DOVER — The Joint Finance Committee will not meet today because of Washington’s Birthday (generally known as Presidents’ Day).
The budget-writing panel will resume hearings Tuesday, with several state agencies appearing virtually before the committee. Among those presenting that day are the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
Wednesday will see the Department of Justice followed by the Department of Education, which traditionally receives a large amount of attention and considerable public input. Thursday’s headliners are the Office of Defense Services and the judiciary.
Hearings are likely to conclude the following week, which is dedicated entirely to the Department of Health and Social Services.
The General Assembly has not met in person in slightly more than a year, courtesy of COVID-19.
Last week’s budget hearings, which included the Department of Correction, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families and the Department of Transportation, were largely uneventful.
The meetings have been quicker than usual this year, with fewer public comments, presumably due to the format.
Although there are a couple instances each day of individuals attempting to speak without first unmuting themselves, the hearings have proceeded without major hiccups.
Some members have participated mostly or solely in Legislative Hall, while others have joined from home. The state capitol remains closed except to lawmakers and a few staffers.
JFC will meet again at the end of May to take significant steps toward finalizing a spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The budget is based off Gov. John Carney’s recommendations, although lawmakers make tweaks as they see fit.
The Joint Committee on Capital Improvement will convene in early May to review the capital bond bill.