Budget Panel Continues Hearings

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    Legislative budget writers are continuing their hearings on Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $3.8 billion operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that calls for a rise in gas prices in Delaware.

    The Joint Finance Committee reconvenes Monday to review proposed budgets for Delaware's courts, the Department of State, and the attorney general's office.

    The panel will spend the rest of the week considering spending plans for Department of Health and Social Services agencies and programs.

    The JFC will hold a separate hearing next month on the Department of Transportation's operating budget.

    Markell wants to divert $40 million from Delaware's transportation trust fund to cover his operating budget, even though he says the transportation fund, which was intended to pay only for road projects, is in sorry shape.  He wants to pay for additional road projects by raising Delaware's gas tax.