Delaware legislative leaders: Heavy lifting remains

With two weeks remaining in Delaware’s legislative session, the General Assembly’s top two leaders say they’ve got some serious work to do.

Members of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee got the state’s operating budget out in record time, but there’s still a capital budget to figure out. This year, the capital budget, also known as the Bond Bill, will get much of the $350 million that’s been added to the state’s bottom line since Gov. Jack Markell introduced his spending plan in January.

“The Bond Bill is going to be a lot of work,” said House Speaker Robert Gilligan (D-Sherwood Park). “Because most of the 350 million additional dollars is going toward economic development.”

Senate President Pro Tem Anthony DeLuca (D-Newark) says the money should be focused on job creation.

“Hopefully the majority of the money we can put into capital projects, infrastructure, schools, and put people back to work.”

The lawmakers spoke Wednesday at the State Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative leadership lunch in Dover.

They said the state also needs to address tax issues and start looking at how the Delaware Department of Transportation can restore public confidence with the appointment of incoming secretary Shailen Bhatt.

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