Governor wants Delaware surplus to repay Strategic Business Fund

    Governor Jack Markell gathered several dozen business leaders from around the state in his office Thursday morning to pitch his idea that extra revenue discovered since his budget proposal earlier this year should be used for one time expenses.

    Governor Jack Markell gathered several dozen business leaders from around the state in his office Thursday morning to pitch his idea that extra revenue discovered since his budget proposal earlier this year should be used for one time expenses.

    Markell says using the more than $100 million that’s been added to the state’s bottom line on continuing costs would be risky.  “Most of this new revenue comes from unpredictable or short-term sources, and it’s a risky bet to budget for the long term when that new revenue may be short term in nature.”

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    That’s why Markell is proposing a plan that would move the newly found revenue in the Strategic Fund that’s designed to provide financial assistance to businesses.  The Strategic Fund has seen a lot of activity during the economic downturn.  The state has used it to preserve jobs and draw new businesses to the state.  Markell says the fund “is the tool that helped us bring companies like Fisker Automotive, PBF Energy and so many other employees to Delaware.”

    Some of the beneficiaries of the fund also took part in the meeting.  Nanticoke Health Services President and CEO Steven Rose says the money has helped the hospital hire doctors and other staff.  “Through the $4.5 million that we received, we have since that time employed upwards to 50 or 60 new employees,” Rose says.  He says the money has also helped the hospital get on a more solid financial footing.  “If we hadn’t received that loan, I would dare say in all honestly, we were ready to default on some bond commitments.  It would have probably meant a loss of even more jobs then we brought in.”  He says Nanticoke is now projecting a million dollar profit for this year, unlike the loss the health care provider posted last year.

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