Governor Jack Markell delivered his State of the State (SOTS) address yesterday in Legislative Hall. His 42 minute speech focused on a diverse set of topics: education, mental health/substance abuse, reducing pollution in the state’s waterways, spending more money on infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) revitalizing downtowns like Wilmington, dealing with “gun violence” and new government programs to help students become work-ready and to help the unemployed find work. (read a recap here)
Noticeably absent? Any serious discussion of the economic record of Delaware, energy prices which are 25% higher than the national average, how the state was making expanding business possible (Delaware ranks last in existing firms expanding), what the state is doing with Sea Level Rise legislation, you get the picture. As was expected, the speech was more of a list of what Delaware is going to spend on this year, rather than a list of ideas which will not require extra spending.
Not all was bad in the speech: certainly offering students a chance to explore different fields of study is a good thing, and there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to see the downtown areas revitalized. However, the Governor would not say how he intends to pay for $500 million in new spending-but we can figure it out: more taxes and fee increases, plus some borrowing and bond selling.