I was elected to represent the people of the 17th District in the Delaware State Senate in November, 2008 and have been working hard ever since to provide fair, honest and effective representation. I am continually focused on the quality-of-life and good government issues of concern to the residents of the 17th:
Responsible financial management. Especially in these difficult economic times, handling taxpayers’ dollars wisely and responsibly is more important than ever. While many other states have not faced up to this fundamentally important duty, Delaware has. The result? We have not only balanced our budgets but we have also maintained our AAA bond ratings, the highest ratings possible. Going forward, I will be working even harder to assure responsible state finances as a member of the Joint Finance Committee, the committee that makes those difficult financial decisions.
Open government. When I ran first ran for office, I committed to opening up state government to the full scrutiny of the public. Since I was elected, we have eliminated the infamous “desk drawer veto”, a Senate rule that prevented important legislation from ever getting a vote; we passed HB 1, making the General Assembly subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); and we passed SB 283, making it much easier for citizens to challenge a decision denying them access to government information. I was also the prime sponsor of SB 36, bringing the Camden-Wyoming Sewer and Water Authority under the FOIA. I will continue fighting for the basic right of the people to have access to all the information they need to make reasonable and informed judgements about what their government is doing.
Effective inter-governmental cooperation. Government works best when different levels of government work together. I keep in regular touch with leaders of the incorporated municipalities in the 17th – Dover, Camden and Wyoming – and work in close cooperation with them on many issues of concern.
Great schools. Our public and charter schools are fundamental to the vitality of our communities. I have supported the significant efforts underway to insure the schools prepare our kids to excel in the increasingly competitive global economy in which we live. These include the elimination of the DSTP and the implementation of DCAS, providing a far more usefull student assessment system, as well as the “Race to the Top” and “Vision 2015″ reform initiatives, both singularly focused on increasing student achievement.
Good jobs. Well paying, career-level jobs are the foundation of our local economy. I supported the addition of table games at our local casinos, adding more than 400 jobs in Kent County alone and fought against adding new casinos in Delaware because that would jeopardize the continued success of our existing casinos. I provided the basic idea for Governor Markell’s “Business Finder’s Fee”, encouraging local businesses to recruit new businesses to our area, and fought against the elimination of the “Blue Collar Jobs Tax Credit”, which assists local businesses that want to create new jobs. In June, 2011, I was appointed to represent the entire Senate as a member of the Council on Development Finance, the group that manages the state’s Strategic Fund, providing loans and grants to new and expanding businesses in Delaware.
Secure retirements. We owe our senior citizens a great debt of gratitude for their efforts to build the fine communities we enjoy today. I fought efforts to eliminate the senior citizen school property tax rebate and helped keep the lid on other taxes most difficult for older citizens. At least once a month, I visit with members of the Modern Maturity Center in Dover to hear directly their views on state government issues. I also write a monthly column for the Modern Maturity Center “Bulletin” on legislative issues. [You can read those columns on this website - just click on "Modern Maturity Center" above.]