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. […]

Trump tax cut should mean lower utility bills, Delaware advocate says

The News Journal | by Karl Baker Delaware’s utility regulators should cut water and electricity rates in response to a transformative yet divisive law signed last week by President Donald Trump that slashes corporate tax rates, says Delaware Public Advocate Andrew Slater. Slater, who is charged with lobbying on behalf of Delaware ratepayers, filed a petition with state regulators on Thursday arguing that the cash windfall from lower corporate taxes – which will benefit utilities, such as Delmarva Power and Artesian Resources Corp. – should bypass those companies’ coffers and […]

Process for removing local school board members proposed

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — A proposal currently circulating in Legislative Hall would allow the unelected State Board of Education to remove members of local school boards. However, the main sponsor says he is open to changing the method by which members would be expelled and is considering different options before filing the measure. The draft bill would allow the Delaware Board of Education to, with the approval of the governor, boot any member off a local school board. Asked what is driving the proposal, Rep. […]

Christina school closure proposal — which timetable is best?

WHYY | by Cris Barrish The Christina school board has endorsed a plan to close three Wilmington elementary schools and convert two others into K-8 buildings, but wants to delay the changes one year, until the 2019-20 school year. The seven-member board’s move on the timetable for a major shakeup of Christina’s five schools in Wilmington puts it at odds with a partnership led by the Carney administration, district leadership and the teacher’s union. In a statement issued by Gov. John Carney after the board vote indicated he didn’t want […]

Christina to Carney: Give us until 2019 to consolidate Wilmington schools

The News Journal | by Jessica Bies The Christina School Board wants until 2019 to consolidate five Wilmington schools into two, it told Gov. John Carney Tuesday night. In the form of a 5-2 vote, board members pushed back on a 2018 deadline for shifting students from Pulaski, Stubbs and Elbert-Palmer elementary schools to Bancroft Elementary and Bayard Middle School. Board President George Evans and Vice President Fred Polaski cast the dissenting votes, voicing concern over delaying the process and potentially losing the governor’s support. “My concern is if we […]

Delaware sets new guidelines for corporations and LLCs

WHYY | by Shirley Min Delaware is one of the easiest states to set up a company, and frequently draws criticism that the lax licensing laws enable terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering. However, state leaders are now calling for regular checks of the state’s 1.3 million business entities, which includes 800,000 limited liability companies, 400,000 corporations, and a small percentage of other entity types against the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). The new guidelines will require all registering agents, who set up the businesses in […]

Drug trafficker? Terrorist? No secret business for you in Delaware

The News Journal | by Margie Fishman In a rare move to rein in secretive limited liability companies, Delaware’s secretary of state has tweaked a policy that would require the state’s 1.3 million business entities to be regularly screened against a federal database of terrorists, international drug traffickers and more. But some open government advocates and watchdog groups say the change doesn’t go far enough to protect Delaware and the rest of the country from tax dodgers, embezzlers, arms dealers and other criminals. Last month, Delaware State Department leaders said […]

Rep. Kowalko renews call for more LLC oversight

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller State Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark South) is renewing his call for greater oversight of limited liability corporations registered in Delaware. An indictment against President Donald Trump’s former campaign officials has sparked new questions about LLCs. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates face multiple charges. They include money laundering, tax fraud and conspiracy. Of the 23 LLCs Manafort used, nine were registered in Delaware. Kowalko’s proposal would block applicants who are identified on a federal watch list as a […]

Delaware Businesses Caught Up in Mueller Indictments

Delaware Public Radio | by Don Rush Delaware businesses have become embroiled in the emerging scandal from the indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates. The Wilmington News Journal reports that nine Delaware corporations and limited liability companies were allegedly involved in shielding millions of dollars in payments from the Ukraine. That’s according to federal grand jury indictment unveiled this week. The paper reports that open government advocates like State Rep. John Kowalko have renewed their demand for a more rigorous review of […]