Kowalko: Governor’s secrecy hurts public trust

The News Journal | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko This governor’s unwillingness to engage and inform the public in matters of significant importance to their quality of life, such as the decision to remove the Rodney Square bus hub, is a violation of the public trust. Implying that some conveniently created policy of “executive privilege” exists is inexcusably wrong. Without full transparency and openness in the government’s decision-making processes, we as legislators cannot and should not expect to have the public’s confidence and trust in the […]

Rally to Restore Rodney Square Bus Hub

Without full transparency and openness in the government’s decision making processes we, as legislators, cannot and should not expect to have the public’s confidence and trust in the policies we create and the decisions we make. Delaware’s government has consistently and repeatedly resisted efforts to ensure that the public is totally informed of decisions and policies being made. Despite state FOIA laws, the Governor, his Executive Branch, and other agencies have repeatedly resisted and impeded public access to records and private meetings that have taken place, leading to some of […]

Victory in fight for utility rate reduction!

A recent settlement brings good news to Delmarva Power and Light electricity consumers. I chose to intervene in PSC Docket #17-0977 in order to join the Public Advocate, Drew Slater, in trying to mitigate the proposed increase in electric rates requested by Delmarva Power & Light. The recent settlement removes any increase and will decrease electrical rates for Delmarva ratepayers. The original rate increase request was for $31 million. That would have resulted in a $65 per year (4.7%) increase for a typical user. As the Public Service Commission hearings […]

Carney’s Trump-ian disdain for democratic principles

In a dramatic example of a petulant personality who cannot get his way through the legitimate legislative process, Governor Carney has chosen to emulate a Trumpian tactic that shows a healthy disdain for the democratic principle of separation of powers. After failing to get support for his balanced budget constitutional amendment (HB 460), the governor has signed an executive order today, the last day of the legislative session, attempting to force the same mandated budget cuts onto Delawareans through his preparation of next year’s budget bill. In this blatantly disrespectful attempt […]

Corporate propagandists support veiled budget cuts

The usual suspects of corporate propagandists are at it again, disingenuously arguing for budget cuts under the guise of revenue stabilization. HB 460, supported by these corporate lobbyists in an article published in the Sunday News Journal, is an attempt to pass a Grover Norquist conservative dream version of a “balanced budget amendment.” The proposed constitutional change would establish budgetary constraints to force the services and programs of the most vulnerable Delawareans onto the chopping block regardless of the intent of future legislatures. It will establish regressive taxation policies that will […]

Conservative “balanced budget” proposed with no public input

HB 460 was introduced on a Tuesday, was passed out of committee the next day, and will be brought to the House floor for a vote on today. This bill is the first leg of a proposed constitutional amendment, and one might ask why such a matter of utmost significance is being rushed through in the final days of a session. Why is there no time for a fair assessment of the ramifications of a constitutional change? The woefully lacking excuse from the sponsor is that this bill will have […]

Endorsement of Kathleen Davies for Delaware State Auditor

It is not often that I choose to make an endorsement in a primary election, but sometimes a candidate stands out from the rest and earns my recognition and support. An individual of impeccable integrity, experience, and intelligence best describes Kathleen Davies. Ms. Davies stands above the others in my opinion and will administer the affairs and responsibilities of the Auditor’s office with an exceptional consideration for fairness and honesty. I am proud to endorse Kathleen Davies as the Democratic candidate for the office of State Auditor. Kathleen Davies has […]

Restore Wilmington’s Rodney Square Bus Hub

On December 17, 2017, Delaware’s transit agency, DART, dismantled the bus hub at Rodney Square in Wilmington at the urging of Governor Carney. Removing a bus hub and the bus stops located there is an action that has never before been done across America. Many bus riders reacted with outrage when the proposal was announced. Now, DART passengers face daily disruption as they endure walking several city blocks to make their new bus connections, sometimes forced to walk half a mile for their transfers. The disruption especially affects city residents […]

DOE plan for Wilmington schools ignores reality

With the approval of the MOU that was force-fed to Wimington students and parents, we will now see young children uncomfortably crammed into two aged, monolithic, barracks-like structures, far from their current walking distance homes, immersed in an antagonistic culture of neighborhood allegiances and conflicts, forced to confront the social challenges of substantial age differences, and still without any reduction in class-size and lacking any Reading or Math specialists. RODEL, Carney, DOE, and the Chamber of Commerce can proudly raise their “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner. Below is the statement of opposition […]

Warning: There Is No Budget Surplus

With the Governor’s proposed budget scheduled to be unveiled in less than a week and in light of recent Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) reports purportedly showing an uptick in revenues it is incumbent upon me, as an elected official, to alert the taxpaying public to the reality and complexity of Delaware’s economic situation. While increased revenue projections might appear to be welcome news a number of factors should be considered in the final analysis. The specifics of the revenue gains and revenue shortfalls should be taken in […]