Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Budget Priorities: Growing Jobs, Investing in Education, Governing Responsibly
Someone said to me after my State of the State address last week that it seems like I spend most of my time focused on jobs, schools and governing responsibly. That so much of what we do – whether its budget or policy – seems to focus largely on those three issues.
And they’re right. Those are our primary focus – whether we were solving the largest budget shortfall in history a few years back or pulling together the budget recommendation we unveiled this week.
Budgets are about priorities – our budget proposal makes clear that our top priorities are encouraging economic growth, making our public schools stronger, and ensuring that we are governing effectively.
It’s why we’ve done things like slash the state’s vehicle fleet, renegotiated state leases, cut over 1,000 positions in government, and brought people together to find real savings around our state’s pension and employee health costs.
It’s why we keep looking for ways to save money, and why focusing on curbing the rapidly rising costs of Medicaid will be so important this year, so we don’t lose the ability in the future to invest in areas like education and jobs.
These priorities are why the largest new investments our budget proposal makes go to public schools, including funding for 111 new positions in our schools and classrooms. Great schools are an important factor in our ability to attract new jobs to Delaware. And great schools that graduate kids ready to succeed are critical to our – and those kids’ – economic future.
Our focus on getting people back to work is why our budget replenishes the strategic fund so we can have more stories to tell like the expansions at places like Amazon, Mountaire, Johnson Controls or PBF Energy. It’s why we’ve focused the investments in our capital budget on projects that both get people to work building them and improve our quality of life, so our state can remain a great place to build a business and raise a family.
I look forward to working with the members of the General Assembly, particularly the members of the Joint Finance Committee, over the coming months to make progress on these shared priorities and to enact a reasonable, responsible budget, one that rises to meet some of the challenges we face and positions our state well – to help people get back to work, invest in stronger public schools, govern responsibly, and keep Delaware, moving forward.