Q&A Survey: In the 19th Senate District, Pettyjohn outlines his views

19th Senate 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 19th Senate District is in the Georgetown.

Sen. Pettyjohn is unnopposed.

Brian G. Pettyjohn, Republican

vote-logo-2016Age: 42

Occupation: Project manager

Family: Wife Kelly, one daughter

Elective experience: 2008 to 2010 Georgetown Town Council, 2010 to 2012 mayor of Georgetown, 2012 to present state senator

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

Pettyjohn: Creating an environment that will bring high-quality well-paying jobs to Delaware.

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

Pettyjohn: Reducing regulatory burden on small businesses so that they would be able to build, expand and employ more people in Delaware.

Brian G. Pettyjohn

Brian G. Pettyjohn

3. Do you support raising the minimum wage?

Pettyjohn: No. I believe that competition in the job market and individual performance is a better way to increase wages than an arbitrary number set by the government. I also believe that the minimum $15 per hour “livable wage” proposed fails to take into account the many children and young adults that do not need a livable wage, as they are still living at home with parents or in college, and the needs of the businesses in the resort and agricultural areas of the state.

4. How can the state best create jobs?

Pettyjohn: Strike a better balance between regulatory requirements by the state and the needs of businesses.

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

Pettyjohn: Yes. I would sponsor such legislation.

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

Pettyjohn: Unsure. I am not convinced that full legalization, regulation and taxation is the most prudent path. I would have to consult with health care professionals, law enforcement and experts on the long-term use of marijuana to form an informed opinion.

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

Pettyjohn: A reduction to the amount of revenue the state takes from the casinos would be prudent, however direct payment from the state is not a route I would support.

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

Pettyjohn: Ensure that the department is responsive to the needs of the districts, not vice versa.

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

Pettyjohn: The right amount. Efficiencies should be found in the way Delaware spends education dollars, as we are one of the highest per-pupil states in term of spending.

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

Pettyjohn: Spending can be cut. Delaware should adopt a zero-based budgeting process for all agencies on a rotating basis. This would allow the Joint Finance Committee to dig deeper into agency budgets more often.

11. Do changes need to be made in the state’s employee health care structure?
Pettyjohn: Options such as telemedicine should be used by the state in order to reduce healthcare costs. Additionally, some practices involving forcing employees to go to a doctor in order to receive a work excuse should be curtailed.

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

Pettyjohn: Addiction should be treated as a medical condition rather than be addressed in the criminal justice system. Non-corrections based treatments that have shown a high success rates should be used by the courts for offenders rather than incarceration. Non-performing programs should be eliminated and funding redirected to those that show results.

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

Pettyjohn: Ensuring that moneys are not siphoned from the Transportation Trust Fund is a start. Additionally, ensuring that highly fuel efficient vehicles are paying their fair share of transportation costs will be key as vehicles use less gasoline.

14. Anything else?

Pettyjohn: It’s been an honor serving the people of the state of Delaware and the 19th District for the past four years, and I look forward to four more years in the Delaware state Senate.

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