Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Tues., Jan. 17, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 17, 2017

Yes, today I offer you a brief respite from all of those ‘Markell legacy’ pieces emanating from…the Markell Administration.  Which ends today.  No, not the self-serving legacy pieces. The Markell Administration.

Maybe this means that state workers can take off their body armor.  I certainly hope so.  When you take a closer look at the 2018 Markell budget, it hits state workers and their families in an unconscionable manner. When, or if, the true history of the Markell Administration is written, Markell’s relentless disdain for state workers will require a huge chapter.  You really have to ask yourself where his need to stomp on them came from.  To be fair, there are some state workers who Markell helped–Tony DeLuca, Rebecca Walker, Patti Blevins, and the bean counters he hired for the Department of Education. Uh, that’s about it.  To everyone else, he behaved like a total prick.  Remember that as you read the propaganda still filtering out of his office.  John Carney–if you can only do one thing to demonstrate that you’re not Markell 2.0, stand up for state workers.  You can do it.  A couple of new tax brackets for those who have benefited almost exclusively from the so-called ‘economic recovery’ that Markell touts, a little bit higher corporation franchise tax,  and you’ve got it. While state employees have been screwed for eight years, the beneficiaries have been Delaware wealthiest and greediest.  Reverse that trend.

(Deep cleansing breath.)

Time stops for Carney’s Inauguration today.  But it’s not an all-day time stop. The ceremony begins on the steps of Legislative Hall at 11 am.  You will be excited to learn that ‘Governor-elect Carney (well, he’ll actually be governor by then) and Lieutenant Governor-elect Bethany Hall-Long will greet the public at Legislative Hall following the Inauguration ceremony.’

Which means that, as of around 12 noon, the Senate will be 10 D’s 10 R’s and 1 vacancy, thanks to BHL, who ran for a less influential post and placed control of the Senate in jeopardy.  I’m sure that’s helped her to build up a wealth of political goodwill for her run for governor someday.

And don’t forget, kids, tonight’s corporate-sponsored celebration of John Carney takes place at the ‘Rollins Center at Dover Downs’.  Which suits him.  He’s with his ‘peeps’.

Almost 400 words in and I still haven’t touched on today’s legislative preview. Well, neither the House nor the Senate has a posted agenda for today. However, a vital piece of legislation unanimously passed the House on Thursday. Yes, the latest ‘special license license’ bill  unanimously passed.  Genuflecting before veterans is viewed as a political necessity in Dover. Meaning, and this doesn’t really apply to this inconsequential sop, that no real critical thinking goes into anything that would purportedly benefit veterans.

At least we’ve got some interesting new legislation to consider:

HB 35(B. Short):  The more things change, the more things stay the same.  Flashback to the 1980’s. Then-Rep. Ed Bennett introduces and passes legislation designed to crack down on massage parlors. Due to a lot of unexpected consequences, the legislation was ultimately repealed. Here we go again.  This bill sets forth a framework for the licensing, regulation and inspection of business establishments that provide massage and bodywork services. This bill places oversight of any business offering massage services in the hands of the Board of Massage and Bodywork.’  While the intent of the bill is admirable, to prevent sexual trafficking, and while the problem is real, Delaware has recently enacted one of the best and most far-reaching bills to combat human trafficking anywhere in the United States. I wrote about that bill here back in 2014.  So, while it’s possible that there is a gap in the law that this bill covers, I will simply point out that this approach failed back in the 1980’s.  I think that the answer resides in law enforcement, not another Title 24 Board which serves a quasi-governmental role at best. The bill is in the House Sunset Committee.  Actually, it’s a good time to ask the question:  Has our human trafficking law been fully implemented, and do we need to, pardon the expression, massage it?  That sounds like a job for, um, me.

Yet another bill trying to clean up the escheat mess, in which Delaware collected millions upon millions in ‘unclaimed property’ with dubious legal justification.  SB 13 (Townsend).  Since all of leadership is on this bill, it should fly right through, maybe even by the end of January.  The gimmick served Delaware well over the years until other states figured out what a scam it was and decided (correctly) that they were being ripped off.

The final Markell budget has been officially introduced.  One can only hope that whatever budget emerges in June passes little resemblance to the one that Markell proposed.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap-up and committee preview.  I do have one particular concern regarding the Senate Executive Committee.  The committee will be considering nominations tomorrow.  There is talk about one nomination being held hostage for some pretty dubious reasons, one that revolves around a slimy name from the past.  Since the committee announcement did not include the list of nominees to be considered, I’m gonna have to check it out.

How’s that for a tease?

Tune in tomorrow.





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