Delaware lawmakers offered some initial reaction to Governor John Carney's State of the State Address, as they await more specifics in his budget proposal next Thursday.
A day before his address, Carney announced a proposal to spend $50 million dollars on a new school and other education initiatives in Wilmington. The previous day, he said he would allocate that same amount for clean water issues.
Thursday, Carney announced proposals to offer college tuition to children who age out of foster care and to initiate a health care provider loan repayment program to help attract physicians and health care providers to practice where they're needed.
"Some of the issues that he's talked about have huge dollar amounts," House Minority Leader Danny Short (R- Seaford) said.
Short also said Seaford's local school district has a high rate of poverty.
"I think there's an equal need up and down the state," Short said. "Probably some schools like Indian River who repeatedly try to pass referendums are saying 'why not me?'"
House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D- Rehoboth Beach) said he is sometimes wowed when he visits some of the newer schools in the beach areas.
"The kids have a great attitude coming to school because it's a nice place to be. That's what the kids in Wilmington deserve too," Schwartzkopf said.
The House Speaker also said somehow money would be found to fund the tuition break for foster kids because "it's the right thing to do."
Representative Mike Smith (R- Newark / Pike Creek Valley) is encouraged about the potential of the health care provider loan repayment program
"That part I think is good policy because it's a public-private partnership," Smith said. "We're getting buy-in from the private sector as the government. We need more primary care providers."
Senator Ernie Lopez (R- Lewes / Milton) was generally pleased with the Governor's investment proposals and plans to replace family courthouses in Kent and Sussex Counties.
"There's a lot of value in the investments the taxpayers are making and it's being put back into what they have in their everyday lives," Lopez said.