Since taking office, tackling Delaware’s opioid epidemic and addressing the challenges around mental health have been a top priority for Lt. Governor Hall-Long. In 2017 during her first months in office, she was instrumental in creating Delaware’s first Behavioral Health Consortium (BHC). The BHC is an is an advisory body comprised of community advocates, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and state leaders that work towards solutions for action to address prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. As chair of the BHC, Lt. Governor Hall-Long has led work to reduce stigma, expand access to treatment and promote prevention and education. The BHC also oversees the Prescription Overdose Settlement Distribution Committee (POSDC) which allocates opioid settlement funding for expanded prevention, treatment, and recovery resources. The consortium continues to develop short-term and long-term strategies and initiatives to address the major addiction and mental health challenges so many Delawarean families face.
In 2018, Lt. Governor Hall-Long launched the Lt. Governor’s Challenge 2.0, which builds upon the work Governor Carney started during his tenure as Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor’s Challenge mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Delawareans. The program honors individuals, organizations, and institutions that inspire others by making healthy choices the easiest choices for their communities, ultimately helping elevate the well-being, productivity, and prosperity of Delaware. To date, the Lt. Governor’s Challenge has honored dozens of individuals and organizations who work every day to make Delaware stronger and healthier.
In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lt. Governor Hall-Long was asked to chair the state’s Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee (PRAC). PRAC was an advisory committee tasked with preparing for a potentially dangerous resurgence of COVID-19. The committee met frequently over a four-month period and consisted of for subcommittees: Business, Health, and Equity. With the help of committee members and devoted members of the community, PRAC developed an aggressive pandemic playbook to prepare Delaware for resurgences of COVID in Delaware communities. Especially for minority and low-income communities who were most adversely affected.
In 2023, during the nation’s infant formula shortage, Lt. Governor Hall-Long led efforts to bring more formula to Delaware for families in need. Thanks to a partnership between the State of Delaware, Donate Delaware, Food Bank of Delaware, and the Boys and Girls Club, 44,000 cans of baby formula were distributed across Delaware to those who needed it.
As an educator for over 25 years, Lt. Governor Hall-Long understands the importance that education has in a child’s future. As Lt. Governor, Bethany has been committed to improving our education system and ensuring that it works for everyone, regardless of race, background, or income level.
Throughout her tenure, Lt. Governor Hall-Long has been especially focused on early childhood education. In 2021, she began co-chairing the Delaware Early Learning Advisory Committee to review Delaware’s early childhood landscape and make recommendations based on its findings. The committee convened state policymakers, advocates, childcare providers, and national stakeholders to better understand the needs of Delaware’s early childhood learning infrastructure in order to impact the greater economic, social, and physical well-being of Delaware children and families. The committee’s final report was released in 2023.
In order to make sure Delaware students have access to essential basic needs in school, Lt. Governor Hall-Long joined Governor John Carney to launch Basic Needs Closets in 43 high-needs schools across the state. Delaware’s basic needs closets provide elementary and middle school students across the state with increased access to free products designed to meet students’ needs so they can effectively participate in class. Each school’s basic needs closet is stocked with products identified by districts and charter schools as essential to the wellbeing of their students, including hygiene products, school supplies, clothes, and more.
In 2017, Lt. Governor Hall-Long was selected as one of twenty state officials from across the country to participate as a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow, a nine-month national fellowship on state-level education policy. The fellowship consists of a bipartisan group of state officials assembled to discuss the importance of educational standards, aligned assessments, and accountability systems. Hall-Long has continued to work closely with the Hunt Institute in the years since to help find ways for Delaware students to succeed through education.
Lt. Governor Hall-Long is committed to helping working families and businesses of all sizes thrive in Delaware. As the daughter of a farmer in rural Sussex County, Hall-Long knows the importance of Delaware’s over 100,000 small and family-run businesses and role as a key agricultural exporter across the nation.
Lt. Governor Hall-Long has worked with Governor Carney and Delaware’s Prosperity Partnership to entice companies to do business with the First State, particularly those in our biotech and life sciences industries. Recognizing the need to double down on Delaware’s robust science, technology, engineering, and math – or “STEM” – workforce, Lt. Governor Hall-Long has partnered with educational institutions and Governor Carney to grow the ranks of women in the STEM field. She serves as Honorary National Co-Chair of Million Women Mentors, an organization that connects girls and women with mentors and STEM education programs across the country and supported the work the Delaware STEM Council. And as Delaware’s sole representative for the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, she has worked with advanced industries to create good-paying jobs in Delaware and spark further innovation.
The Lieutenant Governor firmly believes that Delaware’s workforce is key to a thriving economy. To that end, she has advanced efforts to improve our quality of life and make Delaware an attractive place to live and raise a family.
As a working mom, she knows the challenges many parents face in trying to find affordable, reliable child care options while pursuing their own careers. That’s why she has led the effort to support the workforce behind the workforce, Delaware’s early childhood education providers. Lt. Governor Hall-Long co-chairs the Early Childhood Education Advisory Council, which developed and is advancing recommendations to increase access to quality early childhood options in Delaware. And in 2022, she was a leader in the fight to make Delaware the 12th state with a paid family and medical leave program, a policy that is proven to help with worker retention and levels the playing field for small businesses hoping to compete with the benefits packages of larger employers.