Business Roundtable, State Chamber outline Covid recovery plan

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In a joint letter sent to Governor Carney and his administration, the Delaware Business Roundtable and Delaware State Chamber of Commerce submitted a Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

The letter stated that the business community is prepared to assist in the task of vaccinating Delawareans immediately.

The letter calls for caution when it comes to state spending and taxes.

The Roundtable-Chamber plan supports the “budget smoothing” process championed by Gov. John Carney that sets aside revenues for tougher times. Budget smoothing is credited with helping the state avoid Coivd-19-driven deficits seen in other states.

The plan also calls for the General Assembly to deal with a Chancery Court decision that ruled the state’s school funding formula is unconstitutional. It is up to the House and Senate to come up with a remedy.

Last April, in the early part of the pandemic, the Roundtable and Chamber recommended several priorities, including worker retraining, expanded broadband capacity, and assistance for small businesses and their families.

A release stated that some progress had been made on many of those recommendations but added that “much more needs to be accomplished since the pandemic’s impact has now been with us for almost a year.”

The roundtable and Chamber sent to Gov. John Carney and the General Assembly a document entitled, The Road to Recovery: Putting Delawareans Back to Work, which “will create opportunities for Delaware workers and their families and provide an element of hope in an otherwise challenging time. The recommendations touch many aspects of life in Delaware – providing tax relief to those who received unemployment compensation, retraining workers whose jobs have been permanently lost, focusing on the availability and quality of child care, establishing education equity, protecting our supply of clean water, and creating and maintaining jobs for Delawareans,” a release sated.

The roundtable also called for “collaboration and cooperation – between Democrats and Republicans, between upstate and downstate, between the public and private sectors. There’s never been another time in Delaware’s history where such a heightened level of collaboration and cooperation were required to meet a challenge. Just as this crisis isn’t “business as usual” for Delawareans, it can’t be ‘politics as usual’ for our elected leaders.”

The plan was released as the General Assembly tilts to the left with progressives replacing moderate Democrats and Republicans. Republicans lost two Senate seats, giving Democrats the opportunity to push through legislation.

At the same time, the Republican minority in the House and Senate has moved to the right, with a half a dozen senators refusing to endorse a routine resolution congratulating Joe Biden on becoming president.

Meanwhile, long-time progressive State Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, has re-introduced long-sought legislation that would add two additional tax brackets for those making more than $125,000 a year. This time around, the bill seems to have more support.

(See plan below)

Click to access tmp_5389_1-25-2021_64755_.pdf

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