Posted: April 10, 2003


DOVER -- Governor Ruth Ann Minner on Thursday released her 2003 legislative agenda, which includes industrial responsibility measures, the creation of a permanent group to address cancer, anti-gang and anti-stalking bills and campaign finance reform. 

“Taken together, they are the primary ways I’d like to work with the General Assembly – in tight economic times – to improve the environment, the public safety, the economy, the government and the lives of the people of Delaware,” Gov. Minner said in a Legislative Hall news conference.  

Some of the items on the Governor’s agenda had been mentioned in her State of the State address in January, including: holding industrial officials liable for statements regarding the safety of their plants; changes to the state’s Land Use Planning Act to make it more proactive; lowering the legal blood alcohol limit while driving to .08 percent, banning open containers of alcohol from vehicles; and creation of a “technology court” to adjudicate highly-technical corporate disputes. 

Gov. Minner released details Thursday of her proposal to reform campaign financing in Delaware, targeting “independent expenditures” that have been used to promote or attack candidates under the guise of a neutral-sounding organization actually funded by special interests. 

“I will ask the General Assembly to pass legislation designed to reveal who is really paying for anonymous campaign ads, and to ensure that candidates are not using these anonymous ads to bypass campaign contribution limits,” Gov. Minner said. 

Among the new legislative initiatives the Governor announced: creating a Cancer Consortium to oversee and implement the Governor’s efforts to reduce cancers rates; creating new anti-gang laws; strengthening laws against stalking; protecting “whistleblowers” in state government and the privacy of state web site users; and new protections for senior citizens who are defrauded and for mobile home park residents. 

The Governor also will propose a series of marketing tools Delaware’s three casinos could use to make them more competitive as slots are added in surrounding states. This will come as an amendment to previously introduced legislation, adding hours and machines at the casinos as part of the Governor’s budget package.