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Gov. Carney calls State of the State "strong, and getting stronger"

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Delaware Public Media
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Gov. John Carney gave his 2019 State of the State speech to lawmakers Thursday.

"Together, we have done good work these past two years. And I’m confident to report today that the state of our state is strong, and getting stronger," Carney told a joint session of the General Assembly.

Against the backdrop of the current federal government shutdown, the governor said Delawareans are "tired of gridlock and negativity, and of politics as usual" and urged statelawmakers to set a different course.

"Here in Delaware, we can do better, and we must do better. And I believe that working together these next six months, we will do better," said Carney.

The priorities Carney laid out in a speech that lasted just over a half hour mostly built on previous ideas.

But he offered some new initiatives such as $60 million in weighed funding to disadvantaged students, creating a new transportation investment fund and raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes 18 to 21.

On education, Carney wants to increase low-income families’ access to quality early childhood education and more than doubling the funding for student loan repayment for teachers in high needs schools.

Carney said he’s also working to address gun violence and still supports lawmakers taking up an assault weapons ban.

“I want to thank Sen. McBride for pledging to put the assault weapons bill up for a full open debate,” he said.

Carney is also pushing other gun control measures this year.

“This year, working with Rep. Mitchell and others, we’ll propose legislation to ban guns made with 3D printers and so-called ghost guns, where you can get a gun with no serial number and no background check,” he said.

Carney is also pledging to continue working with the city of Wilmington on gun violence.

The governor spent much of his speech highlighting last year’s accomplishments. That list included the Port of Wilmington lease deal, as well as his executive order helping inmates re-enter society, implementing a healthcare benchmark and raising state employee pay.

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