As we begin the process of crafting a new state operating budget, Delaware must deal with a bleak financial situation.
The proposed state budget recently unveiled by former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner is approximately $288 million less than the current budget. Even this slimed-down spending plan is still an estimated $367 million short of anticipated state revenue.
As a member of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), I’ll be working with a bipartisan group of 11 other state legislators to revise and balance the operating budget over the next five months. The JFC will be working closely with the new administration of Governor Jack Markell as we deal with the situation.
Gov. Markell has already called for a “top to bottom” audit of state government operations and I’m hoping this study will reveal some new approaches to cut expenses and improve government efficiency.
As we grapple with this difficult reality, I think we need to tap another promising commodity at our disposal: the combined creativity of our citizens.
I strongly urge any Delawarean who thinks that he or she has a good idea for reducing government spending to submit those ideas to Gov. Markell at one of the meetings he’s holding for this purpose statewide. I will also be glad to receive any constructive suggestions at:
State Rep. Joseph W. Booth, 200 Garden Street, Georgetown, DE 19947.
If you’d rather discuss your ideas in person, please drop by one of my bi-monthly coffee meetings. The meetings are held in Georgetown and Lewes on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, respectively. The Georgetown meetings are at the Georgetown Family Restaurant (115 E. Market Street). Cafe Azafran (109 Market Street) hosts the meetings in Lewes. Both gatherings take place between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
In these challenging times, we need every resource we have at our disposal. I hope you’ll help.
Joseph W. Booth