Delaware becomes first state to ban outdoor use of lead paint

Yesterday, the Governor signed HB 456, one of the most important bills to be passed by the State Legislature. This landmark legislation will ensure cleaner air, water, and soil and help protect the public against the threat that lead based products presents by banning the use of lead paint on outdoor structures. A special and sincere thank you goes out to Amy Roe and Sarah Bucic, two of the hardest working and knowledgeable environmental advocates in Delaware. Their persistent efforts in helping draft this bill, promoting this bill, and explaining […]

Letter of Support for State Auditor Candidate Kathleen Davies

I have sent the following letter of support for Kathleen Davies to some of my constituents. I believe this upcoming primary on September 6th is of the utmost importance to Delaware. I also believe that Kathleen Davies stands head and shoulders above her competitors as far as qualifications, ability, and willingness to dedicate herself without any reservation to serving the public interest. Her desire for an open, transparent good government will be enabled with the appropriate and objective oversight she will administer as our Auditor General. Please read about Kathleen […]

Lawmakers demand leak investigation into Kathleen Davies report

In response to the misguided and irresponsible statements of News Journal Executive Editor Mike Feeley unfairly criticizing the letter sent to AG Matt Denn seeking an internal investigation of a releasing of a confidential report, I am including my comments and challenges to Mr. Feeley’s statements in the article copied below. Rep. John Kowalko Mr. Feeley, In an obvious misrepresentation of the truth, you made statements in today’s article (“Mike Feeley, executive editor of The News Journal, said the news organization will not be deterred by threats of legal action”) […]

State Lawmakers Petition Attorney General to Investigate Leaking of Confidential Report

The release of a confidential report by any government employee or agency is a startling and alarming incident of a breach of the public’s trust. When the report is additionally bound by confidential guarantees pertaining to individual personnel rights it becomes even more onerous when that confidentially is breached. When it becomes obvious that the release of a part of a report (out of context) is being used unfairly to besmirch the reputation of a political candidate within weeks of an election it translates from illicit to illegal to immoral. […]

Kowalko: Governor’s secrecy hurts public trust

The News Journal | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko This governor’s unwillingness to engage and inform the public in matters of significant importance to their quality of life, such as the decision to remove the Rodney Square bus hub, is a violation of the public trust. Implying that some conveniently created policy of “executive privilege” exists is inexcusably wrong. Without full transparency and openness in the government’s decision-making processes, we as legislators cannot and should not expect to have the public’s confidence and trust in the […]

Rally to Restore Rodney Square Bus Hub

Without full transparency and openness in the government’s decision making processes we, as legislators, cannot and should not expect to have the public’s confidence and trust in the policies we create and the decisions we make. Delaware’s government has consistently and repeatedly resisted efforts to ensure that the public is totally informed of decisions and policies being made. Despite state FOIA laws, the Governor, his Executive Branch, and other agencies have repeatedly resisted and impeded public access to records and private meetings that have taken place, leading to some of […]

Victory in fight for utility rate reduction!

A recent settlement brings good news to Delmarva Power and Light electricity consumers. I chose to intervene in PSC Docket #17-0977 in order to join the Public Advocate, Drew Slater, in trying to mitigate the proposed increase in electric rates requested by Delmarva Power & Light. The recent settlement removes any increase and will decrease electrical rates for Delmarva ratepayers. The original rate increase request was for $31 million. That would have resulted in a $65 per year (4.7%) increase for a typical user. As the Public Service Commission hearings […]

Carney’s Trump-ian disdain for democratic principles

In a dramatic example of a petulant personality who cannot get his way through the legitimate legislative process, Governor Carney has chosen to emulate a Trumpian tactic that shows a healthy disdain for the democratic principle of separation of powers. After failing to get support for his balanced budget constitutional amendment (HB 460), the governor has signed an executive order today, the last day of the legislative session, attempting to force the same mandated budget cuts onto Delawareans through his preparation of next year’s budget bill. In this blatantly disrespectful attempt […]

Corporate propagandists support veiled budget cuts

The usual suspects of corporate propagandists are at it again, disingenuously arguing for budget cuts under the guise of revenue stabilization. HB 460, supported by these corporate lobbyists in an article published in the Sunday News Journal, is an attempt to pass a Grover Norquist conservative dream version of a “balanced budget amendment.” The proposed constitutional change would establish budgetary constraints to force the services and programs of the most vulnerable Delawareans onto the chopping block regardless of the intent of future legislatures. It will establish regressive taxation policies that will […]

Conservative “balanced budget” proposed with no public input

HB 460 was introduced on a Tuesday, was passed out of committee the next day, and will be brought to the House floor for a vote on today. This bill is the first leg of a proposed constitutional amendment, and one might ask why such a matter of utmost significance is being rushed through in the final days of a session. Why is there no time for a fair assessment of the ramifications of a constitutional change? The woefully lacking excuse from the sponsor is that this bill will have […]