Markell focuses on reducing recidivism; GOP wants economic change

By Amy Cherry 10:00am, July 12, 2014
Prisons learn job skills that will lead them to future employment. (Youtube/Screenshot)
Governor Markell touts new laws aimed at reducing Delaware's alarmingly high recidivism rate.

In his weekly message, broadcast on WDEL, Markell says for too long Delaware has given up on ex-offenders.

"The vast majority of offenders return to our community, and many can contribute if given the chance. By changing our approach to criminal justice, we'll make our state safer and give more of our people the chance to productively use their talents," Markell said.

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Among the new laws, include the ability for ex-cons to get their driver's license immediately after their sentence is served, if their crime did not involve a vehicle. The other measures include allowing the Department of Correction to hire former inmates with exceptional job skills for short-term employment until they can land on their feet.

Watch video of Gov. Markell's Weekly Address:

State GOP pushes for change to advance economy

State Republicans used their weekly message to attack the Democratic policies that they say haven't led to job growth.

"Delaware's private sector employees actually have witnessed a staggering 14 percent decline in the earning power of their weekly paycheck. This is far from economic recovery," said GOP State Committee Chairman Charlie Copeland.

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Copeland says legislators in his party has put forth several initiatives that Democrats refuse to act on.

"Right-to-work zones, designed to combat Delaware's 28 percent decline in manufacturing jobs, reform of the state's outdated and burdensome prevailing wage provision, and legislation to reduce the regulatory burden on Delaware businesses," said Copeland.

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Copeland promises Republican legislators and party candidates in 2014 are committed to bringing change to state government.

Watch video of the GOP's Weekly Address:

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