State lawmakers’ reactions to Governor Jack Markell’s State of the State address varied depending on which party the legislator belonged to.
We separated reactions from Republicans and Democrats in videos posted above and below respectively.
House Minority Whip Deborah Hudson believes there are better ways to spend a proposed $1.1 billion the governor wants to invest in the state’s transportation network.
“I really feel that it’s time to maybe move away from spending a lot on transportation,” she said.
The governor also proposed dedicating $7 million towards downtown development projects. Many state lawmakers believe all of that money will wind up in Wilmington. Rep. Bryon Short, D-Claymont, expressed excitement over the initiative while Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson felt otherwise.
“I hate spending all of our resources on one city like that,” Simpson said. “Wilmington does have a problem, I think that Wilmington’s got to make up their mind how they’re going to solve that problem.”
Sen. Margaret Rose-Henry was excited to hear that applications for state jobs will ban the criminal history box this year, helping to put those with a criminal past back to work.
“Yes, ban the box. When you fill out your application you don’t have to check whether or not you have been convicted of a crime. That could be discussed later once you had the opportunity to get your foot in the door to explain what the crime might have been, so it’s a very wonderful thing,” said Sen. Henry, D-Wilm., about the initiative introduced by Rep. James Johnson, D-Dover.
However, Sen. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, who supports many of the governor’s proposals, is concerned about money and how the state will implement some of the ideas financially.
“The biggest thing that seemed to be missing is how these things get funded when we’re looking at a stagnant economy in terms of economic growth, and a $100 – $150 million operating deficit,” Lavelle said.