KEVIN ON THE ISSUES

THE ECONOMY AND JOBS

The Covid virus turned our daily routines and the world upside down. Local small businesses have been hit particularly hard.

As we begin to recover and return to “normal”, we need to do all that we can to restore jobs throughout our work force.

The restriction of our schools to mainly virtual learning has resulted in additional burdens on both students and parents. As we return to in person learning we must address the lost needs of our students.

Unemployment continues too high. Many .families still need help with basic necessities like food or money for their housing.

Unemployment continues too high. Many .families still need help with basic necessities like food or money for their housing.

What can and should state government do to continue to help?

The good news is that because of the decision we made in the Joint Finance Committee last year in preserving surplus, state revenues are sufficed to maintain essential services. The bad news is that we need additional resources to deal with the virus and restore a strong economy to bring back jobs.

As a member of the Joint Finance Committee with the responsibility of reviewing the Governors’ proposed budget for the coming year, I’m working to assure that we provide the support for small businesses which are the backbone of our economy.

Delaware businesses both small and large are burden with unnecessary regulations that makes them non competitive with businesses in other states. We must continue to rid our businesses of these regulations so that our businesses will grow and provide more local jobs.

Our Economic Development Department includes the strategic fund used by to attract large companies to Delaware. We should direct part of these resources to qualified small businesses.

COVID RESPONSE

The state’s efforts to get vaccines into the arms of Delawareans still face hurdles to reach 70% vaccination from the virus.

As a member of the Joint Finance Committee, we have provided all the funding needed to make it easier for everyone to have access to vaccinations.

STATE SPENDING AND BUDGET PROCESS

Governor Carney has presented us with a total state spending proposal of  over $ 4 billion. As we examine the needs for each state department and program, my guiding principle is simple-- are the requested  services are needed and are being correctly delivered to our citizens. Many decisions on funding are routine. The virus has changed many budget needs we viewed as normal.

Our schools and students have suffered from remote learning. We need to provide the funding to make that learning as good as possible. We need to address particularly mental health issues that have arisen given the circumstances of the virus.

Our small businesses have taken huge hits on their limited resources. Although the Federal government has provided some relief, the state also needs to continue to help for the long run.

While not a direct part of our Budget Process, spending state resources on capital improvements to our infrastructure need s should be substantially increased.  We have shovel ready needs for roads, bridges, buildings, parks, water supply that will both fix neglected and deteriorated needs and put people back to work. We have a once in a life time opportunity with low interest rates to move projects forward NOW.

The virus has exposed the continuing crisis facing many citizens just to sustain daily life. We need to increase our support for non profits which have provided the lifeline for food and other necessities. I know from my own personal experience in organizing food drives in our area the need for bare essentials is substantial. Non profits working with the state have been the lifeline.

LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

This session there are several priorities that I will work to get accomplished.

Education:

As one of the founders of MOT Charter and a former member of the Appoquinimink School board I have been involved in improving our schools before you sent me to Dover.

I have continued to make education a priority in Dover. In the last session I secured a $5 million fund to help all schools improve security.  We also need to address safety on and  buses that transport our students. Cameras need to be installed on buses to catch drivers who ignore school bus stop signs. Fines should be increased and the public made more aware of the dangers before some student is hit.

The funding formula for schools needs to be modified to reflect the changes in enrollment for districts such as Appoquinimink and others who end up with higher enrollments without additional resources.

 

Seniors:

I will continue my efforts to have the Senior Citizen Property Tax Credit I restored to the full $500.  New Castle County is now under court order to reassess   properties and this presents a possible additional burden on school property tax as housing assessments are increased. I will make this case in Joint Finance as we adopt the budget.

College Graduates:

I was lucky and finished University of Delaware without a student debt that’s not the way it works today for most college grads. The cost of college has escalated to the point that the debt at graduations substantial.  I have introduced legislation that would provide a state tax credit up to $500 for the interest that tax payer paid the previous year.

Community Improvements:

Through the years I have been successful in directing resources to solve many road and drainage problems in co-operation with the DELDOT and the Environmental Protection Department. 

New projects and needs continue to arise and through communication with community associations and my monthly coffees, they are added to the list.

Each budget cycle our district is allotted limited resources to fix these problems. However, it is not near enough. Our district has one of the greatest mileages of local roads eligible for this funding. However, every district gets a fixed amount regardless of need. I’m working to change that formula.

I’m also working to maintain the state support for Farm Land   preservation.

Communication:

In representing our distinct in Dover, my number one objective is to listen. I continue to have a monthly coffees open to everyone to listen to your concerns and report on state issues. They are now streamed live for anyone who can’t attend when we are in session I send a weekly report on actions via e-mail. If you would like to be added to that list just send me your e-mail to (add legislative e mail). Finally. I am always available on my personal cell phone 302-218 0130.

 

Feel free to call if I don’t’ pick up right away please leave a message and I’ll get back as soon as possible.