Roughly 40-50% of government revenues come from the state's status as the "Incorporation Capital of the Country." In addition, the "non-business" courts (for example, Justice of the Peace or Family Courts) interact with Delawareans under high-stress circumstances. Furthermore, as Delaware's population has grown, so has the need for the Superior Court's growth.
Yet, in real dollars, the Governor and Delaware General Assembly have reduced spending in Delaware courts over the last 20 years. This poor allocation of resources makes no sense. There are still computer systems in the judicial branch that are text-based with antiquated functionality; some staff are paid less than $30,000 per year, leaving key support positions unfilled.
Frankly, the starving of Delaware's judicial branch is an embarrassing treatment of the third "co-equal" branch of government.
Who You Gonna Call? Capitol Police!
Crime is a critical issue in the country and in Delaware. Yet the Delaware State Police's budget is smaller in real terms than it was 20 years ago. But have no fear; the Delaware legislature is well-protected, having increased the budget of the Delaware Capitol Police by over 200% over the same period. CRI believes in funding all police. The state's population is 26.3% larger today, but the Delaware State Police spending has not kept pace.
Delaware School District Operating Costs up 200%. Educational results remain unchanged.
Every year, Delaware governors and legislators have touted increases in educational spending - more for specialists, counselors, or wages. For the last 20 years, school district operations have been larded up with more money and more administrators (and more regulations). Compared with 20 years ago, district operational expenses are up 193.4%, and staffing is up almost 50%.
Yet, as the graph below shows, educational achievement is unchanged over this period (and this data is pre-COVID, so it will likely be worse when updated). Most of the increased spending on district operations has been a waste.