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 […]

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 […]