|By Eric Magill on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 08:27 am:|
Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner gave her State of the State Address on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2002. What did you think? Do you agree with her vision and her conclusions? Here is your opportunity to give your own State of the State Address.
|By M.Opaliski on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 11:46 am:|
The address as I saw it was a combination of self directed kudos for the Governor's first year in office and a wish list for many needless, restrictive and in some cases redundant legislation. The Governor talked briefly about a year of State Government that was run responsibly and well, on some issues I might agree but not many. There was no mention of the General Assembly's failure to reapportion the state or the Governor's failure to intervene in the matter. The redistricting issue is one that is more than six months over due and it is one that will not go away.
Governor Minner talked about September 11th, as will many top state officials this year in their addresses to their respective states. And, although I agree that what happened was horrible it doesn't mean that we need to sacrifice all that we stand for and sell ourselves short on being able to respond to a situation without a plethora of intrusive and knee jerk measures.
Topping my concerns for the suggested proposals in the wake of the terrorist attacks is the Emergency Health Powers Act, which was introduced as House Bill #377 on January 16th. As introduced, this piece of legislation would give powers to the office of Governor under a state of declared emergency that would be immune to Judicial review. Under this Bill the state could seize real property and immediate possessions with no recourse for the owners, regardless of the condition of the property until the state of emergency was lifted. It would give powers to the office of the Governor that could force citizens to submit to medical examinations and treatment or be subject to quarantine for refusal. This Bill would mandate that pharmacists or medical professionals report any unusual or increased prescription rates, unusual types of prescriptions, or unusual trends in pharmacy visits in the form of a report to include such information as the person's name, date of birth, sex, and current address as well as the name and address of the health care provider if known. Under the guise of security our rights will be discarded, believe that.
On another key issue that is important to the Governor and one that truly is important, I commend her. That is the initiative to crack down of drunk driving in Delaware. However, I would like to see steps taken to not just act tough on this issue, let's be tough. Rather than increasing penalties for just those who are repeat offenders, now is the time to get serious and increase penalties for all DUI offenses across the board. Getting tough and doing so now with first time offenders can work to limit those who would become repeat offenders later.
The Governor also touched on her Livable Delaware platform and the FY03 Budget. Overall the Address was well received, as could be expected. Some of the legislators in attendance were less enthused than others, and it showed.
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