting, dedicated to continuous process improvement that makes government more efficient, reduces costs and eliminates waste in the process and operations that deliver goods and services to taxpayers, customers and employees of State government. Passed the Senate. Assigned to House Appropriations Committee.
SB 242 w/ SA 1 (Walsh/Williams): This Act creates Pay for Success contracts. A Pay for Success contract is an agreement between a State agency and either a program intermediary or an investor under which an investor will provide upfront capital to fund a service, program, or economic development initiative. The State agency agrees to repay the program intermediary or investor if the service, program, or economic development initiative meets the performance measures and outcomes agreed to in the contract. Passed by the Senate.  Scheduled for consideration in House Administration Committee on 6/27/18.
HB 310 w/ HA 1, HA 2 + SA 1 (Smith): The Certification of Adoption of Sustainability and Transparency Standards Act establishes a voluntary disclosure regime to foster dialogue around sustainability and responsibility among participating Delaware business entities and their various stakeholders. Laid on the Table in the Senate.