General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., Jan. 25, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 25, 2017

Some days, you, meaning I, start to write this and then realize that there’s next to ‘no there there’. Such was yesterday.

For you completists, here is the Session Activity Report from last Thursday.

For you marathon completists, here is yesterday’s Session Activity Report. Two bills passed unanimously in the House, including legislation requiring that “all public high schools, including charter schools, shall offer at least one computer science course at the high school level by the 2020-2021 school year.”

Neither the House nor the Senate has an Agenda today as the focus shifts to committee meetings, and there are some important committee meetings today. None more important than the first one below:

*The Senate Executive Committee will consider several more nominations from the Governor. They are as follows:

DNREC: Sean Garvin (will anyone ask him whether he supports the Coastal Zone Act in toto, and how will he answer if asked?)

Education: Susan Bunting (will there be a serious conversation about the direction of education in Delaware, or will it be the usual bonhomies?)

Agriculture: Michael Scuse (a retread from the Minner Administration, eight years later)

Public Advocate: Drew Slater (would it surprise you if I mentioned that he is  ex-President Pro Tem Thurman Adams’ grandson? I mean, who else would you want advocating on your behalf? BTW, the Delaware Way sucks.)

Homeland Security: Robert Coupe (moving over from heading the State Police)

Delaware Housing Authority: Annas Ben Addi (holdover from the Markell Administration)

Adjutant General: Brigadier General Carol Timmons (I’ve got nothing bad to say about her.)

As I’ve previously mentioned, the Secretary of Labor position remains in limbo due to the money  power grab of a particular State Senator. We’re talking someone almost as blatant in their self-dealing as Tony DeLuca. A state senator who just may, or may not, serve on the Senate Executive Committee. Memo to Governor John Carney: I know, you know, and you know that I know, what’s going on here.  If you embrace this seamy side of the Delaware Way and throw this nominee under the bus, then you might as well resign right now.  Show some guts for once. It’s gonna come out, so you might as well do the right thing. So, for that matter, should the State Senator who is causing this. I have more faith in the Governor than in the State Senator. Which is saying something.

One of leadership’s ‘must pass’ bills will also be considered in the Executive Committee.  That, of course, is the General Assembly’s version of Kabuki Theater in taking the brave stand against raises for themselves.  It’s pretty easy to do when so many of them have ‘second jobs’ or ex-cops’ pensions courtesy of the largesse of the General Assembly.

Here is the full list of today’s scheduled meetings.  Other highlights:

*3/4 of all House members could be at today’s meeting of the ‘Veterans’ Swag Committee’ for a presentation by the Commission of Veterans’ Affairs.  29 out of 41 representatives are on the committee.

*Dueling bills on dropping out of school will be considered in the House Education Committee.  HB 17 (Dukes)  increases the minimum age for mandatory school attendance from 16 to 17. Yep, that’ll work.  It’s like having a 30 mph speed limit that drivers routinely ignore, so you reduce it to 25.  Teh stoopid, it burns.  HB 23 (Matthews) takes a different approach.  The bill:

requires that any student over the age of 16 who wishes to leave school prior to graduation must obtain the written consent of the parent or guardian, and attend an exit interview where information is supplied regarding the likelihood of diminished earning potential and the increased likelihood of unemployment associated with dropping out.  The school is also directed to explore whether there are support services, interventions or programs that might assist the student in remaining enrolled.  The intent is to lower the dropout rate and encourage students to complete high school.

What do our education gurus say?

*Today’s House Administration Committee features two of the three bills that are leadership’s biggest legislative priorities for January.  Both have already passed the Senate.  SB 13 (Townsend) looks to salvage as much as possible from Delaware’s escheat scam.  SB 16 (Sokola) is a Mini-Bond bill that moves money around to address issues that have come up since last June.

Just one more point.  The disgraceful Markell budget proposal (I think he gets joy out of screwing state employees and the indigent) will likely be DOA as Gov. Carney will be putting forth his own proposals.  Meaning, one reason why this January has been so slow is that everybody’s waiting to see what Carney comes up with.  At least there’s faint hope…

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  1. Comment Rescue: Read Carney’s Transition Team Report : Delaware Liberal | January 25, 2017
  1. Stewball says:

    The media hasn’t covered this much yet, but if you look at Carney’s transition report released last week, he seems to embrace the draconian health savings accounts for state employees that the former Governor proposed each of the last two years.

  2. Jason330 says:

    Who is the self-dealing State Senator?

  3. All in good time, my friend. I’m giving them a chance to step away from the ledge. If they don’t…

  4. AAuen says:

    Every Delawarean would be lucky to have Drew Slater on their side. He has to be one of the nicest, most honest people in politics. He’s always helped me when he worked on Congressman Carney’s staff and I had a question about anything really.

  5. Yeah, and maybe Tommy Cook’s a great guy, too. They owe their positions to their political lineage. Which is part of the Delaware Way. Which still sucks.

    The point being that you gain entry to the ‘club’ via said lineage. Or, being handpicked by Tom Carper, like John Carney was. And, as long as you’re a ‘team player’ and buy into the Delaware Way, you could end up as the head of the Delaware River and Bay someday. You might even get an award from the ‘bipartisan’ Chamber of Commerce.

    The flip side is that progressives, for example, have been routinely dismissed and marginalized in Delaware and in the Democratic Party.

    There is only one way to change this. Run and get elected. If you lose, run again. Candidate recruitment will be key to progressive ascendancy in Delaware, and we may now have the makings of organizations that can help do this.

  6. akjlhdgah says:

    Coupe was the DOC Commissioner, not the head of the State Police.

  7. Well, he was both. He was superintendent of the State Police before he became head of DOC. But you’re right. He moves over from DOC.

    Lot of retreads in this cabinet.