Public Service Commission approves additional rate reductions

Sussex Countian | by Submitted News The Delaware Public Service Commission on Jan. 31 approved an overall rate reduction for regulated utilities related to the overcollection of federal corporate taxes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In 2018, the Public Service Commission approved an overall rate reduction for Delmarva Power electric and natural gas customers, which is already in effect. Federal tax savings realized by additional Delaware regulated utilities will be passed on to residential customers in the following average dollar amounts per billing cycle: Artesian […]

Kowalko: No compromise was ever made

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Recently, Rep. Kim Williams and I introduced a bill (HB47) that would repeal the training and youth wages. These exemptions were created last year as part of a scheme that would hold hostage the passage of the Capital Bond bill. That scheme was initiated because the Republicans claimed to be upset that the General Assembly was going to pass a minimum wage increase on the last day of the session even though the original minimum wage bill […]

Lawmaker revives call for Inspector General

Delaware Public Media | by Joe Irizarry A House Democrat wants the First State to have an independent Inspector General. State Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark South) plans to introduce legislation to creat that position. Kowalko supported a similar bill in 2007. That passed the House, but it didn’t make out of committee in the Senate. Kowalko says if created, the position would oversee state run agencies. “So we can have an oversight of the mechanics of agencies and all the different offices in Delaware,” said Kowalko. Kowalko adds the position […]

First State lawmakers return to work with wide-ranging priorities

Delaware Public Media | by Joe Irizarry As lawmakers return to Dover, Democrats and Republicans have set their priorities for the legislative session. Bills seeking to prevent gun violence are on the minds of legislators on both sides of the aisle. Senate bills to ban certain assault-style weapons, restrict high-capacity magazines, and create a permit system to buy firearms never reached the floor last year. State Rep. John Kowalko (D-South Newark) is among the Democrats who wants them voted on. “All of these bills are good legitimate bills that have […]

State lawmakers dismiss ethics concerns raised by open government advocates

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller A former state lawmaker’s new business venture is raising ethical questions about legislators’ conflicts of interest. Former State Rep. Melanie George Smith is being criticized after seeming to directly benefit from sustainability legislation she sponsored last year. George Smith set up a consulting firm to help businesses take advantage of her bill shortly before leaving office. State Rep. John Kowalko was one of a handful of legislators that did not vote for the bill—and says he’s considering trying to repeal it. He argues […]

Low turnout for UD Trustees’ inaugural public comment session

Newark Post | by Brooke Schultz For the first time, the University of Delaware allowed the community to talk directly to the Board of Trustees, holding a public comment session prior to the board’s semi-annual meeting Tuesday. In order to speak before the board, individuals were required to fill out a form online at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Individuals were given two minutes to speak, with a maximum of 10 minutes for the entirety of public comment. Only two people took advantage of the new opportunity, which […]

Delaware legislators file Equal Rights Amendment ahead of January return

Delaware State News | by Matt Bittle DOVER — Delaware could have an Equal Rights Amendment in a matter of weeks. Lawmakers on Thursday filed House Bill 1, a proposal that would add to the state constitution a line reading, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.” An identical measure passed the General Assembly in June but did not become law because constitutional amendments must be approved by two consecutive General Assemblies. The 150th General Assembly returns Jan. 8, and the […]

Delaware is spending millions to compete for jobs, with little public input

The News Journal | by Karl Baker State economic development battles aren’t just about Amazon and its HQ2s. A perpetual shoving match among governments for the attention of business executives has Delaware’s new economic development regime pledging millions of dollars to prosperous companies as well as promising startups — in hope of retaining or creating jobs. Last month, the state finalized a $3.9-million deal with the chemical company Solenis, nearly $2 million of which is to preserve 323 jobs at its Delaware headquarters on U.S. 202 just south of the […]

Bloom Energy permit hearing postponed amid criticism

Washington Post | by The Associated Press DOVER, Del. — Delaware regulators have postponed a hearing to discuss a California-based fuel cell manufacturer’s request for an air quality permit. The News Journal reports that the permit sought by Bloom Energy would allow it to swap out old fuel cells for new models. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control had scheduled the meeting for Dec. 27, but announced Tuesday that it would be rescheduled to Jan. 10. DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said in a statement that the rescheduling […]

Amid criticism, DNREC postpones Bloom Energy hearing

The News Journal | by Karl Baker Amid criticism, Delaware regulators postponed a hearing to discuss Bloom Energy’s request for an air quality permit, which would allow it to swap out old fuel cells near Newark and Red Lion for new models of the electricity generators. The Delaware Department Natural Resources and Environmental Control had scheduled the meeting for Dec. 27. On Tuesday, the hearing was removed from the public meeting calendar. DNREC spokesman Michael Globetti confirmed in an email that the agency rescheduled the meeting for Jan. 10. “The […]