Jobs, school improvement among issues awaiting Carney

 

WILMINGTON — Democratic Delaware Gov.-elect John Carney says job creation, school improvement and a balanced budget will be among his top priorities when he takes office in January. Carney discussed these and other issues in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Carney says giving pay raises to Delaware lawmakers and high-ranking government officials could be a tough sell in the current environment.

“I certainly would not accept a salary increase, nor do I believe that I should get one,” he said.

The Delaware Compensation Commission is meeting to review salaries for lawmakers, judges and other top officials and consider whether they are appropriate and in line with those in other states. Under state law, the panel’s recommendations take effect automatically unless lawmakers vote them down in their entirety. The panel meets every four years.

John Carney Jr.

John Carney Jr.

Carney wants to work with Wilmington Mayor-elect Michael Purzycki, a fellow Democrat, to help stem the plague of gun violence in Delaware’s largest city while respecting the jurisdiction of its police.

Carney agrees with Purzycki that there needs to be changes, including new leadership, in police department.

Carney said he believes the state also can help with Purzycki’s proposed “neighborhood stabilization” efforts.

Carney supports a recent state Supreme Court ruling that declared Delaware’s death penalty law unconstitutional, but he has not flatly promised to veto legislation reinstating capital punishment under a new sentencing scheme.

“I don’t like talking about vetoing legislation before seeing it, but I think the Legislature ought to leave the court’s decision stand,” he said.

The court ruled in August that Delaware’s law was unconstitutional because it allows judges too much discretion and does not require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves to be executed.

Carney said he believes gun control efforts should focus on enforcing existing laws instead of creating new ones.

“What I don’t like is when we talk past each other just for flat-out political reasons. … That’s not to say that I don’t think we ought to try to control guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

Carney, currently Delaware’s lone representative in the U.S. House, joined a June sit-in by House Democrats favoring an expansion of background checks for gun buyers and measures to keep people on the no-fly list from getting guns.

Randall Chase writes for the Associated Press

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