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State Rep. Danny Short "Budget Reset" Event Draws Crowd -- Bridge Construction Looms -- Butterflies

Date: March 11, 2017
Danny Short NL Banner
March 3, 2017
Citizens Have Strong Showing at 
"Budget Reset" Meeting
An estimated 140 people attended a "Budget Reset" meeting with Gov. John Carney in Seaford Wednesday morning (3/1) to discuss the fiscal challenges facing the state.

State Rep. Danny Short sponsored the meeting hosted by the Nanticoke Senior Center, giving citizens a chance to share their perspectives for closing a projected $350 million gap in the state operating budget that begins July 1st.

Gov. Carney has been holding such meetings in conjunction with legislators throughout the state. The chief executive told the crowd that increases in health care costs (i.e. Medicaid, coverage to state employees and others), combined with rising school enrollment, are the prime factors driving expenses faster than revenue growth.

"Forty percent of our revenue is not growing at all," Gov. Carney said. "The other 60 percent is growing slowly -- about 2.5-percent per year."

The governor tried to allay the apprehensions of county officials who are still smarting from proposals made by outgoing Gov. Jack Markell in January that sought to reduce county revenues while shifting costs currently carried by the state. "It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to fix the fiscal problem for the state and create a problem at the local level," Gov. Carney said.

State Rep. Danny Short said he was pleased by the way Wednesday's event unfolded. "People from the 39th District came out to hear what the governor had to say and to fill him in on what was on their minds. We're going to continue to listen to people up and down the state on how we can solve this issue." 

Ideas presented by citizens ranged from abolishing the new Office of Animal Welfare to instituting a sales tax in Delaware -- one of only five states in the U.S. without such a levy.   "That's a barrier that a lot of people don't want to cross," Gov. Carney said in response to the latter suggestion.   "And it tends to be regressive."

The Carney administration is expected to present its financial proposals to legislative budget writers by March 23rd.  The governor said he was not interested in a short-term fix.   "We've got to find a new normal for the state government and the state budget," he said.
U.S. 13 Bridge Project Expected to Impact Seaford Traffic
Motorists traveling on U.S. 13 in the Seaford area should expect traffic restrictions due to a construction project set to get underway later this month.
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will be performing repairs on the bridge carrying the highway over Williams Pond.   The project is scheduled to begin March 20th and should last 13 weeks. 
DelDOT officials note the existing bridge has a history of maintenance issues and repairs are needed to its joints, bearings, and abutment walls.
The rehabilitation will be completed in five phases, four of which will require the closure of one lane on the span in each direction.
While construction will be limited to the bridge structure, its impact on traffic flow on U.S. 13 is expected to extend beyond the two adjacent intersections:  U.S. 13 at Middleford Road (Route 535); and U.S 13. at Norman Eskridge Highway (SR 20)/Beaver Dam Road.
Access will be maintained to all businesses and residents throughout construction.