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What’s New

Financial State of the States 2021

From: Truth in Accounting

Truth in Accounting has released its twelfth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information. This comprehensive analysis surveys the fiscal health of the 50 states during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite receiving federal assistance from the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related grants, the majority of states’ finances worsened. Total debt among the 50 states amounted to $1.5 trillion at the end of the fiscal year 2021. Read more: Delaware ranking pgs. 114-115.

Auditor to host Sept. 20 town hall on rescue funds spending | Cape Gazet

From: The Cape Gazette

State Auditor Kathy McGuiness will hold a town hall meeting from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 20, at Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach.

The event is part of a series of town halls focusing on Project: Gray Fox, her online resource for municipalities, counties, school districts and state agencies to securely track their American Rescue Plan Act spending.

“Delawareans have been asking for greater accessibility, transparency and good governance in the First State,” McGuiness said. “These town halls will allow the public to better understand how their communities will be spending their ARPA funds.”

Delaware received approximately $1.25 billion total in ARPA money. The U.S. Treasury has issued guidance for how government entities can spend the funds, but each one – whether a municipality, school district, county or state agency – decides which categories to choose from.

“These town halls will provide the necessary information so that all Delawareans can be informed citizen fiscal watchdogs,” McGuiness said. As state auditor, she is dedicated to identifying fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Project: Gray Fox proactively seeks to prevent those issues. Read more

Little is being said about state redistricting, despite calls for transparency

From: Delaware Live

Delaware’s state House and Senate districts must be redrawn and approved by Nov. 7, but legislative leaders have yet to announce a date to convene a special session to vote on the new district lines.

In August, a broad coalition of community organizations sent an open letter calling on Democratic House and Senate leadership to ensure a fair, transparent, nondiscriminatory, and politically impartial process.

On Thursday, one of the letter’s signatories, Common Cause of Delaware, said in a press release, “One month without any response from state leaders has passed since Common Cause of Delaware and a broad coalition of community organizations sent a letter asking for a fair and transparent redistricting process.”

Common Cause of Delaware is now demanding that state legislators “start communicating with the public about this year’s redistricting cycle.”

“Redistricting will impact our elections for the next decade and the people of Delaware deserve to have a meaningful say in the process,” said Claire Snyder-Hall, director of Common Cause of Delaware. “A completely transparent and public redistricting process will ensure we draw fair maps that benefit our communities, not the politicians. It’s time for state leaders to come forward with details about this year’s redistricting process.” Read more.