Minner Urges Congressional Support for States
Oct 17, 2003, 14:28

Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner told members of the congressional House Budget Committee Friday, Oct. 17, 2003, that Delaware weathered the economic recession better than others states and asked that the federal government not put additional burdens on states.

Speaking to the members of Congress in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Minner described the actions Delaware took when revenues dropped because of the poor economy. The actions included budget cuts, re-engineering programs, controlling mandated costs and what she characterized as a modest, balanced revenue package.

"In spite of budgets that keep getting smaller, teachers are still needed in classrooms, buses are needed to take people to work, the poor, elderly and disabled must be cared for; children require foster care; stoplights need to work; police officers are still needed to keep our communities safe -- and I could go on," Minner said. "It is these essential services that people rely on state government in Delaware to deliver every day."

Many states ended up cutting critical services, Minner said.

"If there were one thing I hope you will take away from our remarks today, it is that states have been doing their part to manage with less," Minner said.
"What we need from Congress is the kind of support you gave us with the fiscal relief package, as well as firm opposition to proposals to restructure funding for critical social service entitlement programs that shift the burden from the federal government to state government. We also appreciate your opposition to further tax cuts that impact state revenues and more unfunded mandates."

Minner described budget cuts Delaware took, including the elimination of 431 positions from the state's General Fund. She talked about efforts to re-engineer government, such as the creation of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

"In effect, our state approached our budget problem the way any responsible Delaware or American family would approach it: cutting costs while finding a way to make more money, without depriving itself of needed services and without emptying its emergency savings account to pay this month's bills," Minner said.

Minner also met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during her morning in Washington.

The full text of Minner's remarks are at online.

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