Ozone, particulates taint air many days in Delaware

The News Journal | by Molly Murray The Wilmington-Philadelphia area ranks second in the Northeast for days with elevated ozone pollution and soot from smokestacks, and vehicle tailpipes are a problem more than half of the time, according to a new study released Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center. The study used 2015 data collected by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. States submit air quality monitoring data to the federal agency and the EPA compiles the state results into a nationwide database of outdoor air quality. Wilmington is […]

New Report: Wilmington area ranked 2nd in the northeast for smog pollution

Environment America | Press Release Wilmington, DE – Despite decades of progress under the Clean Air Act, people across Delaware continue to breathe unhealthy air, leading to increased risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. According to a new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center, the Wilmington metropolitan area experienced the worst air pollution in Delaware, experiencing 97 days of elevated smog pollution and 212 days with unhealthy levels of soot. “Even one day with unhealthy levels of air pollution is unacceptable,” said Lindsey Mendelson, Environment […]

Senate OKs bill creating commission to draw new legislative districts

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill ordering independent redistricting of the state’s legislative districts. The proposal received 12 votes in support and seven against, with one member not voting and one absent.The measure now goes to the House. Senate Bill 27 would create an independent nine-member commission to redraw legislative district lines every 10 years. The process is currently overseen by the General Assembly, which critics say can lead to gerrymandering. The commission would give at least three political parties […]

Two Plans Vie to Hike Delaware’s Franchise Tax

Bloomberg BNA | by Leslie A. Pappas Statement by Rep. John Kowalko My bill to raise the maximum corporate franchise tax, HB 102, would generate approximately $108 million or more. Basically multiplying the number of corporations that currently avail themselves of the cap times $60,000. The exact number of corporations that currently use the max cap can be attained from Delaware’s Department of State. I have already conceded that I would be willing to support the Administration’s legislation if it was filed, released from committee, and put on the floor for […]

Dueling tax plans offered in Dover

Delaware Public Media | by James Dawson State lawmakers will soon have a handful of plans to choose from if they decide to make over Delaware’s personal income tax brackets. Gov. John Carney’s (D) plan to fill in a projected $386 million budget shortfall partially relies on boosting each of the state’s personal income tax brackets while cutting out itemized deductions. The increases range from 0.2 to 0.4 percent. Such a move would raise nearly $65 million if it were implemented in January as planned, with even more cash coming […]

Recreational Cannabis is on the Horizon in Delaware

Culture Magazine | by Staff Writer Cannabis advocates in Delaware have reason to rejoice. A draft bill that would legalize cannabis for adults over 21 is headed to Delaware’s General Assembly. Years of lobbying from local advocates has proven successful for the effort to legalize cannabis in the nation’s second-smallest state. Those under 21 who are caught with cannabis would receive a $100 civil fine on the first offense and a misdemeanor for any further offenses. Retail licenses would be granted to 40 businesses and that number could expand in three […]

Lawmakers introduce bill to legalize marijuana

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — Lawmakers on Thursday filed a bill that would make Delaware the ninth state to legalize marijuana. The measure, sponsored by 13 Democrats and one Republican, would allow individuals at least 21 years old to use cannabis in their home. Using marijuana in public would still be illegal, and individuals would be restricted from growing the drug or possessing more than one ounce. “Reefer madness. We should never have agreed to allow that image to be prolonged to that extent. That’s ridiculous,” Rep. […]

State lawmaker continues push for offshore wind in Delaware

Delaware Public Media | by James Morrison One Delaware state lawmaker is not giving up on his goal to make offshore wind farms a reality along the coast of Delaware. State Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark) has just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom, where he learned how that country became the world leader in wind energy. Kowalko was instrumental in Delaware’s previous attempt at offshore wind farms. He helped the state secure a power purchase agreement with Delmarva Electric and NRG Bluewater, but the plan expired in 2011 […]

Delaware lawmakers react to proposed tax hikes, cuts to education

WDEL | by Lauren Huet Delaware lawmakers reacted to Governor John Carney’s budget proposal Thursday. The $4.1 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 is a 50/50 split between cuts and revenue generating proposals. Democratic Representative Paul Baumbach (D-Newark) was pleased with the proposal.  “I’m happy that it wasn’t my job to come out with a balanced budget. I think Governor Carney did a good job with an extremely difficult challenge,” said Baumbach. “I like Governor Markell’s 2/3 on revenues and 1/3 on expense. Governor Carney took a 50/50. I think […]

Elements of Carney’s budget plan draw quick opposition

Delaware Public Media | by Tom Byrne Gov. John Carney’s 2018 budget proposal is already getting some initial blowback from state lawmakers. His calls to raise personal income tax rates and cut education spending were among the ideas that drew criticism immediately after the governor unveiled his plan Thursday. Carney’s proposal to cut $37 million from what it currently sends to school districts raised eyebrows on both sides of the aisle. And State senator Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes) isn’t sure the governor’s plan to allow districts to recoup 22 million of those […]