Longtime Wilmington radio talk-show host John Watson has witnessed his share of state of the state addresses in Delaware. The last one offered a 21st century view of things.
Here is John Watson’s view in essayworks.
The State of the State is in fine shape. That’s the message delivered by Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell on Thursday Jan. 17th, in Legislative Hall in Dover.
The message, or messages I should say, were delivered in an even, well thought out pace. No rambling, bumper sticker slogans leading to no where. But one strong repeated slogan “This Is the World We Now Live In”. The Governor’s speech explained how it is our duty to create a safer well educated world, preparing out children to be at the top in the future, ready for opportunities and jobs we can only dream of today. I call it “The World Our Children Must Be Prepared to Live In”. We must prepare those generations that will prosper from today’s hard work, with educational excellence.
As Governor Markell put it in his State of the State Address, “this new world begins in Delaware Schools.” More students are graduating, and taking advanced courses today. More Parents choose Public Schools as well because of the support from the General Assembly. He said, “Delaware is on track to increase from 20 to 80 percent the amount of high needs children in child care, enrolled in high quality learning programs. We made the choice to raise academic standards for the world our children will live in. It won’t be easy, but our students will succeed.”
Two teachers, John Sell, The Delaware 2013 Teacher of The Year, and Li Jing Jing, who teaches Chinese to our Kindergartners, received applause after being singled out by Governor Markell for their excellent work. He called on the General Assembly to raise these kinds of teachers to the level of Prestige and Compensation they deserve. He said First Year Teachers are more likely to go else where, making thousands of dollars more, unless we raise our compensation system to better attract great teachers where they are needed. 40% of Delaware Teachers leave teaching with in four years.
Governor Markell spent some time on “creating a nurturing environment for employers.” He pointed out, “businesses that start here are more likely to stay here”. He said three million jobs a year are created by new companies. He pointed out that Delaware was recently rated second best in the country for its knowledge and innovative economy. The Governor said, we can be a leader in this area. The Governor also brought our attention those high energy bills we all know about. He said those bills are so high because we import too much of our electricity. He said we need to reduce energy costs and improve our air quality, some of which we have already done saving hundreds of millions of dollars in energy bills and health impact costs. But he said, we need more local energy generation and work is being done to expand the natural gas supply state wide.
Governor Markell proudly discussed Delaware being blessed with beautiful beaches, parks, a rich cultural and historical heritage and more than preserves and improves our quality of life.
But he also dealt with the violent crime problems in the state. He said Delaware State Police, Wilmington and New Castle County Police are working with Attorney General Biden to reduce violent crimes in Wilmington.
He added that we must also work to protect our children from the massacre we saw in a Connecticut elementary school recently. He said, if this kind of evil visits our communities, we are prepared, because last year the General Assembly passed the “Omnibus School Safety Act” requiring state-of-the-art safety plans for all of Delaware Schools in five years. The Governor is pushing for a two year plan. The Governor went on to discuss his work with Attorney General Biden and Lt. Governor Denn, preparing new Legislation to help get assault type weapons and high capacity magazine, out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. He added the state legislature must passing reasonable gun safety measures which protect Second Amendment rights and makes out streets safer.
The Governor also informed us of the work being done in Delaware, to reinforce our infrastructure for better protection if we are victims to the next devastating Hurricane Sandy type Storm. And said he is looking forward to the recommendations for the working group analyzing these challenges.
As for “innovative health Care” Governor Markell said thanks to the General Assembly Delaware has the leading health technology infrastructure in the nation.
In closing, Governor Markell said, like our parents did for us, making our world more global, more competitive and more connected, the obligation to our children is to prepare the way for their world, “a better Delaware than any thing that came before it.”
And among other things, Governor Markell said we must leave a Delaware that protects the rights of all its citizens, no matter whom they love.
Oh and good luck Governor in passing a same sex marriage bill in the Delaware General Assembly.