Warning: There is no budget surplus in Delaware

Delaware State News | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko With the governor’s proposed budget scheduled to be unveiled today and in light of recent Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) reports purportedly showing an uptick in revenues, it is incumbent upon me, as an elected official, to alert the taxpaying public to the reality and complexity of Delaware’s economic situation. While increased revenue projections might appear to be welcome news, a number of factors should be considered in the final analysis. The specifics of the revenue gains and […]

Corporate tax cuts are undermining Delaware’s budget

The News Journal | Delaware Voice | by Rep. John Kowalko With the Governor’s proposed budget scheduled to be unveiled in less than a week, and in light of recent Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) reports purportedly showing an uptick in revenues, it is incumbent upon me, as an elected official, to alert the taxpaying public to the reality and complexity of Delaware’s economic situation. While increased revenue projections might appear to be welcome news, a number of factors should be considered in the final analysis. The specifics […]

Report: Charter schools struggle to find and pay for facilities

The News Journal | by Jessica Bies Charter schools in Delaware struggle to find suitable buildings and to finance facility and construction costs, a new report says. Many are shoehorned into old office buildings, churches or strip malls where rent is high — an average of $1,545 per student — and amenities are lacking. Some do not have full kitchen facilities, lunchrooms, auditoriums, specialized instructional space, playgrounds, gyms or even areas where buses can pull up and safely drop off kids. One, which was located in a Red Clay School […]

Delaware utility rates are set to drop as a result of federal corporate tax cuts

Delaware Public Media | by Nick Ciolino The Delaware Public Commission voted to approve a petition to reduce Delaware utility rates in response to recently passed federal tax cuts. Last month the federal government passed legislation dropping the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Delaware’s Public Advocate petitioned to have utility companies in the state drop their rates proportionate to the savings from the cuts. The Delaware Public Commission voted unanimously—four to zero—in favor of the petition Wednesday. Public Advocate Drew Slater says there was some argument to put […]

Federal tax cut could mean lower power bills in Delaware

WHYY | by Mark Eichmann Delawareans should see lower utility bills after a state ruling that any benefit utility companies get from the federal tax cut must be passed on to customers. The move is in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that Congress approved in December. Following a petition from the state’s Public Advocate Drew Slater, the Delaware Public Service Commission has ordered the companies to pass on any savings to consumers. “Today was a win for ratepayers,” Slater said. “With this order, we look […]

Delawareans denounce Trump proposal to end Clean Power Plan

WHYY | by Mark Eichmann In October, the Trump administration announced that it would end the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by more than 30 percent by 2030. The CPP left it up to individual states to figure out how to reduce emissions in order to meet that goal. After the October announcement that the Trump EPA would end the CPP, only one public hearing was held in the heart of coal country in West Virginia. Delaware leaders weren’t happy […]

Federal proposal to repeal Clean Power Program gets mostly thumbs down at Delaware hearing

WDEL | by Mark Fowser Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources scheduled what was billed as a listening session Monday in Wilmington. The EPA held only one hearing on the proposal in the east region. It was held in Charleston, West Virginia. The EPA announced the repeal in October 2017, and set a deadline of January 16th to receive public comment. “The citizens and economy of Delaware are negatively affected by these changes, and if the Clean Power Plan is repealed we will suffer even more,” Governor John Carney, D- Del., […]

Delaware lawmakers call for lower utility rates following Trump tax cuts

The News Journal | by Karl Baker More than two dozen members of the Delaware General Assembly announced support this week for lowering power and water rates. The announcement comes two weeks after Congress and President Donald Trump slashed tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent for public utilities and other corporations. The state legislators, all but two of whom are Democrats, stated in a letter sent to the Delaware Public Service Commission that regulators should grant “in its entirety” a petition to cut utility rates filed by Delaware […]

Delaware’s Public Advocate seeks utility rate cuts for consumers

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller The Delaware Public Service Commission could approve utility rate reductions for ratepayers later this month. The state’s Public Advocate is asking utilities to share some of the benefits they’ll get from federal tax cuts. The corporate tax rate dropped from 35 percent to 21 percent at the beginning of the year. But utility companies are routinely allowed to raise rates to offset equipment and maintenance expenses. Delmarva Power is currently requesting a rate hike for that very reason. Newark State Rep. John Kowalko […]

Kowalko: Delaware school board legislation is a ‘travesty’

Delaware State News | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko On occasion, legislation is written and offered that is so obviously misguided in its intentions and presents such an overt attempt to manipulate the legitimacy of the democratic voting process that it is incumbent upon me to expose it to the public. Any other reaction could result in an injustice being perpetrated on the voting public compromising its wishes expressed at the ballot box. This recent piece of legislation circulated for signatures is a prime example of such a travesty. […]