Senator Bob Marshall wants to make sure that any sale/partnership/call it what you will regarding the Port of Wilmington must have legislative approval.
And why not? Jack Markell and Alan Levin have not publicly acknowledged any legislative prerogative when it comes to having their preferred partner, Kinder Morgan, an Enron spin-off with numerous environmental and labor violations on its record, take over the operations of the Port. In this case, silence is not golden, unless you are Kinder Morgan. Keep in mind that, had Markell and Levin committed to the legislative process for this proposed transaction, none of this would be necessary. Methinks an unforced error.
You’d think, at least I’d think, that all 21 senators would vote yes on SB 3. I mean, why not? We’re talking about a transaction that would have huge impact to the State, the City of Wilmington, and hundreds of port workers and their families. You’re talking about the principle of three co-equal branches of government, and the possibility, should SB 3 not pass, that the General Assembly would be removed entirely from this momentous decision. You’re talking about the whole notion of legislative oversight and the public disinfectant of sunshine.
You’d also think, at least I’d think, that the need to pass this bill now should be obvious. After next week, we’re talking a six-week break for Joint Finance Committee hearings. Absent the passage of this bill by the end of next week, the Governor and DEDO could have a possible fig leaf to move forward with the project by citing the lack of legislative action. They’d expend a tremendous amount of political good will in doing so, but stranger things have happened.
Senate Bill 3 is on today’s Senate Agenda, and I fully expect it to pass. I will be interested in seeing which, if any senators, vote no or go ‘not voting’, and will no doubt psychoanalyze their votes tomorrow.
The key question is what happens in the House? Will Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf team up with Gov. Markell to slow-walk the bill, or will he stand up for the General Assembly as one of three co-equal branches of government?
Good question. We’ll have the answers shortly.