Bond bill heads to Delaware lawmakers

A larger-than-expected capital spending bill in Delaware has been OK’d by the Joint Bond Bill Committee and is on its way to the General Assembly.

The $664 million spending bill — used for state building projects such as roads, schools and other infrastructure — is about $244 million more than Gov. Jack Markell proposed in January, thanks to some significant gains in state revenues.

Committee co-chair Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington) says the money will be used for a wide range of economic development efforts.

“Obviously the extra monies that were dedicated from the excess funding helped us,” she said. “And for the first time in a number of years we have a good chunk of change, so to speak, that’s going out there. It’s going to hit the streets very quickly. School construction, road construction, building construction — that’s what we need.”

The other co-chair, Sen. Robert Venables (D-Laurel), says the extra funding will give the state — and its residents — a boost. He says the money pumped into construction projects will put people to work.

“I’m a strong believer in economic development and I don’t see any way we can turn this economy around if we don’t create jobs.”

About $198 million of the package is earmarked for highway work.

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