Outten offers answers on issues in the 30th District

30th Representative District

In the leadup to Nov. 8’s election, the Delaware State News will be running questionnaires from various candidates. If you’ve missed any, visit https://delawarestatenews.net/ and click on the “vote 2016” tab.

The 30th Representative District serves the Harrington area.

William “Bobby” Outten, Republican

Age: 68

Occupation: Full-time legislator

vote-logo-2016Family: Wife Barbara Lynn

Elective experience: Incumbent, 30th Representative District

Charles Groce, Democrat

Age: Not available

Occupation: Lieutenant, Wyoming Police Department

Family: Wife, Linda, and two daughters

Elective experience: None

Editor’s note: Mr. Groce did not respond to the Delaware State News candidate survey.

Bobby Outten

William “Bobby” Outten

1. What would be your top priority in this office?

Outten: Constituent service. Helping people in the district deal with everything from drainage issues to environmental permitting, to quickly finding needed state services or aid from a non-profit organization. It doesn’t make the news, but it’s the work that makes the most difference in people’s lives.

2. If you could change one state policy or law, what would it be?

Outten: A new law was enacted this year to restore the voting rights of ex-felons, even if they have not paid court-ordered restitution to their victims. I would repeal this law. Former felons should only have their voting rights restored after they have paid their debt to society.
3. Do you support raising the minimum wage?

Outten: No. Delaware’s minimum wage was just increased last summer to $8.25 an hour — a dollar more than the federal rate. Significantly increasing the minimum would have a ripple effect throughout the wage scale, forcing many businesses to shed employees to afford payroll.

4. How can the state best create jobs?

Outten: The state needs to stop throwing road blocks in the way of entrepreneurs. We have too many state agency staffers that are more interested in satisfying federal and state regulators than helping local business owners succeed.

5. Would you vote for legislation reinstating the death penalty?

Outten: Yes, I think we can address the concerns of the state Supreme Court, which suspended the imposition of the death penalty in a ruling made earlier this year. I believe we should retain capital punishment for those rare instances where no other penalty would be sufficient.

6. Should the state make changes to its laws on marijuana?

Outten: In recent years, we have enacted a medical marijuana law and decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. I do not think any more changes are needed at this time.

7. Should the state lower the tax rates on the casinos, do nothing or take some other step to provide relief?

Outten: I support reducing the huge taxes being imposed on legalized gaming. The state of Delaware is in a partnership with Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs and Delaware Park. The tracks enjoy the authority to operate casino gaming in Delaware and should pay a price for this exclusivity. However, that price needs to be calibrated so that these ventures remain profitable, continue to provide a significant source of revenue to state taxpayers and maintain the more than 2,500 jobs they collectively provide.

8. What changes would you make to the Department of Education?

Outten: I would like to see the department restructured and downsized, with authority and funding shifted to local school districts.

9. Does the state spend too much, too little or the right amount?

Outten: Too much. State spending has increased by nearly $1 billion over the last 10 years. That is not sustainable.

10. What should be done, if anything, to increase revenue for the state or cut spending?

Outten: We need to reconsider everything: what we do, how we do it, and how we pay for it.

11. Do changes need to be made in the state’s employee health care structure?

Outten: State employee health care costs, and the state’s Medicaid spending, have both been consistent budget drivers. It’s a concern and we need to look at any reasonable proposal for curtailing this growth.

12. What should be done to impact the state’s heroin crisis?

Outten: I would support enhanced enforcement to reduce supplies and increased availability of treatment to help those with substance issues to get the help they need to break their addictions. A treatment center recently opened in our district to help fill this need.

13. How can the state best continue to fund road and bridge projects?

Outten: The Transportation Trust Fund was created to pay for road and bridge projects. Over the years, the TTF was also used to pay the operational expenses of DelDOT and some other agencies. We need to get these agencies’ budgets back into the General Fund budget. If we did this over seven years, we would collectively increase funding to the TTF by a billion dollars over the period, and about $240 million per year afterwards.

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