There’s always a story. And sometimes I don’t know what it is. I know that there’s a story concerning HB 81(Mulrooney). The bill “lowers the number of full-time employees from 25 to 3 for the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Employment Relations Act to apply to a public employer”. I think that means that teeny tiny municipal police forces would qualify should the bill pass. Which, based on the House vote, they don’t want. The bill had passed the House, 24-14, in May, with Rep. Atkins joining with the R’s in voting no. What intrigues me here is that the bill was defeated in the Senate yesterday, 10 Y, 7 N, 3 NV,1 A. Here’s what interests me. Blevins went not voting, Peterson voted no, and Sokola, who was in attendance yesterday, was absent for the roll call. Like I said, I don’t know what the story is, but I know that there is one. Who wants to fill in the blanks for us?
Yeah, yeah, I know, if that’s the lead story, then I’m reachin’.
Here is yesterday’s Session Activity Report.
Well, here’s a potentially more important lead story. In a rare Thursday committee meeting, the House Administration Committee will consider HB 331(Kowalko), which ‘removes the exemption from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and thus fully applies FOIA to the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. Currently FOIA applies to their Boards of Trustees and their documents relating to the expenditure of public funds’.
I think there are two possibilities. (1) This is merely a pro-forma meeting to comply with House rules, and the bill will be tabled in committee. I suspect this is the reason it’s being considered, as the bill has sat in committee until after the last regularly-scheduled committee meeting. (2) Perhaps consideration of this bill is designed to put even further pressure on the University of Delaware to commit to the data center/energy plant project. Based on the individuals involved, I know that this bill isn’t being considered on its merits. Although it should be.
A brief interlude. So, the I-495 bridge repair is gonna cost $20 million or so. About 60,000 vehicles, a lot of them trucks, are now grinding other Delaware roads, further degrading those road surfaces. Not so much as a peep out of the General Assembly as to how they’re gonna fund the $70 mill hole in the road/infrastructure funding. Which may now be $90 mill. Rethug signs still litter New Castle County, proclaiming ‘No New Gas Taxes’. Is anybody gonna do anything?
Today’s Senate Agenda doesn’t excite me, but I’m on deadline as work beckons. Let me know what I missed.
The House Agenda features a good whistleblower protection bill. HB 300(Baumbach) essentially outlaws retaliation against an employee by an employer due to (a) the employee’s refusal to take part in an offense and/or (b) the employee’s ‘reporting or participating in an investigation, hearing, trial or inquiry of an offense’.
Consensus legislation addressing workers’ comp insurance will also be considered. By consensus, it looks like virtually every legislator is on the bill as a sponsor.
I really like HB 264(J. Johnson), which ‘enable(s) the Department of Correction to offer casual seasonal employment for up to 6 months to ex-offenders who demonstrate exceptional job skills while enrolled in a Level 4 or Level 5 vocational program.
HS 1/HB 302(Jaques) purportedly ‘establishes a more efficient structure for the administration of Delaware’s campaign finance laws, establishes a mechanism for citizens to report possible violations, and gives the State Election Commissioner the resources necessary to investigate potential violations.’. This is major legislation that reorganizes the operation of Delaware election law. Read the bill and see if you agree with the synopsis.
OK, gotta go. Feel free to write up anything I overlooked. Or got completely wrong.