KEVIN ON THE ISSUES
THE ECONOMY AND JOBS
Kevin believes that small business is the driving force for new jobs. Kevin is a small businessman; he knows firsthand the cost of unnecessary and burdensome regulations. The state must get rid of unnecessary and burdensome regulations that prevent small businesses from growing.
When small businesses thrive, local communities thrive.
The state economic development strategic fund makes grants to companies to encourage job growth. It has been effectively used particularly for large employers but we need to dedicate a portion of that fund each year for small and medium size businesses.
While we need new jobs and expansion, we must be concerned with keeping good paying jobs here. One such problem we faced in Dover during this year’s session.
Our business tax system unfairly affected certain companies with substantial employees here in Delaware that were ready to move if not corrected.
Unfortunately, the formula we use to calculate certain business taxes is not competitive with our surrounding states. I supported the change in the formula to keep those jobs in Delaware.
We are facing serious consequences with mergers like DuPont and Johnson Controls. Jobs and companies that have been part of the historic fabric of Delaware are changing. Their decisions affect the individual lives of our neighbors and friends who are suddenly without work. But, they also affect all of us because they change the job stability of Delaware.
The announcements of these mergers and their downsizing in Delaware are a wake up call. We must act decisively to attract new jobs that reflect the changing economy.
I voted for last year’s budget but was concerned that while it was balanced the revenue projections to support spending could be subject to changes in the economy. Unfortunately those concerns have surfaced. The recent projections of DEFAC (the state’s revenue forecasting committee) reduced available revenue for 2017 by $167 million. Next year’s budget will be difficult to balance without serious efforts to cut state spending.
I will not support ‘tax and spend’ policies and budgets that mortgage our children’s future.
Already there are rumblings to address part of this shortfall by resurrecting the proposal to cut the Senior Citizen School Property Credit. I opposed this proposal last year and I will do so again. Seniors no longer burden the school district with the cost of educating their children. That is why in fairness this program was developed.
Those Delawareans over 65 must carefully budget for their total expenses, particularly limited with fixed incomes. Those same seniors care about their grandchildren and have generously supported the school board when it was necessary to seek more resources for the district. The tax credit is a way to compensate in part for both of these situations
In a $3.8 billion dollar budget, we can certainly find $11 million that would have been the resulting revenue by taking away this credit.
As a founding board member for MOT Charter, a participant in Junior Achievement, a youth football volunteer, Kevin has always been at the forefront when it comes to our young people and particularly education issues.
He understands the special needs in our community for education that produced students that can succeed college or in the real world of business.
His experience as a board member of the Appoquinimink School District has given him the insight to legislation affecting education in Dover.
One important bill consider in Dover this session involved the right of parents to decide whether their children should be required to take excessive standard testing.
The bill gave parents the right to OPT OUT their children for certain testing. After much debate and many public hearing the bill was passed by the House (I voted for it) and the Senate.
Unfortunately, Governor Markell decided to veto the bill.
We were not given the opportunity to vote on overriding this veto. I would have supported that override.
WHY? In an attempt to improve our education system the “experts” have called for more testing and standards to determine if our system works
Has this entire data gathering really improved the system so that our kids are learning more? I don’t believe so.
Should parents have a say in this process? I definitely think so.
As a member of the Education Committee in the House, Kevin will continue to bring his knowledge and commitment to solving our problems in the schools by first addressing the needs of our children. Our children face a world that requires different skills. We must have an education system with the flexibility to assure that our children learn the skills needed to compete.
OPEN GOVERNMENT AND SOLVING LOCAL PROBLEMS
Kevin holds bi-monthly coffees in the district so that citizen can come ask questions and tell Kevin personally their problems which involve state government face to face.
Perhaps the most important contributions that Kevin has made in his first term, has been to address the everyday problems that government can solve if someone puts them to the test.
The light at Fieldboro Road has been need for years and the state refused to act because a developer had not provided his agreed share of the light’s cost. In the meantime the intersection was just waiting for a serious accident. Kevin persuaded the Department to put the light in with their funds. Unfortunately that accident did occur.
The dike at Port Penn has been a historic flooding problem that needs to be fixed. Kevin got the first part of the money put in the Bond Bill to engineer the needed rebuilding of the dike.
The corner of Heathfield Court and Vance Neck Road was extremely dark and a safety danger to our children waiting for the school bus. Kevin worked with the Delmarva Power to install a street light that lit up the intersection.
Working with the New Castle Conservation District and DelDot, Kevin was able to solve drainage problems at the Fairways at Vandergrift and Asbury Chase.
In addition, Kevin working with neighborhood associations and DELDOT several street repaving have been accomplished throughout the District.
If you have a local problems that needs attention, e-mail Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org
College Debt - The burden of College Debt seriously affects college graduates both in their search for new jobs and moving forward. Kevin has introduced legislation that will provide a state tax credit of up to $500 on the interest they have paid each year on that debt.
Standardizing School Designs and Materials - The costs of new schools that are needed throughout our growing communities are a substantial future burden. Kevin will introduce legislation recommended by the Education Task Force that requires standardization of architecture, building materials etc to reduce overall construction cost. He also believes that school districts should standardize their purchase of basic materials to reduce cost with bulk purchasing across the board.
As a first term legislator it is difficult to get your own legislation successfully passed and signed by the Governor. Kevin managed to do so. His bill provided that the Delaware Real Estate Commission must require the sellers of undeveloped land the same notifications of known defects or problems that is required for the sale of homes. This will provide the same protections for the buyers of unimproved properties that are provided for home buyers.