Kowalko: DE Turf bill exposes big flaws in how Delaware passes legislation

The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko Congratulations to News Journal reporter Sarah Gamard on her insightful article, “Why the DE Turf vote has some lawmakers second guessing,” regarding the passage of Senate Substitute 2 for Senate Bill 178 on June 30, the final day of the legislative session. Her reporting has exposed some of the major flaws in the workings of Delaware’s General Assembly. One major concern is the fact that the legislation was presented as an economic development driver without any data to support the […]

Why the DE Turf vote has some Delaware lawmakers second-guessing

The News Journal | by Sarah Gamard Some members of the Delaware General Assembly are second-guessing their yes votes on a bill that allowed Kent County to tax hotel stays and give the resulting $1 million in revenue to DE Turf, a sports complex near Frederica. After learning the tax could benefit a proposed development championed by John Paradee – brother to the lawmaker who sponsored the bill – Sen. Cathy Cloutier, R-Heatherbrook, is one of the lawmakers who thinks there is a conflict of interest. “It doesn’t look good,” […]

Kowalko: U.S. failing to remember the lessons of past

Delaware State News | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko Because of the recent permission granted by Trump to the Turkish autocracy that will allow/encourage a campaign of genocide against the Kurdish people, who have exhibited a courageous and determined willingness to fight the evils of terrorism, I felt obligated to revisit a past moment in my personal experience with Turkey’s history. In 2007 I sponsored a resolution of remembrance of the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Turkish/Ottoman Empire regime. Here is the statement I released at the […]

Kowalko: Kudos to Jennings

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Congratulations Attorney General Jennings on a job well done. It is a great pleasure to recognize efforts by the head of a government agency in fighting for a good and open government. Attorney General Jennings’ announcement of her office’s efforts to dissolve Delaware LLCs that have illegal and nefarious intentions was announced recently. Good job AG Jennings. A great start to a necessary reform of Delaware corporate laws. I applaud you and offer myself as an ally […]

Kowalko: State should have been tougher on asbestos contractor

The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko More than four months after I joined residents, workers, and local union officials in calling for an investigation into the asbestos removal project at the former Boxwood GM site, DNREC has chosen to levy a negligible fine against EcoServices Inc. for its asbestos removal malpractices. As an asbestosis victim who suffers from the condition of asbestos exposure, I felt a significant personal stake in protecting the workers, their families, and the residents in the area from the consequences of improper […]

State issues fines for mishandling asbestos at Boxwood Rd. site

Delaware Public Media | by Nick Ciolino The state is penalizing a subcontractor for mishandling asbestos at the former GM plant on Boxwood Rd. in New Castle County. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) fined the Pennsylvania company EcoServices $20,000 for violating Delaware’s emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. DNREC is also charging EcoServices an additional $13,000 for the cost of the investigation. The ruling comes months after construction workers released a video of numerous particles floating through the air at the Boxwood site. The video […]

NCSL Digital Goods Policy Becomes Proxy Fight Over Wayfair

Law360 | by James Nani Law360, Nashville, Tenn. (August 8, 2019, 5:53 PM EDT) — Lawmakers at a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting voted Thursday to support federal legislation standardizing the taxation of digital goods, with New Hampshire and Delaware legislators opposing language added about the Wayfair ruling. Lawmakers from 47 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., voted to support a resolution urging Congress to pass the Federal Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act, S.B. 3581, which according to the resolution would address the taxation of digital goods […]

State lawmakers, education advocates react to student test scores

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller State lawmakers and education advocates are reacting to Delaware students’ performance on this year’s statewide tests. Fifty-thre percent of third through eighth grade students across the state are proficient in English, a 1 percent drop from last year. The percentage of students proficient in Math, 44 percent, remained the same. Delaware Department of Education officials say scores have been generally trending up since the state transitioned to the Smarter Balanced tests in 2015. Daniel Walker is with the education non-profit Delaware Campaign for […]

With Delaware plastic bag ban coming soon, state struggles to enforce existing plastic rules

The News Journal | by Sarah Gamard Wawa, the beloved convenience chain that ranks among the top grocery store locations in the First State, will be giving up plastic shopping bags in Delaware come 2021. But it’s unclear what other stores will and won’t keep plastic bags when Delaware becomes the next state to ban the single-use bags at major supermarkets and retail stores. That’s because the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is struggling to enforce the requirements of the state’s current plastic bag recycling laws, which […]

Commentary: Putting special interest over Delaware families

Delaware State News | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko The American Chemistry Council is the well-funded and highly influential (with members of both parties in Delaware) special interest that has flown in professionals (hacks) from as far away as California to keep my bills banning flame retardants from mattresses and children’s products bottled up in committee twice in the last few years. Joined by all of the Republicans on the two committees (that it was assigned to in recent sessions) a key Democratic member of both committees who serves […]