Posted: Feb. 3, 2015


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

"We are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts," the governor said.

Wishful thinking.

There were two very different depictions of Delaware on display in January, the one presented by Jack Markell, the Democratic governor, in his State of the State and budget address and another described by the Republicans, who occupy the minority in the General Assembly.

Maybe it was not so much people's own facts, but the way they were drawn from parallel universes of polarized politics.

State of the state "We should be proud that so many businesses are demonstrating their confidence in Delaware by investing here. . . . We are on the right path, creating more jobs, better educational opportunities and a higher quality of life."

"I would have liked him to be honest with the people of Delaware and talk about how we're going to turn the economy around."

--Gary Simpson, Senate minority leader

Employment "Forty thousand more Delawareans are working today than in 2010."

"What he left out was that Delaware's working families are earning less today than when he took office."

--Brian Pettyjohn, senator

Economy "Our job growth has been better than the national average for 24 straight months, and for the last 12 months, it has been the fourth fastest in the country."

"A state economy that continues to lag behind the rest of the country."

--Greg Lavelle, Senate minority whip

Budget The annual average budget growth since Markell took office in 2009, when adjusted for inflation and population increase, was -0.83% with 629 fewer full-time state workers in Cabinet agencies

"State spending in Delaware has risen dramatically over the last 10 years, with the operating budget jumping $1.2 billion -- a 46% increase."

--Lyndon Yearick, representative

Taxes "Subsidy" up to $500 for people over 65 for school taxes has gone from costing the state $8.7 million at its start in 2001 to a projected $24 million in 2015 and should be cut to up to $250

"Tax increase" that imposes a higher burden on people over 65

--House Republican caucus


(after a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax Markell proposed in 2014 was DOA)

"We need a modern transportation network that allows people to travel safely and allows businesses to operate efficiently. . . . Last year I proposed a plan. . . . Bring me your ideas on how to fund our infrastructure responsibly, and I will work with you to pass and sign legislation."

"This proposed budget robs nearly $40 million in funds that are traditionally dedicated to road and bridge projects to fill the hole in the operating budget."

--Dan Short, House minority leader

Crime "The city has a significant problem with violent crime, and what we are seeing in unacceptable" -- calling for a commission on public safety strategies to be chaired by state and New Castle County officials

"The governor's plan for the city of Wilmington is too little, too late, and every city resident should be outraged that he waited until the crisis received national attention to decide he could no longer ignore the problem."

--Charlie Copeland, state party chair

DuPont Company

(moving its HQ to the suburbs and leaving behind a spinoff that may or may not stay)

Too scary to talk about Too scary to talk about

Sources: State of the State, budget address, press releases