Markell Delivers Delaware State Of State Address - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Markell Delivers Delaware State Of State Address

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Dover, Del. – In his sixth State of the State address, Governor Markell made it clear his main focus is improving the state's economy.

On the top of his policy agenda -- job creation.

"Every Delawarean has something to contribute if given the chance. We need to make sure they have that chance," he said.

That chance begins with education. Markell is proposing a number of initiatives, including a scholarship program to help low-income students take college courses during their senior year and a grant program to help connect employers with high schools and universities.

"As we send more of our students into higher education we need to make sure they have a roadmap from the classroom to employment and that our major employers are working with our universities so that our youth are prepared for the workforce," he said.

To support job creation, the governor is proposing a $2 million grant program to support research and innovation.

He wants to focus on efforts to improve infrastructure, and is looking to invest $1.1 billion over five years to improve transportation.

He is also poised to raise minimum wage and teacher salaries – priorities that all face a big challenge: the budget.  

"We've got to make up something like $130 million. That's going to be the tough nut to crack -- is getting that budget balanced," Senator Gary Simpson said.

The governor also talked about efforts to make released inmates productive members of society by looking into employment discrimination and making it easier for released inmates to obtain driver's licenses. He also addressed the need to help kids who get in trouble with the law.

Among other initiatives, the governor proposed investing $7 million to revitalize Delaware's downtown areas, and also plans to unveil a clean-water initiative next month.

Next week, Markell will present his budget recommendation for the fiscal year beginning July 1st.


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