Delaware gives $1.6 million to chemical firm FMC, lets Tower Hill issue $6.9 million bond

The News Journal | by Karl Baker Delaware on Monday approved a $1.6 million taxpayer grant for FMC, an $11 billion agricultural chemical company that plans to build a greenhouse at its Newark-based research headquarters and hire 13 new employees. While state officials argue that such incentives encourage investment in Delaware, FMC officials declined to say whether they would build the greenhouse even without the taxpayer cash. Also at Monday’s meeting of the Delaware Council on Development Finance, the state approved a $50,000 grant to a Newark chemical startup that […]

More possible misuse of funds at Odyssey Charter School

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller More examples of possible misuse of state funding at Odyssey Charter School are coming to light. The Delaware Department of Education placed Odyssey on formal review last month after complaints it misused state funding and conflicts of interest involving the American Hellenic Educational Association. But now Odyssey School Board member Elias Rigas says former board president Dimitri Dandalos authorized $177,000 in additional construction work on AHEPA’s Ithaka Early Learning Center without the board’s knowledge. It previously acknowledged spending $91,500 on the center. It […]

House passes $4.45B budget but bond bill remains unfinished

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — The House of Representatives approved the $4.45 billion operating budget Thursday, along with a $62 million supplement. By a 41-0 vote, the chamber sent the measure to the Senate. Senators could consider the bill Tuesday, one of the four regularly scheduled legislative days remaining. The spending plan, Rep. Quinn Johnson told his colleagues in the House, includes substantial investment in education and pay raises for state employees. The Middletown Democrat also touted the budget’s fiscal discipline, noting lawmakers set aside tens […]

Organized labor rallies as $15 minimum wage legislation stalls

Delaware Public Media | by Sophia Schmidt Unionized commercial cleaners, labor organizers and lawmakers gathered in Wilmington Friday in support of a $15 dollar minimum wage. The state’s current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour rises to $9.25 in October. A bill that would gradually raise Delaware’s minimum wage to $15 is being routed through a second state senate committee — and senate leadership says the earliest it will get a vote is next January. “We’re still feeling hopeful,” said Daisy Cruz, Mid-Atlantic district director for 32BJ of the Service […]

Lawmakers won’t consider adding more income tax brackets again this year

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller Legislation adding higher tax rates for wealthier Delawareans is unlikely to get a floor vote again this year. Delaware has a graduated income tax rate. It rises incrementally in brackets – until it reaches $60,000 when the rate tops out at 6.6 percent. That means people making $60,000 and $1 million pay that same top rate. Under legislation sponsored by State Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark), state would add a 7.1 percent bracket for people making more than $125,000 and a 7.85 tax for […]

Safe gun storage bill passes House, now goes to Senate

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — The House passed legislation Tuesday that would make the “unsafe” storage of a firearm a criminal offense. Four Democrats joined with the entire House Republican caucus to oppose the bill, which was approved by a 22-19 vote to the ire of the dozens of gun-rights advocates watching in the chamber. The measure now goes to the Senate. Currently, state law includes a Class B misdemeanor of unlawfully permitting a minor access to a firearm, applicable when an individual under age 18 […]

Delaware lawmakers one step closer to curtailing use of plastic bags

The Philadelphia Tribune | by Zoë Read Large retail stores in Delaware are required to have an onsite recycling receptacle so customers can dispose of their plastic bags responsibly. But volunteers collected 1,946 plastic bags during the state’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day last year. Moving to protect sea animals and wildlife from litter by reducing the use of plastic bags, Delaware’s House voted 33-7 to advance legislation limiting the availability of single-use plastic bags. If the Senate passes the measure, it would take effect in January 2021. The bill sponsored […]

Delaware lawmakers one step closer to curtailing use of plastic bags

WHYY | by Zoë Read Large retail stores in Delaware are required to have an onsite recycling receptacle so customers can dispose of their plastic bags responsibly. But volunteers collected 1,946 plastic bags during the state’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day last year. Moving to protect sea animals and wildlife from litter by reducing the use of plastic bags, Delaware’s House voted 33-7 to advance legislation limiting the availability of single-use plastic bags. If the Senate passes the measure, it would take effect in January 2021. The bill sponsored by state […]

Delaware House approves ban on plastic bags

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — The House passed legislation Tuesday that would bar certain stores from providing single-use plastic bags to customers. By a 33-7 vote, with one member absent, the chamber approved the legislation, which is supported by Gov. John Carney. It now goes to the Senate. House Bill 130 would restrict establishments from giving consumers bags that are “made from non-compostable plastic and not specifically designed and manufactured to be reusable.” The measure would go into effect Jan. 1, 2021, and would still allow […]

DNREC investigates Boxwood Rd. demolition, developer says asbestos removal is safe

Delaware Public Media | by Sophia Schmidt The redevelopment of the former Boxwood Road General Motors plant in Newport is generating controversy. The dispute centers around abatement of the cancer-causing material asbestos. DNREC officials told members of the public at a Newport-area meeting Tuesday they are investigating the demolition of the former GM plant, which Newport-based developer Harvey Hanna plans to turn into a business, fulfillment and distribution campus. Union organizers and demolition workers claim unsafe and improper asbestos removal has occurred at the site. At the community meeting, officials […]