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 […]

Reliable data needed to open Delaware safely

From the beginning of the health crisis that has enveloped our state and the nation, I have been consistent in requesting data and a more specific identification of the totals of tests administered, positives recorded, hospitalizations, and fatalities connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. I intended to use some of that information to alert my constituents to potential hot-spots or contacts that they might choose to avoid. The closing of businesses and the self-quarantining and social distancing recommendations certainly was instrumental in slowing the onslaught of the virus. My repeated requests […]

Letter of Support and Commitment to Delaware’s Black Community and the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus

Delaware General Assembly State of Delaware 411 Legislative Avenue Dover, Delaware 19901 We, the undersigned, submit this open letter as elected Delaware legislators who have been appalled by police actions of the last few weeks. We have been equally appalled by the attempt to shift focus to “looters”, seemingly to distract attention from the cry of racism and black disenfranchisement. The recent events surrounding and following the brutal public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by four members of that city’s police force have once more brought into focus a […]

Once Again, Taxpayers are Left Paying the Bill

The grand opening of the newly constructed Wilmington transit center is being celebrated as a success story for Delaware’s system of creating public/private partnerships. Throughout my 14 years as a State Representative, I have consistently questioned and challenged investment of taxpayer money in creating these public/private ventures. In those cases where I’ve been able to access performance records, the results have been rather disturbing. In many instances these deals are announced as an investment of public money that will give the taxpayers more bang for the buck, enable private investors […]

Kowalko: Responsibility for all requires respect

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko I will vigorously support reopening of the economy when the scientific data and studies dictate that the risk to the health and welfare of the public is dramatically lessened. I will not support making life and death decisions when the message to “reopen now” is delivered by those who ignore the realities of this deadly contagion and its capability to infect everyone. I am more reluctant to consider a proposal or position when the messenger presenting that […]

Kowalko: Amazon should give back

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Would it be impertinent of me to ask, on behalf of Delaware taxpayers, that the multi-billion-dollar corporation Amazon return the $4.5 million in taxpayer money gifted to them earlier this year by the Partnership for Prosperity and the Delaware Economic Development Office? Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is estimated to be the wealthiest individual in the world with a net worth ranging somewhere over $100 billion. The Amazon distribution center sited for the old GM location has already […]

Protect emergency service providers by providing COVID-19 info

Delaware should adopt similar policies as other states to further protect our courageous emergency service personnel and the Delawareans they bravely serve. These policies should be implemented immediately and examples of other states actions can be emulated as follows: State and local governments are beginning to share the addresses of people who test positive for Covid-19 with police and other first responders in an effort to help protect emergency personnel from getting infected. Health officials in at least three states—Alabama, Massachusetts and South Carolina—have all decided to share the information […]

COVID-19 awareness is a right and a responsibility

Full transparency in government matters is of the utmost importance in embracing and appreciating the public’s right to know. Full transparency guarantees that the public’s need to know is not obfuscated under some misguided interpretation of the public’s right to know. During this most threatening and serious crisis enveloping Delaware and its families faced with economic upheavals and palpable threats to the health and welfare of the public, the government must be totally and honestly transparent in regards to the information it is releasing, the policies it is formulating, the […]

Close child care centers to all but essential workers’ children

It’s time for Delaware leadership to get serious about protecting its population from the spread of the deadly coronavirus. It is no longer an option to claim that child care facilities are safe places or “controlled environments” or that children are less likely to contract the virus. The reality that a positive test for the virus has occurred in a child care center sounds a vivid warning that Delaware must act quickly and resolutely. New Jersey’s Governor has issued an executive order (Executive Order 110) to close child care centers […]