Kowalko: General Assembly ignores alternatives for Delaware

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Some of Friday’s House activity needs further explanation and clarification. There have been excuses made, and aspersions cast. I will not attempt to justify or excuse the failures of the entire General Assembly, its leadership and the governor throughout this self-created crisis. However, I do think that the public and all Delawareans deserve to be made aware of all of the options available to our elected officials and how we abdicated and continue to abdicate our responsibilities […]

CZA: Profits and False Hopes

“By what measure do we evaluate and trade the health of the environment, the health of the ecology and the health of our citizens for business opportunities that profit and enrich the shareholders of these corporations. This has certainly become the mantra of the current regime in Washington. Profits are the only important factor.” This was my closing statement to the Natural Resources Committee members immediately before they voted to release HB 190, which will remove core protections against heavy industry and bulk product transfer on Delaware coastlines from the […]

Time to Raise Revenue and End Corporate Welfare

After reviewing the press advisory, available below, from Delaware’s House and Senate leadership regarding the unanticipated postponement of the Joint Finance Committee meetings, I felt compelled to analyze what message was intended by this action. I consider most of the DEFAC revenue subcommittee report as a regurgitation of failed economic ideas and a further redistribution of wealth to corporations at the expense of the needy and literally taken from the ALEC playbook for corporate welfare. This report, referenced by leadership as a panacea for economic stability in Delaware, is based […]

Are Democratic Ideals and Principles Now Relics of the Past?

In a decision that I can only interpret as a betrayal of the core principles and ideals of Democrats, ten members of Delaware’s Democratic Party House caucus joined the entire Republican House caucus and voted to pass HB 16. The piece of legislation, introduced by Representative Mike Ramone and co-sponsored exclusively by Republicans, would repeal Delaware’s estate tax with a significant and permanent loss of revenue. In 2016, the estate tax brought in $9.3 million of needed revenue despite projections that it would garner only $3.5 million. Future conservative projections […]

Opposition to Automatic Increases to Delmarva Customer Bills

Recently, representatives and lobbyists for Exelon and Delmarva Power & Light have been circulating proposed legislation that would impose a surcharge of up to $17 million in between electric rate cases and up to $7 million in between gas rate cases for a total of $24 million on Delaware consumers for a “Distribution System Improvement Charge.” This would be to allegedly pay for enhanced reliability. However, Exelon is not telling you that this huge windfall will have significantly less oversight and examination than a base rate case, which has “a […]

A Healthy Economy Lies Just Offshore

In February, I flew to London at the invitation of the British Embassy to spend a week of meetings and site visits reviewing the remarkable story of economic and environmental progress made by Great Britain with its offshore wind generation program. The success story in the United Kingdom can and should be replicated here in America. Offshore wind generation, on the eastern seaboard of North America, offers a remarkably effective opportunity for energy independence, electric cost stabilization, job-growth, manufacturing revitalization, national security, and remedying a deteriorating global environment. The results […]

Progressive Taxation Policy — Beneficial to All

There are many common misperceptions of what constitutes “progressive taxation,” and I feel I should take a moment to detail and define the concept and value of this policy. The progressive taxation approach is to create higher tax brackets for those with higher incomes—for example, a minimally higher 0.5% on earnings over $125,000 and 0.75% on earnings only over $250,000 per year. Putting it more simply, this would be a higher bracket for those individuals earning more than a quarter million dollars in taxable income in one year (after exemptions […]

For Delaware’s Biggest Corporations, It’s Better to Receive Than Give

The 149th session of the Delaware General Assembly began yesterday on January 10, 2017. It was in the first week of session last year that the House leadership sponsored and pushed through HB 235, the “Delaware Competes Act,” using an expedited procedure and rules suspensions to have the bill passed and signed before the public could comment on the proposal or even learn about it. That bill, along with SB 200 (introduced and signed within 14 days under a similarly expedited procedure), will cost Delaware taxpayers over $60 million a […]

Economic Policy or Unconditional Surrender?

“AstraZeneca Cutting Jobs” is the front page headline in the December 9th issue of The News Journal. That chilling announcement should be cause for alarm among all taxpayers and working families in Delaware. The reality check that should be paramount in the minds of all legislators is the direction that Delaware’s economy is headed and what this Administration has done to exacerbate the decline. AstraZeneca is just the most recent failure of a costly economic adventure paid for with taxpayer resources. In 1999, then-Governor Tom Carper spent $40.7 million in […]

Kowalko: Delaware’s image – What lies beneath the shadows

The News Journal | Delaware Voice | by Rep. John Kowalko Delaware is a pro-business state. It is relatively simple to form a company. We have no corporate income tax, and we even have special courts to handle corporate disputes. These courts have provided for an unmatched experience and understanding of the issues involved in commercial enterprises. These factors provide our state with a competitive advantage that has made us the choice for legal residence of nearly two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies. However, recently our state’s reputation has suffered because of […]