Delaware legislators introduce legislation to stop surprise billing

Middletown Transcript | by Delaware News Desk Calling this a “good day for Delaware health care consumers,” Delaware Healthcare Association President and CEO Wayne Smith lauded Rep. David Bentz, D-Christiana, Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride, D-New Castle, Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, Sen. Nicole Poore, D-New Castle, and a bipartisan group of sponsors and cosponsors who introduced House Bill 286, legislation that would protect patients from “surprise” medical bills. The bill builds on existing Delaware law that protects patients from surprise bills arising from emergency department access of services and […]

Legislators from 35 states oppose EPA’s proposed rollbacks to federal coal ash rules

Over 160 members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL), representing 35 states, have signed a letter in opposition to two recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposals to weaken water pollution limits for coal plants and rollback critical human health and safety standards for toxic coal ash. These rollbacks would allow millions of gallons of toxic wastewater to be dumped into waters daily, even though the technology to eliminate this pollution is widely used and affordable. It would also allow leaking ash dumps to continue to accept toxic waste. […]

Legislature opens amid calls for higher minimum wage

Cape Gazette | by Melissa Steele A minimum wage increase, gun control and legalizing marijuana, hot button issues left over from last legislative session, are still poised for action this session while a Milton legislator hopes his death penalty bill can finally get a vote. In May, Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton, introduced the latest version of his Extreme Crimes Protection Act – a bill originally introduced in 2017 that has since been revised. If passed, the bill would bring back the death penalty, which has been on hold since 2016 […]

Delaware Legislature Begins 2020 Session With Little Action, Lots of Unfinished Business

WRDE | by Tom Lehman Dover, Del. (WBOC) – Delaware lawmakers briefly returned to session on Tuesday as they kicked off the second leg of the 150th General Assembly. House and Senate members met for roughly 30 minutes in their respective chambers on a fairly uneventful first day of the 2020 legislative session that saw little action on much of the unfinished business from the previous year. House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth) said the legislature may revisit proposals for more gun control restrictions, legalizing marijuana, and hiking the minimum wage […]

$15 minimum wage is mantra of janitors, lawmakers during Wilmington march

WHYY | by Cris Barrish Chanting in English and Spanish, about 50 union janitors didn’t mince their words Thursday afternoon in downtown Wilmington. “What do we want?” the members of the local branch of the Service Employees International Union called. They had gathered in Rodney Square, surrounded by many of the buildings they clean. “Fifteen!’’ They shouted their desired hourly wage for their next contract. Their current one expires at the end of January. “When do we want it?” “Now!” The office cleaners carried Santa signs emblazoned with “$15 Now” […]

Open government advocates urge ethics oversight in wake of Kent County lodging tax questions

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller State Sen. Trey Paradee (D-Dover) plans to amend legislation he sponsored giving revenue from a new lodging tax to a Kent County sports complex. The lodging tax bill Paradee sponsored earlier this year allows Kent County Levy Court to implement a 3 percent hotel lodging tax solely benefiting DE Turf, a privately-run facility near Frederica. Paradee’s brother John is on DE Turf’s board and has an interest in an adjacent retail complex. Paradee denies he sponsored the bill to benefit his brother. He […]

Law to give taxpayer money to Delaware sports facility would benefit sponsor’s brother

WHYY | by Cris Barrish A new law that was rushed through the Delaware General Assembly on June 30, the final day of the legislative session, could benefit the sponsor’s brother in a commercial development deal. Now lawmakers are criticizing the familial conflict and a process that skirted the rules governing the legislative process. One said “it just doesn’t smell right.” Another called it an indictment of the so-called Delaware Way of cooperation for the greater public good. Some lawmakers who supported the measure tell WHYY they want it repealed, […]

Why the DE Turf vote has some Delaware lawmakers second-guessing

The News Journal | by Sarah Gamard Some members of the Delaware General Assembly are second-guessing their yes votes on a bill that allowed Kent County to tax hotel stays and give the resulting $1 million in revenue to DE Turf, a sports complex near Frederica. After learning the tax could benefit a proposed development championed by John Paradee – brother to the lawmaker who sponsored the bill – Sen. Cathy Cloutier, R-Heatherbrook, is one of the lawmakers who thinks there is a conflict of interest. “It doesn’t look good,” […]

State issues fines for mishandling asbestos at Boxwood Rd. site

Delaware Public Media | by Nick Ciolino The state is penalizing a subcontractor for mishandling asbestos at the former GM plant on Boxwood Rd. in New Castle County. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) fined the Pennsylvania company EcoServices $20,000 for violating Delaware’s emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. DNREC is also charging EcoServices an additional $13,000 for the cost of the investigation. The ruling comes months after construction workers released a video of numerous particles floating through the air at the Boxwood site. The video […]

NCSL Digital Goods Policy Becomes Proxy Fight Over Wayfair

Law360 | by James Nani Law360, Nashville, Tenn. (August 8, 2019, 5:53 PM EDT) — Lawmakers at a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting voted Thursday to support federal legislation standardizing the taxation of digital goods, with New Hampshire and Delaware legislators opposing language added about the Wayfair ruling. Lawmakers from 47 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., voted to support a resolution urging Congress to pass the Federal Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act, S.B. 3581, which according to the resolution would address the taxation of digital goods […]