Delaware State of the State Address; Governor Carney says the state is making progress, and outlines where work needs to be done
DOVER, Del.- Delaware Governor John Carney highlighted legislative achievements of the previous session and stressed the work still ahead during his State of the State Address Thursday in Dover.
State of the State Address
The Governor called on more affordable housing, legislation to help address the growing problem of worker shortages, and increasing pay for teachers, all of which he says he will be adding to his budget next Thursday.
“We have thousands more job openings than we have people looking for work I’m gonna say that again employers 3.700 job openings in the state of Delaware and there are just 2,100 Delawareans looking for a job,” Carney said.
“We need to pay our teachers more to keep in competition with surrounding states,” Governor Carney said, adding he hopes the pay bump will take place before the Education Compensation Commission finalizes its report on the need for greater wages for Delaware’s teachers that’s slated for November of this year.
He says he is proud of the early childhood education opportunity funding that the legislature passed last term, and is hoping to add more funding and programming to help address the inequalities in state education outcomes.
The governor also highlighted the state dollars in Seaford’s Downtown Nylon Capital Shopping center, touting it as a turnaround many didn’t think was possible.
Seaford Mayor David Genshaw credited the governor with funding the project.
“We are truly blessed the governor worked with us on this project for a really long time and helped us get it over the hill, he deserves a ton of credit,” Genshaw said.
Carney pointed to the recovery of the state’s economy, by highlighting the surplus that the state has in funding.
“Despite a global pandemic that ravaged our economy we’ve turned a sec if isn’t deficit into a surplus and we’ve directed one-time revenue into the largest infrastructure program in Delaware history,” Carney said.
The Governor also spoke to the issue of climate change, and its unique ability to harm Delaware as the lowest-lying state in the nation.
“We will accelerate investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and will restore investments in Clearwater trust to protect our drinking water,” he said.
The State of the State Address made no mention of a contentious issue that is likely to be reintroduced next session, legalizing marijuana.
The measure came the closest it ever has to pass last session when it cleared the house and senate only to be vetoed by Carney.
Democrats did not have the votes to overturn that veto.
On the Republican side, Senate Minority Leadership also had their response to the State of The State outlining challenges they think the Governor did not address and offered a less hopeful view of the state’s business communities.
“I think this state has not been good to the small business people I don’t consider myself a small business owner but I consider being up here to help businesses we got a poor business-oriented general assembly we have a huge surplus and what have we done to help small businesses,” Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker said.
Hocker also tells 47ABC he wants to see more legislation and state action to reduce traffic deaths, and overdoses, and better outcomes from the state schools.
“I think we have an outcomes problem we have an achievement problem and I don’t know that throwing more money at the system is the solution I think the funding should follow the student and give parents choice for their kids,” he said.
He says he finds the prospects of greater funding for charter schools unlikely under the current Democratic Majorities in both the house and senate.