Q&A Survey: In the 39th District, Rep. Short presents his views

39th 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 39th Representative District is the Seaford area.

Daniel B. “Danny” Short, Republican

Age: 66

vote-logo-2016Occupation: Insurance agent — Owner Short Insurance Associates Inc.

Family: Spouse Debbie, daughter April Popelas, Son-in-law Aaron, grandchildren Lexie, Caden. Kaylee and Myla

Elective experience: Representative 39th District 10 years’ service, mayor of Seaford for eight years, Seaford city councilman for three years

James Brittingham, Libertarian

Editor’s note: James Brittingham did not respond to the Delaware State News survey.

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

Short: I hold a monthly constituent coffee meeting, giving the people living in the 39th District and others an easy way to speak and get up with me face-to-face. I plan to continue that effort making sure I am available to my constituents and making sure their needs are met.

Daniel B. "Danny" Short

Daniel B. “Danny” Short

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

Short: I have been after a change in the funding of the state DELDOT Transportation Trust Fund for years. We spend over $260 million in fixed general expenses like salaries and cars and gasoline and employee benefits that should be used for roads, bridges and lighting. This needs to change.

3. Do you support raising the minimum wage?

Short: No, this is a mandate that small business cannot afford.

4. How can the state best create jobs?

Short: The best way to grow jobs is to stop betting on large employers and begin investing in our infrastructure with that money. Just imagine if in key areas if we had water and sewer in place what changes might come to Route 13 and how small business might pop up. Additional consideration should be given also to existing business and industrial parks to help them prepare for potential new and existing employers looking for a new or upgraded business home.

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

Short: Yes. All of our state’s police organizations strongly support the death penalty. They maintain — and I agree — that capital punishment is an effective deterrent against the worst crimes and that it helps to protect the welfare of our men and women in uniform.

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

Short: I suspect you are asking “Should we legalize marijuana?” It is my opinion that marijuana is a gateway drug, leading to more serious substance abuse for many users. I think the societal costs of legalizing marijuana outweigh any financial benefit the state would reap from such an action.

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

Short: Currently, the state takes 43.5 percent of the slot revenue and the three casinos employ about 2,500 people. There are hundreds more working for companies with casino business or those tied to horseracing. So that these jobs are not lost I am willing to consider cutting taxes on the casinos’ slot machine revenue.

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

Short: I would like to see more authority for education vested at the local level.

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

Short: In Delaware we are mandated to have a balanced operating budget each year. We also must have a 2 percent buffer between expected revenue and spending. What worries me the most is that there are signs of fiscal trouble looming and we need to prepare by curtailing spending growth — starting with the next budget.

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

Short: Two separate groups — analyzing state spending and state revenues — delivered reports and recommendations earlier this year. Recently, revenue growth has lagged behind anticipated budgetary needs. We need to bring the two into balance, first looking at ways to improve state government and reduce expenses.

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

Short: Employee benefit health care has been one of the leading drivers of higher cost for all governments for the last two decades. I suggest that we need to look at all options, including ways to flatten the increasing cost or inflation of health care itself and continue to maintain the best level of benefits to enable us to hire the best available employees.

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

Short: I am a firm believer that we must strictly enforce the laws we have to take off the streets those who prey on the vulnerable. We also must be compassionate to the families and victims of this terrible drug by providing access to care that helps them over the long term recover and rid their lives of this family destroying drug.

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

Short: As I stated above we must correct the Transportation Trust Fund problem. This issue has siphoned off about $260 annually to pay for DelDOT and DART operations. This would solve the issue over the long term, without increasing fuel taxes.

14. Anything else?

Short: Thank you to the citizens of the 39th District for the confidence they have placed in me to represent them. I do not take it for granted and I am honored to serve in the Delaware General Assembly.

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