Over the past couple of days, Gov. John Carney has rolled out proposals that include a million dollar fund to clean up the state’s waterways and a similar amount to build the first new school in Wilmington in four decades.
Both plans are long overdue but will face legislative scrutiny as Delaware continues to roll up surpluses, due to a moderately robust revenue picture. Of late, the economy seems to be losing some steam as the jobless rate ticks upward.
Some will press for money to be returned to taxpayers or placed in a larger “rainy day” fund for a recession that will come at some point. Carney’s budgets, despite some resistance from legislators, have set aside more money in reserves.
We’ll learn more today about the governor’s priorities in his State of the State Address.
One area that should be addressed is homelessness, perhaps with a public-private partnership.
While the state does not suffer from high homeless rates seen in states like Florida and California, troublesome signs have appeared that include the closing of shelters serving the neediest.
Sussex County scrambled to deal with the lack of shelters due to a rising homelessness rate. One temporary solution is the use of a recently vacated State Police building off Coastal Highway.
Proposed shelters will struggle with not in my backyard concerns and zoning restrictions.
Long-term solutions will require a more coordinated response. The state needs to be a key player.
The good news is that Delaware has an opportunity to step up to the plate after doing a good job in addressing homelessness among veterans.
Here’s to a happy and productive workday. If this newsletter was passed along, sign up here for your own free subscription– Doug Rainey, chief content officer.