State of Delaware Retirees, Act Now!

State of Delaware retirees, retired Delaware teachers, as well as college and university faculty covered through the state of Delaware’s health benefits must act immediately and let their state elected officials know that the proposed move of all these retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan is unacceptable. What are Medicare Advantage plans? In short, they represent the privatization of one of the most successful federal programs in history and it is an embarrassment that the state of Delaware wants to participate in undermining the traditional Medicare program. Unfortunately, unless you […]

Point/Counterpoint: Lawmaker refutes, says inspector general role differs from auditor’s

Bay to Bay News | by Rep. John Kowalko Editor’s note: The following was sent to Kathleen McGuiness and the Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts in response to a letter from the auditor sent to the Delaware General Assembly on May 17 and again June 16. This is the response to the auditor’s allegations that deliberately distort the differences in responsibilities, obligations and authority between the auditor general’s office and the proposed Office of the Inspector General being created by House Bill 405. The Delaware Office of Auditor of […]

Inspector general would serve important role

Cape Gazette | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko House Bill 405 would create an independent and nonpartisan inspector general who is selected by an independent, blue-ribbon panel of various community stakeholders and is required by statute to investigate corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement and any other conduct harmful to the public interest. Delaware currently has no government agency responsible for this type of oversight. The Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts is a government agency controlled by a partisan elected official whose constitutional and statutory duties […]

Kowalko: Delawareans deserve lower prescription prices

Bay to Bay News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Delawareans’ relationship with the pharmaceutical industry is shaky at best, underpinned by years of high-priced prescription drugs for them but lower prices around the globe. But now, our U.S. senators have a chance to take proactive steps to introduce accountability and transparency to an industry that’s shown us time and time again it is profits over patients. A series of prescription drug-pricing reforms that would lower the cost of prescription medications for every Delawarean is currently […]

Delaware can lead by ending corporate tax giveaways to Amazon

The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko and Pat Garofalo In 2011, Amazon received about $3.5 million in taxpayer subsidies to build a distribution center in New Castle. In 2020, it received another $4.5 million for a facility in Newport. In between, the state attempted to win Amazon’s “HQ2” facility – and while officials won’t confirm the dollar amount offered, Gov. John Carney said it was “a pretty big number — the largest number I’ve ever seen as it relates to economic development projects here in our […]

Senate Bill 155 would set back open-government initiatives

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko A few Delaware legislators working with the Department of Justice seem to be interested in further denying the public and media access to its contrivances and methods. Lifting the shroud of secrecy and exposing the horrible underbelly of the “Delaware Way” is facing another serious challenge that threatens the public interest. It is Senate Bill 155, a thinly veiled attempt to shutter the windows from public view. My primary focus during my entire 15 years in office […]

We cannot — and should never — forget Jan. 6

The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko I would like to share the remarks I made to the Delaware House of Representatives on Jan. 28 regarding the passage of HR5 condemning the violence in Washington on Jan. 6: “First let me thank all of my colleagues who supported the resolution condemning the assault on the U.S. Capitol and committing to a peaceful and respectful discourse in the conducting of public business. “The tragic events in Washington on Jan. 6 cannot and should not ever be forgotten. A […]

Privatize Trump, not the USPS

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko The recent attempts by the Trump administration to interfere with the 2020 election by falsely demonizing the use of mail-in ballots has led to a more aggressive attempt to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service. Attempts to discredit the U.S. Postal Service have been ongoing as far back as the George W. Bush presidency when the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was enacted by the 109th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bush on Dec. […]

Will Taxpayers Get Stuck with the Check?

The imminent merger/acquisition of Wesley College, a private college, by Delaware State University, a public university, has once again brought into focus the determined effort by our state government to resist the transparency and openness necessary to allow public awareness and accountability. Delaware has historically ranked near the bottom for its lack of transparency and accountability. Delaware’s shaky financial disclosure and ethics system is one big reason why the state earned a failing grade on the State Integrity Investigation, an assessment of state government accountability and transparency by the Center […]

Another Bad Deal for Delaware Taxpayers

Once more Delaware taxpayer money is being squandered on the altar of corporate greed. The latest gift to another obscenely wealthy banking conglomerate was approved Monday morning by Delaware’s Council on Development Finance as recommended by the secretive Delaware Prosperity Partnership. The bitter irony is that the approval vote was taken on the morning of the very day that the House was to vote on the Bond Bill. The Bond Bill contained an additional $14.3 million allocation to replenish Delaware’s corporate slush fund. Even more outrageous in this recent escapade […]