General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., March 30, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 30, 2017

Time stands still this afternoon at 2:30 as John Carney applies his monotone to his monochromatic budget address in the Senate Chamber. It must be said again: Carney’s lack of vision is shocking.  This is a bean counter’s proposal.  A percentage of this, a percentage of that.  No thought given to prioritizing what’s most important or doing an analysis of what works or doesn’t work. Just numbers without any context.  And, of course, the police are ‘held harmless’ from cuts, despite having access to dubious revenue streams like ‘civil forfeitures’ unavailable to other agencies .  His proposal offers no plan whatsoever for asking the 1% of Delawareans who hauled in all of the proceeds from our so-called recovery to share that ill-gotten wealth.  John Carney is the living embodiment of why the Democratic ‘brand’ is in the toilet. He’s a Democrat in the same sense that Rich Heffron is a Democrat. If he continues like this, and there’s nothing to suggest that he won’t, he could well do for Ruth Ann Minner what Donald Trump is doing for Dubya:  making them look competent by comparison. My question: Which Democrats will stand up and challenge Carney on this thin gruel?  You do have choices.  Shrugging your shoulders and saying that there’s nothing you can do is an abdication of leadership, and you will be called out on it.

OK, from the mundane to the mundane.  The Activity Reports for the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions:

Tuesday, March 28

Wednesday, March 29.


There’s nothing mundane about HB 106, HB 107, and HB 108,  all of which are variations on creating two new tax brackets for those making over $125,000 a year.  There would be a higher rate for those above the $125K level, and a higher rate for those making over $250,000 annually.  The bill with the most support, based on co-sponsors, appears to be HB 107, which ‘creates two new tax brackets at $125,000 with a rate of 7.10%, and $250,000 with a rate of 7.85%. Also, the bill provides a tiered reduction of the otherwise available itemized deduction based upon the individual’s taxable income.’  Rep. Kowalko is the prime sponsor on all three, and the bills have been assigned to the Revenue & Finance Committee.

You may have read about these initiatives to jump-start economic development in Dover in the paper.  The bills would:

…allow Dover and Kent County to take out bonds for transportation projects and then use specific economic development tools such as tolls, tax increment financing and special development district designations to pay the debt service over time, according to a press release from the Delaware House of Representatives.

The bills were introduced to expedite a proposed traffic alleviation and expansion plan around the Dover Mall. The $31 million project calls for a new exit along Del. 1 near the back of the mall and the construction of roads that run parallel to the highway. Developers and local officials tout this as an opportunity to draw consumers to the Dover area and add high-end stores to the mall in order to revamp it and have it rival the Christiana Mall and the outlets downstate.

Hey, when there are no state $$’s available, you have to be creative on proposals like this. What do our Kent County readers think?

There were some other intriguing bills introduced that I will discuss in depth when they are scheduled for committee hearings.  For now, check out a couple that I really like:  HB 92 (K. Williams) and  SB 49 (Townsend).  I think you may like ’em as well.

Today’s Senate Agenda  features the second leg of a Constitutional Amendment designed to facilitate the filling of judiciary vacancies.  With bipartisan support in both Chambers, this should become law in short order.

We’ve discussed most of the bills on today’s House Agenda previously.

While I’ve given today’s session short shrift, here’s what you need to know. The real work of the Delaware General Assembly begins today.  What Democrats in both chambers do should play a role in deciding who should be challenged and who should be supported next year.  They can either act as Democrats or DINOs.  If they behave like DINOs, political extinction is a viable option.


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  1. Jason330 says:

    “Developers and local officials tout this as an opportunity to draw consumers to the Dover area and add high-end stores to the mall in order to revamp it and have it rival the Christiana Mall and the outlets downstate.”

    What A JOKE!!! That’s the best these “developers and local officials” could come up with? OMG!

  2. Arthur says:

    The Dover Mall is a possible shopping MECCA! located right between the outlets and Christiana Mall it will create a ‘mall trail.’ just as people go on wine trials or beer trails it will be a Mall trail. They will come Ray, build it and they will come!