Friday, January 18, 2002

State of the State

This is the time of year in most states when the governor shares with the legislature and the judiciary a message about how government is handling the resources entrusted to it by the people. Chances are good, if you're a US resident, that you can visit the homepage of your state and see a link to a state of the State message from your governor.

Delaware's page contains the words to the State's latest state of the State address. Delaware's Governor Ruth Ann Minner addressed the Delaware General Assembly yesterday, and informed them of the government's activities over the past year, and of the State's prospects for the coming year. Our Governor focused her speech on the first year of her term in office, and the many difficulties and decisions that had to be made. There were successes too, and she gave out credit for the dedication and support that many State Employees have given throughout the State to meet the challenges that they've faced.

The State's budget is extremely tight this year, and some difficult decisions had to be made. The budget, as proposed by the Governor, will be released to the General Assembly next week. It carries only a two percent increase over last year's budget. Regretfully, one of the items that is not included is a pay raise for those dedicated State employees. This past year saw a two percent raise for employees of Delaware. The State employs one of the largest groups of Delawareans amongst any Delaware employers. On the plus side, there are no anticipated layoffs of State employees.

Around the Law

Just when should you stop serving someone drinks?
The Associated Press reviewed 700 alcohol related violations in Montana over the last four decades, and only found four where businesses were cited for serving someone who was already drunk. One of the reasons cited was that police enforcement agencies don't have the manpower to have undercover officers sit in bars and taverns, and watch to see whom bartenders are serving.

A federal Judge denied a request to televise the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui today
Left open though was the possiblity that radio coverage of the trial might take place. We'll see hear.

A poll conducted on behalf of the IRS: More are comfortable with cheating
Is the IRS broken? That's what this poll seems to indicate. What are they going to do about it? Technology is one answer - one billion dollars worth over the next two years.

Discover uncovers a powered exoskeleton that could turn a combatant into a supersoldier
But what happens when your battery runs out in the middle of a firefight? Why do I have this vision of the Everyready Bunny leading troops into combat?

Worst Patents of All Time?
I know that an Australian patented a wheel last year to protest of the ease with which a person could gain a provisional patent. Scientific American's list is the shortlist of an archive compiled by the creator of How did some of these get past the reviewers in the patent office?
- William Slawski