Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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July 29, 1996


In accordance -with the provisions of Section 43-1-4 of the General Laws, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 96-H-7757, Substitute A, "An Act Relating To Public Finance - State Budget."

This legislation involves the process by which the Governor is to be notified of a surplus and may propose appropriations from the state budget reserve and cash utilization account. Current law provides that the Budget Officer may notify the Governor that total resources available will not equal original revenue estimates. Under this Act, the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference will make such notification to the Budget Officer who in turn will notify the Governor.

The requirements imposed by this legislation are redundant and unnecessary. First, the Budget Officer is presently required to publicly release, through the Director of Administration, a quarterly report on revenue and expenditure projections through the end of the year- Second, the Budget Officer as a member of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference jointly issues a report to the Governor, the House and the Senate leadership on any revisions of revenue estimates, which includes increases and decreases. Third, the legislation as amended, requires the Chairman of the Revenue Estimating Conference to inform the Budget Officer of a change, even Though the Budget Officer is the Chairman every third meeting of the Conference.

The proposed legislation is not just redundant, but begins to blur the separation of powers between government branches by substituting the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference for executive authority functions. Resolution of the appropriate level of funding from Delaware Capital funds for capital and debt service budgets should be part of the Governor's annual budget proposal. As we have experienced in the past, revenues can fluctuate dramatically over the course of a year. As a result, the available revenues in the Delaware fund often will fluctuate causing potential shortfalls in funding for legislatively mandated expenditures for capital projects. We must maintain the flexibility to manage Delaware fund projects as resources change. This legislation removes the ability to prudently manage these funds.

For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.


Lincoln Almond