Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) highlighted during his state of the state speech Jan. 21 his administration's efforts to curb state spending and promote jobs, and he promised to do more of the same.
"In the end, we want our state government to provide core services and enhance our quality of life in a way that is affordable. That's what we are doing. By making government leaner and more efficient, we make our state a better place to create new and better jobs," he said.
The governor, speaking to the Democratic-controlled legislature, called for reducing health and retirement benefits to future state hires. The savings from the shift would take a while to materialize, but the state would save $75 million within five years, he said.
Markell proposed having the state take over key record-keeping duties from its three counties, assuming work now done by the counties' registers of wills and recorders of deeds.
Another area Markell highlighted for potential savings was health care in prisons, where he said costs are increasing because of an aging inmate population.
"If we do not act, we soon will need to operate nursing homes within our prisons. We must examine who we're holding in our prisons and whether we can provide a less expensive but safe alternative," said Markell, whose term expires in 2013.