This Week in Delaware

Date: June 02, 2021

It has been a busy week in the First State.


Recently, Governor Carney announced that as a result of updated guidance from the CDC, nearly all COVID-related restrictions on Delaware’s small businesses are to be lifted, effective Friday, May 21. This includes social distancing requirements, capacity restrictions, and the state’s mask mandate for both indoor and outdoor settings.


Mask-wearing will still be required on public transit, planes, in schools, health care facilities, and congregate settings like prisons and homeless shelters. The order also mandates mask-wearing in state-owned buildings and facilities, including Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) facilities, Delaware State Service Centers, and the Carvel State Office Building.


Another surprise came on Monday, when the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) announced their updated budget forecast for the upcoming year. As a result of federal relief funds and higher-than-expected tax receipts, the state is now expecting a $1 billion surplus. This outlook also resulted in an increase in Delaware’s budget limit. That metric for the next fiscal year increased by $429.3 million to a total of $5.9 billion.


Despite this seemingly-positive news, DEFAC Chair Michael Houghton warned lawmakers to be wary of what the future may hold. “We need to continue to be cautious,” he said. “Some of these changes continue to be a function of extraordinary times, which will clearly have a positive impact in the short term but are probably not completely reliable and predictable. In fact, I would say they aren’t.”


Finally, the Delaware Department of Labor recently announced Unemployment Benefit recipients will be required to look for work in order to continue to receive benefits, effective June 12. Secretary of Labor Karryl Hubbard noted: “Thousands of jobs are currently available, and UI claimants want to get back to work. JobLink is a key tool for connecting potential employees to employers.” This new guidance matches what was in place prior to the pandemic.

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