Delaware budget approved; final day of legislative session arrives

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — The House of Representatives approved the state budget Wednesday, sending it to Gov. Jack Markell ahead of the final day of the legislative session. Lawmakers have their last chance to approve any legislation today when they gavel in in the evening on what is also the close of the fiscal year. Wednesday was a late day with many legislators not leaving the state capitol until well past 9 p.m. They did make progress on the money bills, however, with the Bond Committee […]

Wilmington redistricting plan passes House

Delaware Public Media | by James Dawson Efforts to redistrict Wilmington schools overcame a significant hurdle Wednesday as House lawmakers signed off on a resolution and bill allowing progress to continue. Democrats overruled Republicans who tried to block the legislation in vain over concerns that the state couldn’t afford the implementation plan. Overall, proponents say moving students from the Christina School District to the Red Clay School District will help move kids closer to their schools, potentially boosting parental involvement and test scores for minority children. “The need to fix the […]

Troubled charter school spent nearly all its $175K state funding on leadership salaries News | by Ben Porten Budget documents submitted last Friday to the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) show that Delaware STEM Academy (DSA), a New Castle charter school in danger of losing its charter before it even opens, allocated nearly all its state funding to supporting its principal and executive director. In the last year, DSA spent just over $171,000 of a $175,000 state grant on salaries and additional employee costs for executive director Brett Taylor and principal Laura Jennice, according to budget documents and confirmed by Taylor. “These […]

Lawmakers override state code to let charter schools keep extra bus funds

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — Every year, Delaware allocates millions of dollars to help charter schools pay for the cost of busing students. According to state law, all Delaware schools are suppose to return any unused funding, but in each of the past seven fiscal years, a special provision included in the budget has allowed charters to keep excess allowances. This year, the Department of Education spent a total of $10.7 million providing funding to the state’s 27 charter schools, but the schools themselves spent only $9.3 million […]

Kowalko: Delaware economy stalled due to flat tires on the bus

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Once again, as we rapidly approach the June deadline, the Delaware General Assembly is boarding this administration’s economic stability/budget bus. Once again, the bus is fitfully careening forward on nearly flat tires. The primary reason leading to this predicament has been this administration’s policy of deflating those tires of their revenue by irresponsibly pushing policies and laws that have taken corporate welfare to a new level. The General Assembly and various agencies such as DEDO (Delaware Economic Development […]

Bill would rein in foreign LLCs in Delaware

The News Journal | by Margie Fishman Foreign limited liability corporations investing in industries that pose national security risks would undergo more rigorous review when incorporating in Delaware, under draft legislation proposed by a group of local open government advocates. Released Tuesday by the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, the proposal aims to curtail money laundering schemes and potential security threats. Foreign entities could no longer escape federal scrutiny by manipulating Delaware law to morph into a series of different domestic companies, according to DelCOG members. Foreign business interests investing […]

Newark Landlord Association opposes home inspection bill

Newark Post | by Karie Simmons Local landlords are up in arms about a bill drafted by the city of Newark that would give municipalities across the state the power to obtain a warrant to inspect rental properties where tenants have previously denied them access. According to city officials, code enforcement wants to get inside in order to routinely check for health and safety concerns like working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, secure railings, clear pathways and stairways, electrical hazards and other violations as required by code, but tenants don’t […]

Plastic bag fee bill set to move to Delaware House floor

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — A House of Representatives committee came close to releasing to the full chamber Wednesday a bill that would impose a 5-cent fee for every plastic bag a customer uses at a store. The proposal would require stores charge customers 5 cents for every store-provided plastic bag they use. People who bring in their own bags would not be charged. Although the bill was not technically approved because the House Natural Resources Committee did not have a quorum, it fell just one […]

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump win Delaware primary

The News Journal | by Adam Duvernay & James Fisher Results of Tuesday’s primary showed the First State’s commitment to its established Democratic Party and the power of an outsider to mobilize traditionally poor-showing Republicans in a part of Delaware accustomed to losing elections. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Delaware’s piece of a heated primary season, collecting 55,950 votes, with nearly 60 percent of the total Democratic ballot. Billionaire Donald Trump trounced his two competitors with 42,472 votes, accumulating almost 61 percent of the total from his party. […]

Half of Delaware superdelegates committed to Clinton

The News Journal | by Adam Duvernay Nearly a third of Delaware’s Democratic delegates are superdelegates, who typically are high-visibility figures in the party. Tuesday’s primary will select delegates, and a candidate needs 2,026 pledged delegates to own a majority of convention votes. Ten Delawarean votes will have an outsize impact on what Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take away from the First State. Nearly a third of Delaware’s Democratic delegates are superdelegates, the now-notorious party convention voters unbeholden to the choices of their state’s electorate. The state doesn’t have […]