Why Delaware government documents stay hidden

The News Journal | by Margie Fishman & James Fisher Frustrations flare by those seeking information through Delaware’s public records law, designed to keep government transparent. Unencumbered access to government records can shine a light on farms funneling waste into our drinking water, lobbyists currying favor with legislators over email, teacher misconduct in the classroom, patient abuse at psychiatric facilities and volatile neighbors packing heat. Yet, in Delaware, all of the above remain off-limits to public inspection. The state consistently ranks among the bottom nationwide when it comes to government transparency […]

Kowalko: Dollars & Sense

The News Journal | Delaware Voice | by Rep. John Kowalko When I originally sat down to the task of composing my thoughts on Delaware’s budget situation, we were facing a $200 million deficit. It was the end of session on June 30, 2015. The Democratic house leadership finally convened our first caucus meeting on Oct, 15, and details were given confirming the dire economic straits facing Delaware taxpayers. Recently it was announced that the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DFAC) had concocted an estimate that included an extra $80 million in […]

Le Delaware, paradis fiscal « made in USA »

Les Echos | by Lucie Robequain L’Etat américain du Delaware est devenu l’un des meilleurs endroits au monde pour créer une société fictive. Il échappe aux contraintes imposées récemment aux autres paradis fiscaux. Le bâtiment est tellement triste qu’on le passe sans s’en apercevoir. Avec son auvent vert et ses vieux néons, on l’imagine bien abriter un club de bridge ou une maison de quartier. Erreur : il héberge en fait 300.000 entreprises, parmi les plus puissantes d’Amérique. Les géants de la Silicon Valley (Apple, Google, etc.) et de Wall […]

A DuPont legacy: Pile by the Delaware

The Philadelphia Inquirer | by Joseph N. DiStefano More than 400 have signed this petition by Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, calling on Gov. Jack Markell, also a Democrat, to demand that the DuPont Co. and its spin-off, Chemours, clean up decades of solid wastes, including dioxins, that Kowalko says will be left over when Chemours shuts down the titanium-dioxide white pigment plan at Edge Moor on the Delaware River later this year. With DuPont transferring Edge Moor and the nearby Hay Road waste storage site to Chemours, and […]

Kowalko tops liberal group’s lawmaker rankings

The News Journal | by Jon Offredo Firebrand and outspoken legislator Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, is top of the legislative class when it comes to issues of social justice and economic equality, according to rankings released Monday by a progressive advocacy group. And in the Senate, Congressional hopeful Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, tops the list. Delaware Americans for Democratic Action released their annual report card Monday. The rankings grade legislators on a points-based system based off of their support, or lack thereof, of measures the group feels are focused on […]

State lawmaker seeks removal of Edge Moor waste

The News Journal | by Jeff Montgomery A Newark lawmaker has opened a petition campaign to compel the removal of 500,000 tons of waste in a 15-acre landfill on Chemours property near the company’s soon-to-close Edge Moor pigment plant. Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark South, said he was concerned by the possibility that Chemours would sell its plant, creating what he said was a risk that pollution would escape under new ownership or if the land was eventually abandoned. That could leave taxpayers with the cleanup costs, he said, if contaminants […]

Delaware Education Desk on standardized testing

Newsworks | by Brian Drouin Standardized testing has become the most fiercely debated topic in Delaware education. In particular, there’s been a firestorm over whether parents should be able to opt their children out of a new, statewide assessment. Education correspondent Avi Wolfman-Arent talks about this simmering issue with opt-out supporter, Rep. John Kowalko, and Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, an opt-out opponent and the president of the State Board of Education. Read original article and watch video interview.

Delaware’s testing opt-out bill ignites firestorm

The News Journal | by Matthew Albright The simmering debate over standardized testing in Delaware exploded Wednesday in a charged hearing that saw lawmakers and parent advocates shouting over each other. At issue was a bill to allow parents to pull their children out of the statewide Smarter Balanced Assessment, a tough new test students took for the first time this year. Some Delaware parents have already pulled their kids out of the test, but the bill, sponsored by firebrand Rep. John Kowalko, would make it an explicit right in the […]

Lawmakers buck Markell on education

The News Journal | by Matthew Albright & Jonathan Starkey After years of pushing education reforms in Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell is facing a revolt in the General Assembly. Lawmakers, including many from his own party, have little faith Markell’s Department of Education knows what everyday educators think is the best way to improve schools. They are skeptical the $119 million federal Race to the Top grant, one of Markell’s signature education achievements, has done any lasting good. Legislators are sending a clear message that they need to more actively […]

First Person: Government transparency

Newsworks | by Brian Drouin Transparency is a big part of government. An issue brewing in Governor Jack Markell’s office over the use of a private email account. That forms the conversation in our First Person segment this week. Joining us in the First studios are Rep. John Kowalko and John Flaherty of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government. Read original article and watch video interview.