Senators Carper, Coons highlight programs set for elimination in president’s budget

NEWARK, Del. – On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) highlighted economic development programs that are set for elimination in the president’s proposed budget. Joining them to discuss the benefits of these programs to Delaware was University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, and Small Business Development Center State Director and President of the Delaware Technology Park Mike Bowman.

The Delaware Technology Park received an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant last October for $500,000 for lab and collaboration space to foster new businesses at the STAR Campus. In 2012, WILMAPCO received a $10 million TIGER grant to establish a multi-modal transportation facility near the STAR Campus that will be a catalyst for a livable Transit Oriented Development community in Newark. Work on the train station will soon be underway, while tenants have filled the Delaware Technology Park lab space at the STAR campus.

Earlier this week, Senators Carper and Coons joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in sending a letter to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Chairman Susan Collins and Ranking Member Jack Reed, urging them to include robust funding for the National Infrastructure Investments program in Fiscal Year 2018. Both the EDA and TIGER grant program are set for elimination in the proposed budget. While this would not affect programs already funded, it would affect any potential projects for Delaware in the future.

“Delaware has a long history of developing amazing products, technologies and life-saving drugs, and it all starts with a nurturing environment for businesses to grow and thrive,” said Senator Tom Carper. “Senators, Governors – we don’t create jobs. What we do is create a nurturing environment for job creation and job growth. That is what the EDA and TIGER grant program has and will continue to do for Delaware. As many of you know, the president laid out his ‘skinny’ budget a few weeks ago, eliminating these and many other vital programs. A budget is a reflection of our values as a nation; numbers are black and white, and they show clearly where our priorities lie and what we as a society hold dear. President Trump’s first budget unequivocally confirms that his priority is appeasing his most extreme supporters rather than governing in a responsible way. I will work to find common ground with my colleagues in the Senate on a budget that works for all, not some.”

“President Trump’s budget is short-sighted, destructive, and dangerous,” said Sen. Coons. “It cuts where we should add and adds where we should cut. There are cuts all across the budget for federal research and this is the last place I would cut. As a member of the appropriations committee, you have my word to fight against these cuts.”

“Federal funding is a strategic investment in the future of our state and our region,” said Dennis Assanis, UD president. “UD’s STAR Campus is a place to create that future, a research-teaching nexus where great minds come together to meet the needs of the community and the world.  Two of the major advancements on site would not be possible without EDA and TIGER funding.  We look forward to the continuing support of our partners to realize the full potential of the STAR Campus.” 

“Given the demand for our transportation dollars across the state, TIGER grant funding has been a catalyst for helping this important project become a reality,” said DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan.

“With critical grant support from EDA, DTP@STAR launched as a laboratory incubator specially designed for promising young companies to start and thrive based on their compelling innovations” said Mike Bowman.