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 […]

Democratic lawmakers push bill to create 2 new top income tax brackets

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — A House panel released to the full chamber Wednesday legislation that would create two new top tax brackets. Currently, all income above $60,000 is taxed at 6.6 percent. House Bill 15 would tax personal income of between $125,000 and $250,001 at 7.1 percent and above $250,000 at 7.85 percent. As of 2018, 16 states had a top tax bracket that exceeded $60,000, according to the Tax Foundation. The bill is the latest effort by Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, and other Democrats […]

Legislation introduced to limit LLC votes in Newark elections

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller Agents of multiple Limited Liability Companies may soon be limited to just one vote in the city of Newark. As the city’s charter is currently written, each LLC owning property in Newark is legally allowed to cast a vote. People can vote as a resident and as a representative of an LLC. That’s how last June, an agent of 31 LLCs was able to vote 31 times. The property manager owned 31 parcels of land in the city. But under legislation sponsored by […]

Council approves controversial seven-story Main Street hotel

Newark Post | by Josh Shannon City council on Monday approved a controversial hotel project, paving the way for Lang Development Group to construct a seven-story structure that likely will be the tallest building on Main Street. Council voted 5-2 in favor of the proposal, which includes 144 hotel rooms, a restaurant, 19,500 square feet of office space and a parking garage at 96 E. Main St., across from the Academy Street intersection. Several of the council members who voted in favor of the plan said they understood the concerns […]