Posted: Jan. 8, 2003


WILMINGTON -- Governor Ruth Ann Minner and Lieutenant Governor John C. Carney, Jr. said Wednesday the accomplishments of their administration include beginning a serious battle against high cancer rates, improving test scores in schools and creating 2,200 jobs.

Other accomplishments include preventing and preparing for terrorism, curbing urban sprawl, cracking down on industrial pollution, greatly improving e-government and minimizing the effects on state government services during tough economic times.

“These are the areas where the people of Delaware expected us to make a difference – and we have,” Gov. Minner said. 

“It hasn't always been easy, but Gov. Minner has kept the focus of her administration on improving things for Delawareans,” Lt. Gov. Carney said. “This collection of accomplishments is evidence of an agenda that has put the people of Delaware first. Whether it is addressing people's health by fighting cancer and diabetes, improving education, pursuing and creating jobs or getting our state agencies more prepared than ever in a new, more dangerous world, the focus has remained where it should – on the residents of Delaware.” 

Gov. Minner and Lt. Gov. Carney reported on the progress made on each of the five goals they set for their administration nearly two years ago. They are: 

§         Schools that set high standards for college, work and life;

§         A Livable Delaware that strengthens communities and preserves quality of life;

§         Health, safety and self-sufficiency for every Delaware family;

§         Economic development that nurtures and maintains high-quality jobs; and,

§         A state government that is well-managed.

In schools, Gov. Minner and Lt. Gov. Carney said, test scores have increased in reading and math in all the critical grades under the state’s accountability system. Lt. Gov. Carney created the Models of Excellence in Education to identify those practices that improve student achievement and hold them up as models for other schools to follow. 

“We ask a lot of our teachers and schools,” Lt. Gov. Carney said. “This is one of the ways we can give them the tools to meet the challenges they face and the expectations that are placed on them.” 

The administration has protected teachers from frivolous lawsuits and placed Reading Resource Teachers in half of the public elementary schools. 

“We’ve heard stories of children jumping two or three grade levels in reading with the help of the reading teachers,” Gov. Minner said. “Reading teachers are one of the things I am most proud of because they are truly affecting the lives of our children.” 

In making Delaware more livable, the administration has required cities and counties to more adequately plan for growth, protected more than 1,800 acres of land as open space in the last two years, added 420 acres to our state parks and planted more than 1.6 million trees. 

The concerns of Delawareans about industry have been addressed with the Environmental Right-To-Know Act and the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. Gov. Minner also mentioned an agreement reached with Motiva for the largest reduction in air emissions by any industry in Delaware history.  

In health, safety and self-sufficiency, the Emergency Health Powers Act made Delaware better prepared to deal with a biological or chemical attack, and the Minner-Carney administration has trained 1,200 state workers to respond to terrorism. 

“We are attacking one of Delawareans’ gravest concerns – the state’s high cancer rates – with a blueprint by the cancer task force and new laws like the Clean Indoor Air Act,” Gov. Minner said. “I committed to put some of the state’s few resources this year into fighting cancer, even though we may not see the results in the next two years or even the next six years. But I know we are on the right path and that we are focused on the long term – and that, to me, is what good government should be about.”  

Lt. Gov. Carney has made health and safety one of his major issues, with the Lt. Governor’s Challenge fitness program, a diabetes education program and more than 20,000 gun cable locks distributed through Project HomeSafe. 

“In addressing the high rates of diabetes and cancer in Delaware, it’s important that people know there are things they can do to reduce the risk of chronic diseases,” said Lt. Gov. Carney.  “The Challenge is about getting Delawareans to introduce some physical activity in their daily lives, whether it’s walking, gardening, biking or something else. Project HomeSafe has allowed us to address the safety of our children in another way, by giving out free cable gun locks to Delaware residents.  Hopefully, that will make our homes a little safer.” 

In economic development, new business locations or expansions of existing businesses have resulted in more than 2,200 jobs created over the next few years. The Strategic Economic Council, created in January 2001, has given us a plan for growing our economy. The “It’s Good Being First” brand image was released and is being used by more than 50 businesses as well as in an aggressive promotion by the state. 

In the area of managing government, Gov. Minner and Lt. Gov. Carney said Delaware is one of the only states in the last two years that has not raised taxes, drastically slashed services, laid off employees or raided our emergency reserve. 

“The reason we have done so well relative to other states is the innovative ways we have cut costs and done more with less,” Gov. Minner said. “We are saving money on prescription drugs, changing the way we purchase supplies and even changing the way we purchase health insurance.” 

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor also talked about their accomplishments in the realm of e-government, with a new state web portal that makes finding state government information easier and quicker and the addition of more than 30 brand new web sites, from the Division of Motor Vehicles to Professional Regulation. About 127,000 state tax returns were filed online last year, as well. 

“In some ways, the last two years have seemed very long indeed, but in some ways they seem to have blinked by in an instant,” Gov. Minner said. “I am very proud of what we have done so far, and very eager to see what we can do next.”