State Rep. Bill Carson (D-Smyrna) of the 28th District discusses plans for the widening of Carter Road, the state budget writing process, the caseload of the Department of Health & Social Services, and trivia about a governor from Smyrna.

Carter Road widening on the horizon

The much-needed widening of Carter Road could be beginning by this time next year. DelDOT has informed me that they will be acquiring the right-of-way later this year, with construction expected to start in spring or summer of 2011, with completion in the fall of 2012. This project is very important when you consider that Carter Road is just a two-lane road with no shoulder, and it has become a heavily traveled road in recent years. The upgrades include safety (shoulders), drainage and stormwater management.

Budget writing begins this month

For the last two weeks of May, the General Assembly will not be in session to allow the Joint Finance Committee to begin “markup,” a period during which the legislative committee begins writing what will be the final budget document. It’s the home stretch of a lengthy process, and we soon will have a clearer picture of what our operating budget for fiscal 2011 is going to look like.

Thanks to House Speaker Bob Gilligan, for the first time in recent memory, the budget will be completed and printed a week early for legislators and the public to view. He pushed for this last month and everyone should have a full week to review the budget before the General Assembly votes on it. This is something I have pushed for since I was elected. I have wanted a more open and transparent government so the people can see all financial aspects of the General Assembly.

Health & Social Services caseload

Recently, I toured the Department of Health and Social Services center in Smyrna and talked with the staff. I learned that they have one team of eight people who are responsible for 3,000 cases. I plan on speaking with the Secretary of Health and Social Services to determine if that is an appropriate level to ensure that citizens are receiving adequate services and that our workers are not short-handed and being overburdened.

Governor Temple trivia

Lastly, Smyrna resident Kay Wood Bailey brought this little bit of trivia to my attention: On May 6, 1846, House Speaker William Temple of Smyrna became Delaware’s third governor in two months through the line of succession due to two deaths (Governors Thomas Stockton and Joseph Maull).

As always, should you need to contact me, please call my office at 744-4181.