Lawmakers start 2020 session expecting more money, return to same controversial topics
From The News Journal
Delaware lawmakers returned from their six-month break Tuesday to everything they weren’t able to get done last year — and a projected surplus of about $200 million.
For many divisive issues such as legal weed, gun control and a $15 minimum wage, it’s not clear if much has changed since lawmakers left in July.
But surplus cash no doubt will ignite new debates about how and where it should be spent.
It could mean more money to spend on government-paid projects, such as school renovations or road repairs. But it’s also a source of anxiety for the General Assembly’s top leaders, who don’t always agree with the governor, or one another, about where it’s needed the most.
“It’s more difficult to run the Legislature when you have a surplus than when you have a deficit,” said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear. “Everybody will be down in Legislative Hall putting their hands out.”
The Democratic governor and some Republicans are pushing for the extra money to go to one-time expenses, stressing that the state needs to be careful because future years may not be as fortunate. That translates into not starting programs that require future dollars.