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DANA's Public Policy Blog
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DANA will be updating you on important public policy matters as they happen. We will also post about the activities of the Governor, Delaware's General Assembly, local issues, hearings & meetings, and legislation that relates to DANA's Public Policy Agenda.


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Top tags: Nonprofits  budget  Joint Finance Committee  General Assembly  Delaware  Grant-in-Aid  Governor  DEFAC  Workers Compensation  Insurance  government  Delaware Nonprofit Day  charitable solicitation  National Council of Nonprofits  Public Policy  revenue  Attorney General  Legislative Hall  Lt. Governor  Task force  Board Member  Calendar  charities  Healthcare  Nonprofit  Office of Management and Budget  taxes  Wilmington  Advocacy  Affordable Care Act 

Governor Jack Markell Released his Recommended Budget

Posted By John Baker, Friday, January 13, 2017

Governor Jack Markell recently released his recommended budget, now Incoming Governor Carney, the Joint Finance Committee and General Assembly will work on the best final version between now and June 30th.

As always, we strive to get breaking news to you. So here are the latest 2018 Delaware State Budget resources you can use to be in the know.

DANA has been working on the financial challenges that face our Nonprofit Sector, meeting with our elected officials, engaging with the Governor Elects transition team to present the Nonprofit Sector’s perspective, and planning action now that the budget course is more clear. The Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition (DRSC) led by DANA along with Delaware Grantmakers Association, Delaware Community Foundation, United Way of Delaware, Ability Network of DE, the UD-CCRS, and AFP-Brandywine will be issuing it’s call to action that we can all organize around at the DANA Annual Budget Update on February 17th from 9-Noon, The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Hearings are through February (calendar here), the DANA Annual Conference is May 15th, and DANA’s Delaware Nonprofit Day is June 8th at The Mall Legislative Hall from 11am-1pm.

Key Dates:

January 31 - March 2: Joint Finance Committee Hearing begin – See link below

February 17: DANA Annual Budget Update & Advocacy Briefing 9 AM – Noon  

May 15: DANA Annual Conference with Governor Carney, U.S. Delegation and Cabinet Secretaries Invited

June 8: DANA Delaware Nonprofit Day at The Mall Legislative Hall Dover

Quick analysis:

The proposed Delaware State Budget presented to the General Assembly as House Bill 25 proposes to balance the $350 Million budget gap through $212 Million in new revenue (described in the budget presentation linked below) and Agency Base Budget Reduction cuts of $31.831 Million and Grant-In-Aid cuts of nearly $13 Million; $11 Million cut for “First Responders” and $2 Million for “Community-Service Nonprofits” (Total GIA 2017 $45.89 Mill.).  Of the Agency cuts the largest cuts are in DHSS at $9.419 Million, DSCYF (Kids) at $462,000, and DOE at $16.173 Million.  If you receive “Pass-Throughs” check them out too.  A note of good news – “Tobacco – Master Settlement Agreement” has been replenished by approximately $1.6 Million.

Secretary of Finance Tom Cook. “The revenue changes we propose adhere closely to the recommendations of the recent bipartisan revenue task force which established a blueprint for reshaping state revenues to better grow with the economy.”

In Governor Markell’s words:  Sustaining Responsible State Finances with Mix of Revenue Increases and Spending Reductions

This balanced plan takes key steps toward structurally resolving the budget deficit not only for Fiscal Year 2018, but also by better positioning Delaware for the future,” said Governor Markell

To close a $350 million shortfall and put the state on a path to sustainable budgets in the long-term, the proposal includes some increases in personal income tax by limiting deductions (we are exploring to better understand which ones) and raising the rate of the top tax bracket by 0.2 percent. In addition, the Governor recommends an adjustment to the corporate franchise tax (we also need to understand if this will impact NPOs), increasing the State assessment on realty transfer tax, and an increase in the cigarette tax. Details can be found in the administration’s budget presentation and total a $212 million increase for the coming fiscal year.

Get the Governor’s 2018 Budget Presentation and full budget HERE.

Get the NewsWorks Summary and article HERE.

Here’s the full State Budget.

Here’s the “Hot-Off-The-Press” Joint Finance Detailed Calendar of Hearings.


Know that DANA will be working on digesting this and engaging our Alliance…YOU!

You can always reach me at:

All the best - John

Tags:  budget  Delaware  Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition  Nonprofits  revenue 

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December DEFAC Update

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hi All,

Monday’s Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) meeting revealed that their estimated "98% Appropriation" number is down by $33.7 Million. Increasing the already substantial gap between revenues and expenditures from September’s forecast of $167 Million to $201.1 Million. Adding to this the various cost drivers (school enrollment, medicaid, healthcare for state employees and other drivers), the gap climbs quickly. The News Journal today has put the number at $350 Million. that needs to be made up through new revenues and expense cuts.

Know that DANA has been providing the Delaware Nonprofit Sector's perspective to Governor Elect Carney's various transition committees and the overall transition team.

Meanwhile, the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition (DRSC) of the nonprofit sector continues to meet. We have a full calendar of events to engage our elected officials, including:

•January 19 (anticipated) - Governor's State of the State 

•January 26 (anticipated) - Governor's Proposed Budget Presentation 

•February 17 - DANA Annual Budget Update, 9am-Noon in Georgetown

•February & March will be the JFC hearings

•March will have two Coalition member programs hosted by the Ability Network of Delaware  (details still to come)

•June 8th - NONPROFIT DAY in DOVER rally (Save the Date!)

•June will be focused on direct advocacy with our elected officials by nonprofits, boards, volunteers, and clients

Throughout the next six months, the Coalition will continue to reach out to you, as well as meet with General Assembly & JFC members to represent the nonprofit voice, our clients, and all Delawareans. Get the General Assembly / Legislative Calendar here:

We are all partners for a stronger Delaware. 

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at or 302-777-5500.

Thank you,

John Baker

Tags:  Budget  DEFAC  Delaware  Nonprofits  revenue 

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Annual Budget Update LIVE and more from Dover

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hi All –

Register HERE for the DANA Free Event of the Season…The Annual Budget Update on Wednesday, February 17 (next week!) with OMB, DHSS, Kids Dept., JFC, and Advocacy! This is always a really popular and packed event, so don't miss the opportunity to reserve your seat.

I also have a number of updates for you from Dover:

We’ve just entered the second week out of the four weeks of JFC’s Hearings. Check the calendar here. 

Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition

The report of the “Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition – Expenditure Review Committee” is in. Find it here.

There is no issue too tough for the nonprofit sector. They're continuing work to achieve efficiencies in Criminal Justice, Medicaid, Foster Care, State Personnel, School Districts, and Central and Fleet Services.

Report Conclusion:       

“Delaware state government has undertaken substantial actions to control costs in recent years, which has mirrored national trends.  Given continued costs pressures, the Committee believes it important to maintain this focus.  While many of the recommendations require further study and analysis, they provide a general course of action that should meet the Committee’s charge to identify opportunities to provide services more efficiently, effectively or at less cost to taxpayers.” 

The report focused and issued recommendations on:

1. Outcomes-based Approaches for the following:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Medicaid
  • Foster Care program

2. Personnel Cost Containment

3. Use of Consolidation, Sharing and/or Centralized Services

  • School Districts
  • Government central services to include other fleets

Leadership Meetings

Sheila and I met with Senate President Pro Tempore, Patricia Blevins and Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf and updated them on the challenges of the sector and the good work of the sector-wide Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition.

They both acknowledged the good news of the Governor including in his budget proposed increases to Contracts and pass-throughs with the “Nonprofit Partners” Line of 1% or $2.3 Million, as well as holding the Grant-In-Aid line level at $43 Million.

They both also emphasized the need for heavy advocacy from the whole sector to maintain these items in the budget. So keep engaged with the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition and DANA. The next event you can participate in on this front is the Annual Budget Update next week (see the full agenda below), then March 23rd at a DelARF day in Dover, and attending Nonprofit Day and Rally on May 18th at Legislative Hall in Dover, 11am-1pm. More details to follow, but you can reserve your spot now by clicking here.

State of the Sector to Joint Finance Committee 

We’re finalizing the date near the end of February on which Sheila  will present to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) about the “State of the Nonprofit Sector.”

Annual Budget Update Agenda

8:30 – 9:00am     Registration/Continental Breakfast – Courtesy of Nemours Foundation

9:00 - 9:15am      Welcoming remarks – Sheila Bravo, President & CEO of DANA

9:15 – 9:20am     Moderator: George Meldrum, Nemours

9:20 – 9:45am     Bert Scoglietti, Office of Management and Budget

9:45 – 10:00am   Rep. Melanie George Smith, Co-Chair Joint Finance Committee (JFC)

                                (General Assembly’s Outlook on the Budget)

10:00 – 10:30       Kevin Kelley, Division of Health and Social Services (DHSS)

10:30 – 11:00       Kate Carlson, Department of Services for Children Youth and their Families (DSCYF)

11:00 – 11:30       Rebecca Kidner, ESQ., Registered Lobbyist, Government Relations

                                 (Advocacy – The Opportunity for Voice and Legal Concerns)

11:30 - 11:50am   The Legislative Budget Cycle

                                 (John Baker, EVP for Public Policy & Programs, DANA)

11:50- 12:00pm    Closing remarks - George Meldrum, Nemours Foundation

As always, if you have any questions call or email me: 302.777.5500


Tags:  budget  Delaware  Delaware Nonprofit Day  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits  Revenue 

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DEFAC Update

Posted By John Baker, Monday, December 21, 2015
Hi All,

Today's Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Committee (DEFAC) meeting revealed that their estimated "98% Appropriation" number is up $164 million. This still leaves a substantial gap between revenues and expenditures, but it's an improvement. There is still more work to be done. Let's continue to work together for the best outcome. 
Meanwhile, the Delaware Revenue Solutions Working Group of the nonprofit sector continues to meet. We have a full calendar of events to engage our elected officials, including:
  • January 21 - Governor's State of the State 
  • January 28 - Governor's Proposed Budget Presentation 
  • January has United Way hosting a Legislative Brunch in Dover (details still to come) 
  • February 17 - DANA Annual Budget Update, 9am-Noon in Dover 
  • February & March will be the JFC hearings 
  • April will have another Working Group program hosted by DelARF (details still to come)
  • May 25 - NONPROFIT DAY in DOVER rally (Save the Date!)
  • June will be focused on direct advocacy with our elected officials by nonprofits, boards, volunteers, and clients
Throughout the next six months, the Working Group will continue to reach out to you, as well as meet with General Assembly & JFC members to represent the nonprofit voice, our clients, and all Delawareans. We are all partners for a stronger Delaware. 

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to me. 

Thank you,
John Baker

Tags:  budget  DEFAC  Delaware  nonprofits  Revenue 

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Does Delaware’s Projected Budget Gap Have You Concerned? We Have The Solution For You!

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The “Delaware Revenue Solutions Working Group – An Initiative of the Nonprofit Sector”  was formed in July, just after the bruising struggle to balance this year’s $50 Million shortfall.  We know that this year will be a much greater challenge, so we’ve started to tackle this Delaware State Budget issue collaboratively, meeting on a weekly basis. 

The “We” is the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (DelARF), Delaware Grantmakers Association (DGA), Delaware Community Foundation (DCF), United Way of Delaware (Uway of DE), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), University of Delaware (UD), and many of our Government and Business Partners. 

This is the Working Group that has been moving forward with this on your behalf, but we need to hear from you (and you need to be seen by our elected officials). Join us to have your voices heard at the Delaware Revenue Solutions Working Group Forum:

Click here to Register

Tuesday, October 20th 

Delaware State Police: Troop 2
100 Lagrange Ave
Newark, DE 19702

Join the conversation! Delawareans need to have a statewide conversation about how we will address the challenges, maintain a high quality of life, and build an economy that provides everyone the opportunity to succeed. 

“The Delaware Revenue Solutions Working Group: An Initiative of the Nonprofit Sector” will deliver a whitepaper to you so you can digest all the critical factors at your own pace. (We know how busy you are just serving our fellow Delawareans in need!)  We’ll also provide the additional items listed below:

  • The whitepaper will be committed to by all the organizing groups mentioned above and will present a course forward that will strive to speak for those among us who can not speak for themselves, and preserve the services that they so desperately need.  The expectation is that we’ll integrate your input from the October 20th forum and each organization can use it with their board, staff, and volunteers as your organizing document to plan your advocacy efforts for the year.  We’ll integrate with your efforts and work in coalition.
  • We’ll provide you with materials and key actions that your nonprofit can use with your board, staff, and volunteers.
  • Key dates for action and testimony at JFC, OMB, and other hearings and public events.
  • The forum with the Governor’s Office, the Office of Management and Budget, both chambers of the Delaware General Assembly, the Joint Finance Committee, and the State Chamber of Commerce committed so far.

We’ve examined circumstances in Delaware and learned from other states' experiences. We’ve also looked at applicable reports that have been published recently within Delaware. They will also be summarized for you in the White Paper.  They include:

  • The Final Report of the DEFAC Advisory Council on Revenues
  • The Delaware Business Roundtable – “Delaware’s Structural Budget Problem:
  • Delaware Voice piece by Co-Chair JFC, Rep. Melanie George Smith
  • Delaware Voice piece by General Assembly Leadership, Sen. Blevins, and Rep. Schwartzkopf

Click here for the Working Group’s organizing document

As always, I welcome you to reach out to me with comments or questions.


Tags:  budget  Delaware  nonprofits  revenue 

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