Office of the Governor

Governor Carney’s first address to a joint session of the General Assembly


Governor Carney lays out his plan for growing the economy, improving Delaware’s schools and balancing the budget.


Governor John Carney delivered a Special Address to a Joint Session of the 149th General Assembly on March 30, saying he is determined to take steps that will grow Delaware’s economy, address the addiction crisis, coordinate services for families in need, improve security at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and make government more efficient – while working with legislators on a long-term plan to bridge a $385 million budget shortfall.

“It’s our responsibility to keep our state a great place to live and work and raise a family. A state ready to compete in the economy of the 21st century. I know we all want that. And I know we all understand that means tough choices today that will pay off for our state tomorrow.” – Governor Carney


Below are highlights from the Governor’s address:


“I know that all of you in the General Assembly are tired of sitting here year after year talking about how we can climb out of another budget hole. Some things are beyond our control, but this one is not. It’s within our power, this June, to put ourselves on a more sustainable financial footing. My budget does that, and I look forward to working with each of you on your ideas to do the same. What I will not do is use budget gimmicks or one-time fixes to bail us out on June 30, only to be right back here next year giving the same speech.”


“Twelve days after this horrible incident, we launched an independent review, led by former Justice Henry DuPont Ridgeley and former Judge Bill Chapman. I will receive their recommendations by June 1 and will work quickly with the leaders of the Correction Committees in the House and Senate to develop a plan of action. It will not be a report that collects dust on a shelf. Officer Wilkinson: I pledge to you that we will make real improvements and we will make them quickly.”


“We need a new, more dynamic, economic development strategy. One that can leverage the resources of our business sector, as well as higher education and not for profits. The Delaware Economic Development Office needs to be at the forefront of moving Delaware into the 21st century economy. So my first act as governor was to find a way to energize our economic development efforts. We’re going to do that by bringing private sector involvement into DEDO.”


“Other brownfields will require a fresh look at our venerable Coastal Zone Act. I don’t underestimate how hard this will be. Or how important it is to protect the beautiful natural areas along our coastline. But, I’m committed to working with all the relevant stakeholders to modernize the Coastal Zone Act. Our goal is to allow redevelopment in parts of our state that were once home to good-paying manufacturing jobs. I believe we can make reasonable changes to this law that will protect our environment while allowing our economy to grow. I want us to work together over the next few months so that we leave here in June with reasonable reforms that will leave our state better off.”


“Perhaps more important than anything we do to strengthen our economy is getting our schools on track, and making sure that every child is college- or career-ready. With fewer resources, we need to make better use of what we have, beginning with the Department of Education. I’ve asked Secretary Bunting to lead my effort to reorganize the Department of Education so that it’s more responsive to the needs of teachers and administrators. Educators should see the Department of Education as another player on their team — not an obstacle to progress or a drain on resources.”


Click here for the full press release.

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