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Office of the Governor

2020 State of the State

Watch highlights from the State of the State Address

Governor John Carney delivered his 2020 State of the State Address on Thursday, January 23 in the House Chamber at Legislative Hall in Dover, outlining his priorities for strengthening Delaware’s economy, improving our public schools, and protecting Delaware’s quality of life.

Full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery, is available here.

“As I start my fourth year as your Governor and compare things now to how they were when I took office, things are really looking up,” said Governor Carney. “All of us in this room are keepers of the public trust. When we make promises, we have to keep them. And that is what we’ve done…so let’s continue to work together over the next year. To build on the promises we’ve made. To give people faith in their government. And to give them hope for the future.”


State of the State Town Halls

Governor Carney’s holding a series of town halls across the state to discuss his priorities as outlined in his State of the State address, the Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal, and to listen to ideas from members of the public.

6:00 p.m. – February 4 – Lewes Fire Station # 2 (32198 Janice Road, Lewes, DE 19958)
6:00 p.m. – February 12  –  Carlisle Fire Company (615 NW Front St, Milford, DE 19963)
6:00 p.m. – February 19 – Del Tech Wilmington (300 N. Orange St., Wilmington, DE 19801)
6:00 p.m. – February 25 – Odessa Fire Hall (304 Main St., Odessa, DE 19730)
*6:00 p.m. – March 3 – Wilbur Elementary School (4050 Wrangle Hill Rd, Bear, DE 19701)
*6:30 p.m. – March 5 – Brandywine Hundred Library (1300 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803)
*POSTPONED: 7:00 p.m. – March 11 Newark Senior Center (200 Whitechapel Dr, Newark, DE 19713)
*6:30 p.m. – March 11 Virtual Town Hall – The event will be streamed on Facebook Live (, Livestream (, and the Governor’s website (

*New event or updated date and time


Highlights from the Governor’s Address

Wilmington Schools
“While students across our state need our attention, students in the City of Wilmington need our help the most. That’s why, just yesterday, we announced our plan to invest $50 million to build a new school on the East Side of Wilmington. And to renovate Bayard on the West Side. All across Delaware, from Dover to Middletown to Rehoboth, we’ve built or renovated nearly 30 beautiful schools in the last three years. Our children in Wilmington deserve no less.”
Clean Water Infrastructure
“A healthier Delaware starts with our most basic and valuable resource: water. It’s critical that we protect that resource for future generations. From the Brandywine to Rehoboth Bay to Trap Pond, we have beautiful natural areas in our state. And we all agree that families in Blades, here in Dover — and across our state — deserve to know that the water coming out of their faucets is clean. That’s why we’re partnering with Representative Longhurst and Senator McBride to invest $50 million in clean water. Building off the work of Senator Townsend’s Clean Water Task Force, we’ll create a Clean Water Trust Fund, and we’ll have a special focus on low-income communities. Taking care of our environment is one of the most important obligations we have as elected officials. This is a historic investment that will make a big difference in the lives of Delawareans, in our economy, and in our environment. I hope you’ll join me in making this a priority.”
Opportunity Funding
“The promise we made three years ago to our children is probably the most important of all. We promised that at the end of our term, more children would be graduating ready for what comes next. And with a sense of promise about the future. Today I can report that graduation rates for low-income students and English learners are the highest they’ve been in 10 years. Today, for the first time in our state’s history, we’re targeting resources toward these students who need our help the most. We call it Opportunity Funding. My budget will continue this investment, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because the future of our state depends on the success of our children.”
Pre-K Expansion
“We know that an early start is key to this success. That’s why, over the next three years, we’ll increase state-funded ECAP pre-k seats by 50 percent statewide.”
Tree for Every Delawarean
“This year, we are taking our commitment to the environment a step further. Over the next decade, we will plant 1 million trees across Delaware. That’s a tree for every Delawarean.”
Transportation Infrastructure
“Delawareans also expect to be able to get to and from work quickly and safely. That’s why we’re investing $4.5 billion over the next six years to modernize our roads, bridges, and public transit.”
Technology Infrastructure
“New investments in our technology infrastructure have already brought high-speed internet to the areas around Laurel, Seaford and Bridgeville – where service was spotty or nonexistent.This is also helping family-owned businesses like Ellis Farms, a poultry and grain business in Millsboro. They rely on high-speed internet to collect data and drive farming operations. Projects are scheduled in Kent County in the coming weeks.
Gun Safety
“Thanks to Representative Bentz and members of the General Assembly in both parties, we passed the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act and another, similar red flag law. The idea behind both pieces of legislation was really simple. We should keep firearms out of the hands of those intent on harming themselves or others. Family members and mental health providers can now raise a concern, and a judge decides whether to intervene. These laws have already been used 35 times to date. And they have helped save lives.But we know we can do more. I encourage every member in this chamber to support legislation that would ban so-called ghost guns, and high capacity magazines. These bills are just common sense.”
Literacy – First Lady Initiatives
“I want to take a moment to highlight the good work of my wife Tracey. Tracey’s First Chance Initiative focuses on hunger, trauma and early literacy. In partnership with the Food Bank, our libraries and other non-profits, Tracey is leading efforts to ensure that our children come to school ready to learn and thrive. One of the best ways to achieve that is a simple one: Give children books. I’m proud to announce that with the leadership of State Librarian Annie Norman, we’re launching a pilot of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Participating children will receive one book each month from birth to five years old – free of charge. The program will be centered in 13 public libraries covering thousands of children in five targeted school districts. We’re also working with Delaware’s pediatricians to get books to families right from the start. These efforts will help families build home libraries that could span generations.”

Foster Care – Higher Education
“I think we can all agree that our children should be our focus. And there are perhaps no children more vulnerable than those in our foster care system. Mayda Berrios is in the audience today. Mayda spent several years in foster care and graduated from St. George’s. Today, she’s a sophomore at Delaware State, and president of a campus organization that mentors children in foster care. Mayda has had to pull together the funds to pay for college. In keeping with Tracey’s goal of giving every child a “First Chance” of success, we’re working with Representatives Griffith and Longhurst and Senators Poore and Lockman to help students like Mayda. Our proposal will waive tuition and fees at Delaware Tech, Delaware State, or the University of Delaware for students who age out of foster care.”


Full State of the State Address



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