Governor John Carney on Thursday delivered the2020 State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly, announcing plans to invest in Delaware’s public schools, protect our environment, and strengthen our economy.
“As I start my fourth year as your Governor and compare things now to how they were when I took office, things are really looking up,” saidCarney. “All of us in this room are keepers of the public trust. When we make promises, we have to keep them. And that is what we’ve done…so let’s continue to work together over the next year. To build on the promises we’ve made. To give people faith in their government. And to give them hope for the future.”
Click here to read Governor Carney’s full State of the State address, as prepared for delivery.
The following are excerpts from Governor Carney’s remarks:
“At the end of three years as your Governor, I’m pleased to report that the state of our state is strong and getting stronger. But we’re not stopping there. In my budget next week, we’re proposing $50 million in capital investments to further strengthen our economic infrastructure.These investments are all designed to shift our economy into a higher gear. Many emerging companies have outgrown the Experimental Station or the Star Campus. So we’re investing in lab space where they can keep growing here in Delaware. We’ll create a Site Readiness Fund, so we can quickly convert existing properties to meet the needs of prospective employers. And we’ll expand the EDGE grant program, to encourage even more small businesses to grow and innovate. Our goal is simple: We want companies to start here, to stay here, and to grow here.”
“Delawareans also expect to be able to get to and from work quickly and safely. That’s why we’re investing $4.5 billion over the next six years to modernize our roads, bridges, and public transit.”
“New investments in our technology infrastructure have already brought high-speed internet to the areas around Laurel, Seaford and Bridgeville – where service was spotty or nonexistent. This is also helping family-owned businesses like Ellis Farms, a poultry and grain business in Millsboro. They rely on high-speed internet to collect data and drive farming operations. Projects are scheduled in Kent County in the coming weeks.”
Clean water infrastructure
“A healthier Delaware starts with our most basic and valuable resource: water. It’s critical that we protect that resource for future generations. From the Brandywine to Rehoboth Bay to Trap Pond, we have beautiful natural areas in our state. And we all agree that families in Blades, here in Dover — and across our state — deserve to know that thewatercoming out of their faucets isclean. That’s why we’re partnering with Representative Longhurst and Senator McBride to invest $50 million in clean water. Building off the work of Senator Townsend’s Clean Water Task Force, we’ll create a Clean Water Trust Fund, and we’ll have a special focus on low-income communities. Taking care of our environment is one of the most important obligations we have as elected officials. This is a historic investment that will make a big difference in the lives of Delawareans, in our economy, and in our environment. I hope you’ll join me in making this a priority.”
“While students across our state need our attention, students in the City of Wilmington need our help the most. That’s why, just yesterday, we announced our plan to invest $50 million to build a new school on the East Side of Wilmington. And to renovate Bayard on the West Side. All across Delaware, from Dover to Middletown to Rehoboth, we’ve built or renovated nearly 30 beautiful schools in the last three years. Our children in Wilmington deserve no less.”
“The promise we made three years ago to our children is probably the most important of all. We promised that at the end of our term, more children would be graduating ready for what comes next. And with a sense of promise about the future. Today I can report that graduation rates for low-income students and English learners are the highest they’ve been in 10 years. Today, for the first time in our state’s history, we’re targeting resources toward these students who need our help the most. We call it Opportunity Funding. My budget will continue this investment, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because the future of our state depends on the success of our children.”
“We know that an early start is key to this success. That’s why, over the next three years, we’ll increase state-funded ECAP pre-k seats by 50 percent statewide.”
Tree for every Delawarean
“This year, we are taking our commitment to the environment a step further. Over the next decade, we will plant 1 million trees across Delaware. That’s a tree for every Delawarean.”
“Thanks to Representative Bentz and members of the General Assembly in both parties, we passed the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act and another, similar red flag law. The idea behind both pieces of legislation was really simple. We should keep firearms out of the hands of those intent on harming themselves or others. Family members and mental health providers can now raise a concern, and a judge decides whether to intervene. These laws have already been used 35 times to date. And they have helped save lives. But we know we can do more. I encourage every member in this chamber to support legislation that would ban so-called ghost guns, and high capacity magazines. These bills are just common sense.”