Lawmakers release open letter supporting Delaware’s Black community

Dover Post | by Delaware News Desk Nine members of the Delaware State Legislature released a letter June 17 denouncing systemic racism and pledging full commitment for all legislative reforms necessary to secure equal justice and equal treatment for Delaware’s Black community. “The reality of black disenfranchisement and systemic racism in our society today demands that legislators acknowledge their past failures and face their responsibilities to repair the damage,” said a release from the lawmakers. “To begin healing the wounds suffered by black people we must first acknowledge and accept […]

Delaware legislature considers eliminating university FOIA exemption

UD Review | by Wyatt Patterson On May 22, Delaware Representative John A. Kowalko introduced a bill that would remove an exemption in Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for both the University of Delaware and Delaware State University (DSU). The Delaware Freedom of Information Act, first established in 1977, is a series of laws guaranteeing that the public has access to the records of public bodies. Public bodies are any entity or body that is supported in whole or in part by any public funds. Since 2008, the state […]

How fast is too fast? Delaware officials, stakeholders divided how to reopen amid pandemic

The News Journal | by Sarah Gamard Even as Delaware eases its coronavirus restrictions, Gov. John Carney is still facing pressure from Republican officials and business interest groups who want a faster and more rigorous reopening. Delaware’s business-friendly reputation isn’t meshing well with the state of emergency closures meant to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus — especially as nearby states are lifting some of their restrictions sooner. Criticism of the administration’s reopening strategies has shed light on a growing political divide ahead of the 2020 elections over how […]

Final deal for new Wilmington transit center gives taxpayers less than originally billed

The News Journal | by Karl Baker Three years ago, Delaware officials celebrated a partnership that was to use private dollars to shoulder most of the cost of a new transit hub next to the Wilmington train station. Earlier this week, the Wilmington bus hub opened, but not only did taxpayers bear most of its cost, Delaware’s bus agency, DART, must pay $50,000 a year in rent to a private company that today leases the property from the state for $1. In interviews in 2016 and early 2017, John Sisson, […]

Amazon confirms first phase of giant Del. warehouse

The Philadelphia Inquirer | by Joseph N. DiStefno Amazon has confirmed some details of a much-expected new warehouse center at the former General Motors plant site just west of Wilmington. On Tuesday, Amazon pledged “more than 1,000 full-time jobs” and a first-floor, robotics-heavy 820,000-square-foot operations center at the site, where developer Dermody Properties has filed plans to build as much as 3.8 million square feet, making it potentially larger than any current Amazon center. Dermody built another center for Amazon near Bridgeport, Gloucester County, in 2018. Amazon also erected its […]

Kowalko: Responsibility for all requires respect

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko I will vigorously support reopening of the economy when the scientific data and studies dictate that the risk to the health and welfare of the public is dramatically lessened. I will not support making life and death decisions when the message to “reopen now” is delivered by those who ignore the realities of this deadly contagion and its capability to infect everyone. I am more reluctant to consider a proposal or position when the messenger presenting that […]

Don’t Expect To See Joe Biden’s Papers

The Huffington Post | by Roque Planas Somewhere, there may be documents that shed light on allegations of sexual harassment and assault leveled by a former aide against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But if they exist, it will be difficult to unearth them. Tara Reade, who served as a staffer to the former vice president when he was in the Senate, says Biden sexually assaulted and harassed her in 1993. Biden has repeatedly and forcefully denied the allegations, telling the press to request documentation from the National Archives […]

Revenue losses could mean budget cuts, Delaware seeks more leeway

The News Journal | by Sarah Gamard Delaware’s state revenue forecast continues to plummet, and officials warn that they could have to make cuts to government programs if they can’t more freely spend the federal aid they received from Congress to fight the pandemic. The state expects a $784.5 million decline in revenue over the next two fiscal years, based on the latest estimates reported on Monday by the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council. Much of that money had already been squared away in the governor’s spending plan for […]

Kowalko: Amazon should give back

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Would it be impertinent of me to ask, on behalf of Delaware taxpayers, that the multi-billion-dollar corporation Amazon return the $4.5 million in taxpayer money gifted to them earlier this year by the Partnership for Prosperity and the Delaware Economic Development Office? Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is estimated to be the wealthiest individual in the world with a net worth ranging somewhere over $100 billion. The Amazon distribution center sited for the old GM location has already […]

Kowalko: Privacy laws should not be an excuse to hide important COVID-19 info in Delaware

The News Journal | Guest Column | Rep. John Kowalko Full transparency in government matters is of the utmost importance in embracing and appreciating the public’s right to know. Full transparency guarantees that the public’s need to know is not obfuscated under some misguided interpretation of the public’s right to know. During this most threatening crisis enveloping Delaware, which has its families faced with economic upheavals as well as fears for their safety and welfare, the government must be totally and honestly transparent in regards to the information it is […]