Senate Republican Leaders Respond to Gov. Markell's State of State Speech

Jan 18, 2013 -- 4:02am

Senate Republican Caucus leadership released statements Thursday regarding the following topics addressed in Gov. Jack Markell’s State of the State Address.

Delaware’s Teachers

Sen. Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley): “It’s hard to disagree with the fact that we need to keep great teachers in Delaware classrooms. But a huge void in that discussion is how do we get rid of bad teachers? I think we have about 10,000 teachers in this state. The vast majority of them are good, but even if you have 10 percent who aren’t, that’s a thousand. It takes two years to get rid of a bad teacher and very few principals take on that work. How we handle those bad teachers wasn’t discussed at all.”

Creating a Nurturing Environment for Employers

Sen. Lavelle: “One of the things I think we should have learned nationally is that a reliance on government to create jobs is not the way to go. I call it the ‘Application Economy.’ It seems if you want to be an entrepreneur in this state you go to DEDO Director Allen Levin, fill out a form and see what he’s got. That’s not entrepreneurism, that’s the government saying this is what we want you to do.”

In Response to Gov. Markell’s statement: “And while we want to keep taxes low – and Delaware’s are attractive – we should not shortchange our children and their future to pay for unaffordable tax cuts today.”

Sen. Gary Simpson (R-Milford): “To me it doesn’t sound like the Governor wants the 2009 tax increases to expire. Obviously the programs he discussed in his speech are going to cost us a lot of money, and it gets down to looking at the budget and finding the revenue. But I’d like to see those taxes sunset as scheduled in order to put more money in the hands of Delaware’s people.” 

Sen. Lavelle: “The governor is calling them ‘unaffordable tax cuts.’ The elimination of the sunsets is not a tax cut, it’s a permanent tax increase. Letting the sunsets actually sunset is not a tax cut.”

Public Safety, specifically Gov. Markell’s plan to add six additional state troopers.

Sen. Simpson: “I got the impression that the extra police he was talking about was for Wilmington. And while their streets are unsafe, southern Delaware has been overlooked in providing enough state police to combat the significant increase in home invasions in that part of the state.”

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