James Spadola (R)

State Senate District 1

If elected, what would be your top three legislative initiatives?

My first priority is to lead the fight to end the heroin epidemic and the multitude of consequences that stem from it. We need a paradigm shift in how we fight the failed war on drugs: we must shift resources away from incarcerating low-level users and focus instead on prevention and treatment.

Second, our education system needs an overhaul starting with the need to fight the ever-growing bureaucracy in the classroom, focus on hiring good teachers, and actually letting them teach. Career politicians do far more harm than good to our education system when they strangle teachers with red-tape. Additionally, we need to bolster art and music programs in schools. As a semi-professional guitarist, I am keenly aware of the creativity, confidence and emotional support that the arts can engender in our students.

Third, focusing on my constituents and helping them navigate the government bureaucracy for whatever issue they are facing. State Representative Gerald Brady and Councilman Bud Freel are good examples of engaged legislators that Delawareans deserve, not absent ones that only show up during an election year.

If elected, what would be the one piece of legislation that you would repeal from this past session?

I would repeal the budget. My opponent, who writes the budget, allocated $290,000 to his crony Dr. John Byrne by name with zero strings attached – not for a department or for a specific use – which is unprecedented in Delaware budget history. Meanwhile, he cut $2 million from what the Governor recommended go towards drug treatment programs. With a raging heroin epidemic all around us, this is unacceptable.

WORKFORCE/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Do you support…

Right to Work legislation, including Enterprise Zones, and if elected, will you work to get the law enacted in Delaware?
I would need to see specific legislation.

Strengthening federal, state and private investment to build an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem?
Yes.

EDUCATION

Do you support…

Reducing centralized State control over education and giving more autonomy and control over the operation of the education system to local county boards of education?
Yes.

In favor of consolidating Delaware’s 19 school districts to a smaller number?
Yes.

The City of Wilmington forming its own school district?
Yes.

The adoption of measures which would redirect per capita state and local Board of Education administrative costs into the classroom, knowing that Delaware is near the top of the nation in per capita central administration expenditures?
Yes.

Expanded education choice such as charter schools, education savings accounts, vouchers and homeschooling options?

I would need to see specific legislation.

The moratorium on new charter schools?
No.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Do you support…

An increase on the Motor Fuel Tax in order to support capacity expansion?
No.

The development of additional natural gas capacity and pipelines to Kent and Sussex counties?
Yes.

The creation of incentives and the easing of hurdles to foster accelerated growth of broadband service Sussex County?
Yes.

The state of Delaware continuing to force taxpayers to fund beach infrastructure in the face of rising sea levels that threaten continued use of existing beachfront?
No.

A statewide reassessment of property values?
I would need to see specific legislation.

Elimination of a property tax exemption for qualified senior citizens?
No.

LEGAL & REGULATORY REFORM

Do you support…

Mandatory and regular across-the-board legislative audits and performance review of all spending units in state government?
Yes.

Granting broader statutory powers to the Office of the Attorney General to assist the legislative auditor in audit and investigatory programs for all spending units of state government?
Yes.

A move toward ensuring that State employee benefits are commensurate with the private sector?
I would need to see specific legislation.

The redevelopment of industrial sites that have lost their grandfathered status under the Coastal Zone Act?
I would need to see specific legislation.

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