intolerable," she declared during a speech at the service club's
luncheon on July 19.
have a plan yet; but we're working on one," she added, while
requesting help from business and professional people in the
audience and the general public.
the problem is statewide but particularly acute in Sussex County
among an immigrant population employed at minimum wages by the
poultry processing industry. Bilingual education and training of
adults to qualify for higher-paying jobs are among the things
which have to be done.
that she also is concerned about discovering reasons for and
reducing the state's high cancer rate. A taskforce has been
empanelled to look into that and make recommendations by next
January, she said.
governor's talk was devoted mainly to a recounting of
legislative achievements during the first 197 days of her
to an joint appearance before the club with John Burris, her
Republican opponent, during the election campaign last autumn,
Minner declared, "I did all that I promised you I would do."
she was particularly pleased during the just-ended session of
the General Assembly to have secured passage of a 'patient's
bill of rights', all but the farmland-preservation component of
her 'livable Delaware' initiative, and an 'environmental
latter has already proven itself, she said, with 90% of
residents in the area having been notified of the recent
explosion of a sulfur dioxide tank at the Motiva oil refinery
near Delaware City within an hour and a half of it happening.
able to effect her legislative goals because of a combination of
traditional bipartisanship on state issues and her long
experience in state government as both an employee and an
elected official. "I think it was an outstanding year with the
General Assembly. I was able to accomplish my agenda because
members of the General Assembly and its leadership were able to
accomplish their agenda as well," she said.
reduced budgeted expenditures in the fiscal year ended June 30
by $32 million and cut the original fiscal year 2002 budget by
$100 million has kept state spending in line with economic
conditions, Minner said. But she added that she considers growth
of the state budget to be "much too big."
been averaging 6.7%. We got that down to 5.4% for this [fiscal]
year but we have to bring it down further next year," she said.
"We need to make sure we continue the stability we have now."
enacted legislation to protect teachers and school officials
from "frivolous lawsuits" for disciplining disruptive students,
she said more has to be done to assure that children understand
and take responsibility for their conduct. "They have to know
that disciplinary action will follow if they disrupt the
classroom," she said. "When they find out they can get away with
things at that young age, they keep it up."
Also required is greater emphasis on
after-school programs and other steps to improve student
performance during the academic year. "School starts in
September. Why wait until next July to give them help [in summer
school] when they need it now?" she said. "Doing that when they
need it will improve their self-esteem and that is as important
as the education they are receiving."