In his state of the state address, Governor Jack Markell says Delaware is far stronger than the challenges it faces, but tough choices still lie ahead in reforming Medicaid, streamlining state government, and addressing the high costs of pension and health care benefits available to state employees.
Markell said would seek additional funding for Delaware’s strategic fund, a program run by the Delaware Economic Development Office that is used to attract businesses to the state, and promotes business expansion and job creation.
The Governor also highlighted efforts to continue improving education, with tougher standards. He also wants to address safety and discipline problems in the schools.
The state will continue to look at ways to streamline state government and the workforce. While saying he appreciates the service of state workers, Governor Markell also indicated that some tough choices need to be made concerning health care and retirement packages offered to state employees. He said that expense accounts for $453-million out of the state budget.
House Republican Minority Whip Gerald Hocker said he would have liked to hear more specifics about how the Governor proposes to create more jobs. Hocker said as a person in small business, he believes regulation and the state’s tax structure do not currently favor new hiring. He also wants to address Delaware’s high cost per-capita of educating public school students.
You can watch the Governor’s State of the State address tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 on WHYY-TV 12.
Governor Markell presents his budget proposal January 27th.