For many addicts, it's possible to deal with their disease successfully and go on to live happy, productive lives. There are stories like a teenage girl who lapsed into drug and alcohol use following her father's suicide and landed in jail, but with assistance of a Drug Court program overcame her addiction and got a college education.
We all know people with addictions who, with the right intervention, could live fulfilling lives. It's time for us to put into practice what we already know: addiction is a disease. It can and must be treated. Later this year, I will propose changes that better align our resources to fill the gaps in our drug treatment system and I look forward to working with you to fill these gaps.
To do so, I propose we create "Downtown Development Districts"--a small number of designated areas in our cities that will qualify for development incentives and a host of other benefits in housing and transportation. Builders looking to make investments in these Districts would receive grants for a percentage of their investment.
I propose dedicating $7 million toward these kinds of projects, which will leverage tens of millions of dollars in private capital. And more importantly, this program can improve our housing stock and revitalize our downtowns.
For years, Delawareans tried to avoid the interchange of I-95 and Route 1. But our investment in new fly-over ramps has alleviated congestion, shortening commutes, shipping times, and trips to the beach.
We are making similar improvements at I-95 and 202. That exit ramp was a notorious choke point, but improvements have cut the average number of hours per day of slowing traffic from six to less than one.
Infrastructure investments create high-paying, middle-class jobs today and they lay the foundation for future prosperity. It's time to stop complaining about the sorry shape of our Transportation Trust Fund and fix the underlying issues. I propose that we invest $1.1 billion over five years.
I propose a scholarship program so that all low-income Delaware students with college potential can take credit-bearing courses during their senior year of high school.
Matching skilled workers with available jobs is critical. Thanks to our new JobLink capability, it's easier than ever for employers to search our database for employees with the skills they need.
Finally, too many working Delawareans struggle to care for their families and put food on the table. I am glad that the General Assembly is poised to increase the minimum wage.
The above quotations are from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Jack Markell.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
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