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What’s New

A Requiem for the EV Mandate

Mark Twain was once quoted as saying, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”  Unfortunately, the same can be said of the electric vehicle (EV) mandate in Delaware as I have heard several Republicans comment that they have won the fight.

After the GOP held five town hall meetings to foster a discussion of the EV mandate with Secretary Garvin of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Dave Stevenson of the Caesar Rodney Institute, myself, and the Republicans initiated two bills to attempt to stop the DNREC Secretary from unilaterally adopting the California standards regarding restriction of the sale of fossil-fuel-powered cars and trucks.

The first, Senate Bill 96 (SB96), would have prohibited the DNREC Secretary from adopting California’s rules to decrease slowly the proportion of gas-powered vehicles delivered to automobile dealers to zero by 2035.  SB96 was proposed by Senator Brian Pettyjohn and co-sponsored by every Republican in the House and the Senate.  The bill was introduced on April 19 but was tabled by the Environment, Energy & Transportation Committee in the Senate and, thus, was never voted upon.

A second bill was proposed by House Minority Leader Michael Ramone and would require DNREC to pause application of the California Air Quality Regulations in Delaware until a report of their fiscal impacts on Delaware could be obtained.  Thus, this bill would require any EV mandate be approved by the General Assembly.  As with SB96, House Resolution 17 (HR17) had co-sponsorship from every Republican member of the House.  HR17 was introduced into the House on June 22 and enjoyed bi-partisan support with all Republicans and two Democrats voting for the bill.  Nevertheless, HR17 was defeated by a vote of 22-to-17 that same day.

Some saw the EV mandate as having nothing to do with the State’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50% in less than 6½ years (i.e., by 2030) and becoming ‘net-zero’ (i.e., no net greenhouse gas emissions from the State) by 2050 in a vain attempt to minimize global climate change; rather, this simply was an issue where rules affecting people’s lives were being made by an unelected governmental official (i.e., the Secretary of DNREC) rather than the State legislature.  Those who held this view must be pleasantly surprised, even though SB96 and HR17 went unenacted.  Why?

Because another bill passed with bipartisan support.  House Bill 99, better known as The Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act of 2023, “establishes a statutory target of greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the medium and long term to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on the State”.[1]  Moreover, HB99 “creates climate change officers in certain key cabinet-level departments who will assist DNREC in the ongoing implementation of the Climate Action Plan [and] requires State agencies to consider climate change in decision-making, rulemaking, and procurement”.[2] HB99 passed the House 27-to-13 and in the Senate by 15-to-5.  In the House, bi-partisan support for HB99 was afforded by GOP Representatives Hensley and Smith who both voted in favor of the Climate Change Solutions Act.  An amendment specifically to require that “this chapter does not confer authority to State agencies to promulgate or amend regulations” [3] was rejected in the House on a pure party vote of 15-to-25.

What does this mean for Delaware and its EV mandate?  Delaware’s Climate Action Plan notes that the largest in-state source of greenhouse gas emissions comes from the transportation sector at 61%.  Thus, if the State is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in just 6½ years, there must be an EV mandate.  But the Climate Change Solutions Act of 2023 authorizes DNREC to implement the State’s Climate Action Plan and it requires State agencies to take the initiative to consider climate change in all that they do.  Moreover, it expands the bureaucracy by creating a cadre of ‘climate change officers’ across the Executive Branch to assist DNREC in its implementation of the Climate Action Plan.  And all this transfer of power to the various state agencies was afforded by a vote of the State legislature which has granted DNREC the power that the opposition to the EV mandate sought to squelch.

Still not convinced?  Consider House Bills 10 and 12 (HB10 and HB12).  HB10 establishes targets for converting all school buses in the State to electric vehicles.  HB12 creates an Electric Vehicle Rebate Program to encourage Delaware residents to purchase and lease new and used electric vehicles, with standards and procedures to be developed by DNREC.  And Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 103 (SS1) requires that all new construction of single-family and multi-family residences must include electric vehicle charging infrastructure by providing county and municipal government enforcement.  SS1 expires only when the Secretary of DNREC advises the legislature that the Delaware Administrative Code has been updated to match or exceed these standards.  Moreover, if the single-family dwelling does not have a garage, attached or detached, “an electric vehicle capable parking space must be provided in the driveway, assigned parking space for the dwelling, or at an unassigned non-street residential parking space constructed as part of the project”.[4]  These three bills passed with only support from Democratic legislators (although Senator Buckson voted for HB12) although various Democrats did join the Republicans in their opposition.  And all three bills cited mitigating the State’s carbon footprint and its concomitant climate change as the reason for these actions.

The Delaware legislature is foolish if it thinks that the EV mandate will cause anything more than economic hardship for our citizens.  While the state makes it increasingly expensive for Delawareans to heat and cool our homes, cook food, and get around, China is building the equivalent of two new coal-fired power plants per week.[5] Delaware’s electric vehicle mandate will have no effect on the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, in light of the increase in carbon dioxide being emitted by China’s coal-based power plants.  Thus, Delaware’s legislators make our energy unaffordable while China enjoys inexpensive energy from coal.

So, to modify a line from Francis Pharcellus Church’s editorial, “Yes, Delaware, there IS an Electric Vehicle Mandate.”  And expect natural gas appliances and fireplaces, as well as fertilizer, to be under attack in subsequent legislative sessions because, despite objections to the contrary, the legislature is attempting to save our State from climate change.  The only thing they have achieved is making our state unaffordable and stripping choice from Delawareans. We should not stand for it.

 

David R. Legates, Ph.D., is a retired Professor of Climatology and Geography/Spatial Analysis at the University of Delaware and is Director of Research and Education for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He serves on the ABD Board of Advisors.

 

[1] https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail/130272

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail/140422

[5] https://www.npr.org/2023/03/02/1160441919/china-is-building-six-times-more-new-coal-plants-than-other-countries-report-fin

John Marinucci to join Advisory Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

July 31, 2023

WILMINGTON, Del. – A Better Delaware (ABD) announced today that Dr. John Marinucci, former executive director of the Delaware School Board Association (DSBA) will join the advisory board.

John worked for the State of Delaware in the field of auditing, accounting and finance.  John later became the Chief of Administration for the Division of Highway Operations. John transitioned to the K-12 education field in the year 2000, as the Director of Operations for the Milford School District. John would later assume the responsibility for state-wide educational facilities planning and construction at the Department of Education (DOE) in 2006.  John served as the Director of Finance for the DOE on an interim basis for approximately 18 months.

In 2011, John left to serve as the Director of Administrative Services for the Woodbridge School District, with his primary role being to direct and manage the construction of Woodbridge’s new $53 million high school, which was completed on time and on budget.  John assumed the duties of Executive Director of the Delaware School Boards Association in February 2016 after retirement from 31 years of State of Delaware service in July 2015.  John retired from the Delaware School Boards Association (DSBA) in July 2023 after having rebuilt the organization’s finances and reputation.  The DSBA once again enjoys a reputation as one of the premier education advocacy organizations in Delaware.

“We are pleased to have someone with an extensive background in education and finance,” said Chris Kenny, co-chair and founder of ABD. “How our schools are funded are incredibly important, and not enough people are focusing on that aspect of education.” Jane Brady, co-chair of ABD followed, “Marinucci will be a great asset to ABD, and his insights in education will be incredibly helpful in our advocacy efforts.”

John graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Delaware State University. He received an MBA from Wilmington University, before then received his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University. John, his wife Michele, along with their horses, golden retrievers, chickens and barn cats all live in Harrington on their 18-acre horse farm which they’ve named Acacia Branch.  John enjoys tinkering with his 1931 Model A Ford as well as his collection of antique bicycles.  John is also a published author who enjoys creative writing.

 

Bureaucracy in Charge?

By Jane Brady, Co-Chair

Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9 to 0 (that is, unanimously) that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) need not notify individuals whose financial records the government was going to access and review, if they were looking for monies owed by a delinquent taxpayer. The case was brought by the wife of a delinquent taxpayer and several law firms with which that individual did business. The Court rejected an argument that the government had to show that the delinquent taxpayer had some legal interest in the funds that the government was seeking to examine.

Why did this happen? Because the Congress passed a law that gave broad authority to the IRS, and therefore, the Court was “without jurisdiction” to impose any showing beyond what the statute required.

Similar, and equally unfair, circumstances have occurred in Delaware recently. Like Congress, the General Assembly has given away too much of its authority. During the Covid shut down, the Governor unilaterally, without any vote of the General Assembly, continued the declaration of emergency for over a year and a half. Many members of the General Assembly, both Republican and Democrat, wanted a say on behalf of their constituents regarding the extent and duration of that shut down.  But, without new legislation and affirmative effort, they were prohibited from any such vote. Why? Because the authority they gave to the Governor in the law upon which he was relying was so broad.

More recently, with regard to the electric vehicle mandate, the General Assembly had previously given broad authority to the Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) to make decisions about the implementation of regulations to achieve emission objectives. Now, DNREC, against the overwhelming opposition of Delaware citizens, and despite many members of the General Assembly opposing the mandate, seems prepared to impose strict regulations, forcing the sale of electric vehicles and, ultimately, prohibiting the sale of gas powered vehicles in Delaware.  Again, this action by DNREC, a government agency, is being taken without a vote by members of the General Assembly, who are to represent Delaware’s citizens.

It is time for Congress and the Delaware General Assembly to review legislation that has given the bureaucracies of government authority without the peoples’ representatives having a say in the adoption and implementation of policy.  It is time that the General Assembly and Congress return the power to the people – the people they represent. There is no accountability for the bureaucrats and their decisions without legislative oversight.

 

Sherri Tull-Hubbard Joins A Better Delaware’s Advisory Board

 

Sherri Tull-Hubbard has joined the Advisory Board of A Better Delaware, a non-partisan public policy and political advocacy organization which supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies, and greater transparency and accountability in Delaware’s state government.

Tull-Hubbard is a child therapist, adjunct professor, and retired Captain with the Wilmington Police Department.

Having served on the police force since 1990, she was the first African American woman in the Wilmington Police Department’s 126-year history to be promoted to the rank of Captain.

Tull-Hubbard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Bowie State College. During her 28-year career with the Wilmington Police Department, she earned a master’s degree in education and a master’s degree in community counseling from Wilmington University.

She also served as Commander of the Office of Professional Standards, commonly referred to as Internal Affairs.

Chris Kenny, Chairman and Founder of A Better Delaware, announced adding Tull-Hubbard to the Advisory Board last week.

“Sherri Tull-Hubbard has one of the most unique résumés I have seen,” Kenny said. “From her extensive career in law enforcement to her current work treating and supporting children’s mental health, she has dedicated her life to serving the people of Delaware. A Better Delaware is so fortunate to benefit from her extensive knowledge of the issues facing our communities, especially as it relates to the role law and order plays in fostering an environment for businesses to thrive.”

Tull-Hubbard will serve on the Advisory Board alongside former Governor and Congressman Mike Castle, business and civic leader Sam Waltz, and certified elder law attorney William “Bill” Erhart.

“By joining the Advisory Board of A Better Delaware, I hope to continue serving our community by advocating for solutions to the issues facing Delawareans, specifically in mental healthcare,” Tull-Hubbard said. “Having spent the majority of my career in law enforcement, I also know that communities and businesses across our state are facing a substantial increase in retail theft and other crimes that jeopardize the health of our economy.”

“Supporting small businesses means taking steps to deter crime effectively,” Tull-Hubbard continued. “When small businesses are victimized, they oftenreduce hours, increase prices, relocate, and even close shop. A two-fold approach is necessary to address this problem. We must enforce our laws and give business owners an environment to thrive while also working to address the root causes of crime and deficiencies in the mental healthcare system.”

Ethan Lang, executive director of A Better Delaware, said Tull-Hubbard will be invaluable in advancing the organization’s mission.

“In Sherri Tull-Hubbard, A Better Delaware has found a compassionate, dedicated champion for law and order, not to mention the important task of improving children’s health,” Lang said. “She is a beacon of thoughtfulness, service, and principle and will guide our organization as we advocate for policies that promote safety, opportunity, and justice.”

HON. JANE BRADY JOINS A BETTER DELAWARE AS CO-CHAIR

WILMINGTON, Del. A Better Delaware announced on May 3 that Jane Brady has joined the organization. Brady will serve as Co-chair with founder Chris Kenny. Brady previously served Delaware for three terms as Attorney General and served one term as a Delaware Superior Court Judge.

“We are very pleased to have someone with Jane’s background and experience be a part of A Better Delaware. Her grasp of the issues affecting Delaware today is keen and will be a great asset to our advocacy for improving Delaware for the families and businesses here”, said Chris Kenny. Sam Waltz, who currently serves as Vice Chair of A Better Delaware, said, “I have known Jane quite a while and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her here at A Better Delaware.”

“I am quite familiar with and have admired the significant work that A Better Delaware has done in a very short time. I look forward to working with representatives of Delaware’s business and civic communities to make Delaware a better place to live and do business”, said Brady.

Brady graduated from the University of Delaware and Villanova University School of Law. She recently received her MBA from the University of Delaware Lerner School. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Michael Neal, and their son, Trent.

 

Delaware’s economy is shrinking, but it does not have to

By Jane Brady, Co-Chair

You are probably familiar with the term “gross domestic product.” That is a figure that represents the total value of the goods and services produced by businesses in a country or a state.  The gross domestic product takes into account the productivity of an economy, measured by the creation of products or services over a particular period of time. Generally speaking, that figure represents the value of the products and services to the people who created them and to those who will be using those products and services. Governments and citizens like to see the value of those products and services grow over time as the workforce increases or technology advances production.  The increase in gross domestic product reflects a growing economy, which produces more jobs, new and different products, and prosperity.

In times of inflation, however, the value of those products and services is diminished by the higher prices that people are required to pay.  The increase in price does not represent any increase in value but rather, simply the reality that consumers are paying more for the same item or service.   In those instances, there is a calculation that can be made to reflect that overpricing, resulting in a figure which is called the “real domestic product.”  That figure, then, more closely measures the economic activity of the country or state.  In times of significant inflation, that figure can sometimes even be a negative number, representing the fact that the economy, despite a larger number, is not growing but is, in fact, shrinking.

Even before the COVID pandemic, in 2019, Delaware’s economy was expected to grow at 0% – that is, we were not expected to increase our gross domestic product in the State of Delaware at all.  Pretty bleak. The reality today is much worse. When you take into account the current gross domestic product for the state of Delaware, and you include in the calculation the impact of inflation on consumers’ buying power, the real gross domestic product is down 8.7%, that is -8.7%. This figure is supported by research from the Caesar Rodney Institute and also by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, which makes calculations of gross and real domestic product for the country and each state.

The United States has the largest gross domestic product in the world. Delaware is perfectly situated geographically to be a much bigger part of our nation’s production and export story. But our state’s business policies are putting us behind.  We need leadership that is going to be creative and innovative in restoring our manufacturing base, bringing good-paying jobs back to Delaware; to look at the opportunities in the Coastal Zone to make Delaware a player in the increased interest in returning the manufacture of vital medicines and technology back to the US. And, we need to support the current reality – increasingly, most of the new businesses in Delaware are small businesses – many employing 5 or fewer people.

Delaware has a proud history of leadership in business and driving our nation’s economy.  Our objective should be to bring prosperity to Delaware families by renewing our role as a leader in the business world.

Why the EV Mandate May Occur One Way or Another

From; Ethan Lang, Executive Director

In May, the Division of Air Quality of DNREC conducted statewide hearings to discuss its ban on new internal combustion vehicles by 2035. That discussion became rather heated in town halls across the state, with citizens on both sides expressing strong views.

But despite what has been said about this issue, the electric vehicle (EV) mandate IS being forced by the effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Most people do not realize that because of this irrational focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Delaware may get an electric vehicle mandate regardless of Secretary Garvin’s decision and on a timescale much faster than in 2035. Let me explain.

Like other states, Delaware can adhere to regulations set forth by the EPA or adopt more stringent standards set forth by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). States may not develop their own regulations. Generally, northeastern and northwestern states adopt the CARB standards.

While the original proposition of the EV mandate was couched as an ozone-reduction measure, California notes clearly that one of the primary goals was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The press release by CARB[1] noted that:

“Transportation is the single largest source of global warming emissions and air pollution in the state … In 2040, greenhouse gas emissions from cars, pickups, and SUVs are cut in half, and from 2026 through 2040 the regulation cuts climate-warming pollution from those vehicles a cumulative total of 395 million metric tons. That is equivalent to avoiding the greenhouse gases produced from the combustion of 915 million barrels of petroleum.”

Indeed, Governor Carney’s State of the State Address[2] tied Delaware’s EV focus to climate change – “The effects of climate change and sea level rise on Delaware communities are real. We see them every day. That is why we need to act. With the help of federal infrastructure funding, we will accelerate efforts to build out Delaware’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

Why this is important is that the Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act[3] “establishes a statutory requirement of greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the medium and long term to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on the State … and requires State agencies to address climate change in decision-making and rulemaking.”  This bill was introduced into the State legislature on June 2, 2022, and passed the State Senate by a vote of 13-to-6 (with one abstention and one absentee). It was tabled in the House to allow businesses to evaluate its potential impact. This Act was reintroduced during this session as House Bill 99 and will require the electric vehicle mandate to be implemented. It passed the House on June 6 and now awaits a vote by the Senate.

But surprisingly, the Act states, “the State shall implement greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies to ensure that, no later than January 1, 2030, statewide greenhouse gas emissions on a net basis shall be reduced by not less than 50% from a 2005 baseline” (emphasis added). That is less than seven years from now and requires us to cut emissions by at least half. As CARB1 noted, “transportation is responsible for approximately 50% of greenhouse gas emissions (when accounting for fuel production emissions) … in California.”  There is no way such a bill could go into action without addressing the carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector. Thus, the State legislature may enact a more draconian EV mandate even if Secretary Garvin decides against it.

But the possibilities for the enaction of the EV mandate continue beyond here. The New York Times[4] (and other news outlets) reported that the EPA might propose an ambitious, almost innocuous climate regulation like the CARB standard. CARB proposed that 68% of all new car sales would be EVs by 2030; the new EPA rule would require two-thirds by 2032. Remember that Delaware has a choice – the EPA rule or the CARB rule – we cannot make up our own rules. If the EPA goes forward with its rule, the EV mandate is a fait accompli; the only question is how fast it will be implemented.

Note that none of these rules can mandate EV sales. But the Clean Air Act limits the pollution generated by the cars sold by each automobile manufacturer, with substantial fines and penalties levied against companies that fail to comply. These limits are so stringent that automobile manufacturers must sell a certain percentage of EVs to comply with the rule. Thus, while EV sales cannot be mandated directly, forcing automobile manufacturers to comply with pollution levels generated by the new cars they sell dictates the proportion of EVs sold.

So, our solution is not just to petition Secretary Garvin to reject the EV mandate. Many of those in opposition to the mandate have noted that it is being forced on us by non-elected officials, with the tacit assumption that it would be acceptable if elected officials voted for it. But the passage of the Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act will require a vote by our elected officials. Thus, concerned citizens must tell all our elected officials – in the Governor’s Office, the State Senate, and the Delaware General Assembly, as well as in Washington DC – how they feel. Otherwise, we will be forced to pay more for electric vehicles, both in initial and operating costs, all while being stripped of choice.

A BETTER DELAWARE SELECTS A NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 Ethan A. Lang

April 15, 2023

 

WILMINGTON, Del. – Chris Kenny, the founder of A Better Delaware (ABD), has selected Ethan Lang as its new Executive Director, leading its efforts as a non-partisan public policy and political advocacy organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and greater transparency and accountability in state government. 

 

In April, Lang will succeed Kathleen Rutherford, who has accepted a position as an advocacy consultant for the D.C.-based Taxpayer Protection Alliance. “Kathleen was invaluable to ABD. Her contributions made us a force in Delaware,” Kenny said. Rutherford led the organization through the last two years, advocating more rapidly opening the state during the lockdown. Under her watch, ABD expanded its advisory board with highly credentialled experts and had more than a 90% publishing rate for their blogs. ABD is now looking to advocate for better government transparency and accountability, hoping to establish an Office of Inspector General and an Office of Legislative Ethics.

 

Lang has been involved in politics for five years, getting involved with his local representative’s campaign as a volunteer coordinator at age sixteen. He went on to Dartmouth College, one of the eight Ivy League schools, and will graduate with degrees in government and public policy. He is also a Politics and Law Fellow and a senior editor for the Dartmouth Law Journal. “I am excited to see what Lang does with ABD. He brings a combination of pedigree and energy to the organization that I believe can take us far and continue the good work of our previous directors.” Vice Chair of ABD, Sam Waltz, concurred with Kenny, adding, “I am pleased with the choice. I believe that the advisory board and Lang have a formidable skill set, and I eagerly await his plans for the future of ABD.”

 

“A Better Delaware is laying the groundwork for change in our state,” said Lang. “I hope to build upon the strong foundation of my predecessors and bring my perspective to the organization. To me, this is personal. I am young and want to see a Delaware in which I can continue to be proud of and, hopefully, raise my family in. I hope to expand upon our extensive social media reach across all our platforms and continue our grassroots efforts in promoting policies that will benefit our economy. Our mission is essential; Delaware needs a government that is transparent and accountable to the people.”

 

ABOUT A BETTER DELAWARE A Better Delaware is a non-partisan public policy and political advocacy organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies, and greater transparency and accountability in state government. A Better Delaware can be found on Facebook @abetterdelaware and at www.ABetterDelaware.org.

 

Contact: Ethan A. Lang

 

ethanlang@abetterdelaware.org

Developing Delaware’s Workforce through retired Military

Recently, Democratic Gov. John Carney stressed the need to expand Delaware’s economy by building a stronger workforce for the future.  He stressed that this may be the state’s biggest single challenge. His remarks ring a little hollow when the state fails to utilize one of our largely untapped resources – our Delaware veterans.

Today, there are over 70,000 veterans in Delaware. Many are retired after 20 years of service from our respective armed forces with 20 years or more of civilian work life remaining before full retirement. Many retirees receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of high-level education in a variety of fields of endeavor. A majority of veterans say their military service is an important asset for their transition to civilian life and useful in giving them the skills they need for a job outside the military.  A recent PEW research survey points out that over 58% of veterans seeking employment found their military experience was useful or fairly useful in their new civilian jobs.  Military leadership training is invaluable, especially in leadership. Our state recognizes this invaluable commodity and has mentioned this a source for recruitment, but has not placed the necessary emphasis for permanent recruiting. Governor Carey did not highlight this resource in his recent State of the State address. He did address the shortage of teachers and pay issues but did not suggest that efforts should be pursued to encourage retired or separated military personnel to help fill the gaps.  In Delaware, we have the largest air mobility base in the United States with approximately 11,000 airmen and joint force personnel, civilians and families.  Delaware service men and women responsible for global airlift aboard C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster aircraft in support of our armed forces. The United States Air Force cannot conduct these operations without personnel trained in electronics, communications, aerospace and maintenance with sophisticated equipment. Every year many air force personnel retire and look for employment.  Many serve in our state in civilian capacities, yet we do not actively recruit retirees as a labor policy.  We also have active national guard and military service reserve units in the state where they receive military training in their respective military fields of specialties.  This training can easily translate to civilian life and jobs. Delaware should make it a priority to actively recruit at active military locations to fill the gaps for jobs.

The United States Department of Defense manages the Skill Bridge Program as an opportunity for active-duty service members to gain valuable civilian work skills and experience during their last 180 days of service.  Opportunities exist for this program to prepare separating service members to build resources, make important contacts, and explore employment while still active in preparation for the civilian workforce.  The State and civilian employers should take advantage of this preparatory program to help fill unemployment gaps.

It is important for the state to establish and maintain close partnership with the Veterans Administration (VA) in this arena. No mention of this important contact was emphasized in the Governor’s comments.

As a final note, the VA offers the Veterans Employment Service Office for career preparation and transition services to implement the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act. A close partnership with the VA and the State of Delaware would increase employment opportunities for our ever-increasing veteran population.