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Gov. Carney signs public-private partnership measure for funding economic development

Sarah Mueller
Gov. John Carney signs Delaware Prosperity Partnership legislation

Gov. John Carney signed legislation Monday revamping the state’s Economic Development Office. He's replacing the state agency with a public-private partnership.

Carney says the Delaware Prosperity Partnership will help the economy grow and fuel job creation. He’ll co-chair partnership’s 15-member board of directors and appoint board members.

Business leaders recommended by interest groups will be nominated to serve along with state lawmakers. The board will decide what projects deserve taxpayer funding.

Carney said he believes this is right approach for Delaware.

“If you’re an elected official, change comes with that a certain amount of risk," he said. "This change is worth the risk. It is definitely worth the risk.”

He said he’ll look for board members who understand entrepreneurship and the state.

Critics of the measure say board members should have to publicly disclose their finances. But Carney said they’ll address that in the bylaws.

“I mean, part of it is the need to attract business folks to the board who may want that privacy," he said. "We will have policies around conflicts.”

The state’s business community has committed more than $1 million to the new partnership. Those contributions will be made public.

The governor’s office expects the public-private partnership to be up and running by January 1st.

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