Delaware House passes bill reinstating death penalty

The News Journal | by Matthew Albright Despite the impassioned pleas of several of its members, the House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that would bring the death penalty back to Delaware. The bill now heads to the Senate, where supporters of capital punishment face a tougher vote. And it remains uncertain whether Gov. John Carney would sign or veto it. The House voted 24-16 to pass the Extreme Crimes Protection Act, which requires that juries unanimously agree that aggravating circumstances in a murder merit a death sentence. The bill’s […]

State House votes to revive death penalty in Delaware

WDEL | by Staff Writer A bill regarding the reinstatement of the death penalty in Delaware passed the state House Tuesday by a vote of 24 to 16. There was one absent vote May 9, 2017. The bill exited the House Judiciary Committee on May 3 by a vote of 7 to 4. “Keeping people safe is not the same as ensuring that our laws provide an avenue to satisfy the appetite for vengeance,” said Representative John Kowalko (D-Newark). Some critics of the bill have said House Republicans are wrongfully […]

House leadership takes advantage of trooper’s death to push death penalty bill

WDEL | by Joe Izizarry The death penalty bill voted out of committee yesterday is on today’s House Agenda. “An irresponsible move by leadership by Pete Schwartzkopf putting that on the agenda with little to no notice to the general public,” said Representative John Kowalko. “It is an important issue.” Representative would rather see another week before the legislation goes to the full House. He accuses leadership of trying to take advantage of Corporal Stephen Ballard’s killing to try and fast track this bill. Another reason Kowalko would like to […]

Some Democrats not in favor of parts of Carney’s budget

WDEL | by Joe Izizarry Two lawmakers agree with many educators that the Governor John Carney’s budget hits education too hard. Representative J.J. Johnson would like to see the issue with Wilmington schools be resolved. “This latest proposal with WEIC was the best,” said Johnson. “I’m very disappointed that the state can not set aside money to address it.” Representative John Kowalko is also disappointed WEIC isn’t part of Carney’s budget, and he added if any cuts should be made to education, they should be at the State level. Secretary […]

State employees protest Carney budget

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — “Enough is enough!” That was the rallying cry for approximately 40 state government employees at a news conference Tuesday to protest what they claim is poor treatment by the state. Gov. John Carney has called for raising their health care costs, possibly with higher premiums or deductibles. As a result, the recipients of those proposed changes are complaining. State government employees say they’re struggling to pay their bills and feeling “disrespected” by lawmakers and the governor. “During my time with the […]

Delaware state employees say they’ve shared enough sacrifice

WDEL | by Amy Cherry Chanting “enough is enough,” dozens of state workers rallied Tuesday in Dover against what they labeled Governor John Carney’s so-called “shared sacrifice” budget proposal, which seeks to close a $385 million budget gap through both tax hikes and program cuts. Keisha Daniels has worked as a state social worker for more than a decade; she has a Master’s degree, but makes $33,000 a year and can’t pay her bills. “The 1 percent pay raise that they did give us, at the same time, they increased […]

“Shared sacrifice” is killing the middle-class economy

Delaware United | by Dustyn Thompson Let’s be straightforward about something in Delaware today. The middle and working class, and indeed even people living in absolute poverty, are getting ready to be taken advantage of once again, and it’s important to understand how and why. It’s a relatively simple matter. The powers that be know that the middle and lower classes are so busy trying to survive that we probably will not become politically involved enough to stop an agenda against our interests. Our Governor is proposing a budget that […]

Should Delaware’s top earners pay more in taxes?

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — What’s the difference between yearly earnings of $60,001 and $1 million? Yes, it’s nearly $940,000, but in Delaware, there’s no distinction between the two figures for tax purposes. All income above $60,000 is considered in the state’s top tax bracket. That means someone who makes $60,001 pays the same rate of 6.6 percent as a tycoon of industry pulling in millions of dollars each year. Republicans say higher taxes stifle economic growth; Democrats have mixed views. The Delaware General Assembly is […]

Delaware tax hike debate: Who should pay more?

The News Journal | by Matthew Albright State leaders say they have little choice but to raise taxes in 2017. The debate now is over who bears the greater burden. Gov. John Carney and most members of the General Assembly are unwilling to erase the state’s $386 million budget gap solely by slashing spending. Carney has called for raising income taxes, corporate franchise taxes and tobacco taxes to fill half that gap. The remainder could come from budget cuts. Carney’s idea is to spread the income tax pain by raising every […]

Delaware vulnerable to high levels of smog, report says

Newsworks | by Zoë Read The Wilmington area has some of the highest levels of smog pollution in the country, according to a report released Thursday. Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Our Health at Risk report ranks the area 2nd in the northeast and 5th in the nation for its amount of particulate matter. “Even one day with unhealthy air is too many. Burning dirty fuels, like coal, oil and gas threatens our health,” said Lindsey Mendelson, climate associate for Environment America. “It’s time to switch to clean renewable […]