General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., Jan. 24, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 24, 2018

Yo, Kevin Hensley: 1972 called, and it wants its Cadillac-drivin’, steak-eatin’, Welfare Queen racist stereotype back.  Yo, Sen. Pettyjohn: Why don’t you wander over to Gerald ‘Loogy’ Hocker‘s store to see all the displays hawking empty calorie products? Maybe call him out on it.

We all know that Rethuglicans peddle race as their primary political weapon. Even when the stereotypes have no basis in truth. Even when the stereotypes had no basis in truth 46 years ago.  To (half-)wit:  HB 186.  ‘This Act instructs the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to draft a list of approved foods. The DHSS shall create the list with the goal of expanding on the WIC designations to improve selection and increase affordability. Under this Act, future SNAP benefits could be used only to purchase items designated as having beneficial nutritional value’.

Because, you know, these people don’t know how to make smart decisions for themselves. Left to their own devices, they’ll swill soda and chomp Cheetos. Maybe someone should tell Rep. Hensley that the stereotype of SNAP recipients doesn’t fit today’s reality.  Why, I’ll betcha that in Hensley’s own district, most of the recipients are, wait for it, white. People who have been laid off or downsized at their jobs.  This bill is race-baiting, pure and simple. It’s a federal program but the bill’s synopsis argues that costs of administering the program are split.  I would respectfully suggest that the costs of developing  the list of ‘approved’ foods could outweigh whatever administrative savings that might be derived from its implementation.  Because Rethugs aren’t about governing, they really couldn’t give a shit whether the bill passes (which it won’t). It’s designed to rile up its base.  Well, if I were in Kevin Hensley’s district and I had been downsized at my job and receiving federal SNAP assistance, I’d find out who is running against him and go volunteer on that person’s campaign. The bill is in today’s House Health & Human Development Committee, where it should stay for the duration of session.

Never a party to stint on racism, the Rethugs have offered up a two-fer today.  The Health & Human Development Committee will also consider HCR 49 (Wilson, shouldn’t there be a literacy requirement to be a State Rep?), which would establish ‘ the Medicaid Cost Efficiency Task Force to study and make findings and recommendations regarding Delaware’s Medicaid program’.  Because, you know, nobody in Delaware government is doing that now. Except for every Delaware agency charged with dealing with some aspect of Medicaid.  Yo, Rethugs, you do know that a lot of white folk are on Medicaid, don’t you? Look, the Democrats in this state by and large suck.  But the Rethugs, both in this state and nationwide, are a thinly-veiled criminal conspiracy that do not have its citizens’ best interests at heart.

And now for something completely different. Andria Bennett, are you paying attention? The House Revenue & Finance Committee today considers HB 106(Kowalko),  which, stop me if you’ve heard this before, ‘creates a new tax bracket at $125,000 with a rate of 7.10%, and an additional bracket of $250,000 with a rate of 7.85%’.  This bill should be passed in the House as soon as possible so that it can be incorporated into budgetary deliberations later this year.  It would have passed last year, except Andria Bennett sided with some of her realtor friends and doomed the bill to defeat.  We’re all watching you, Andria. Whose side are you on? The people, or your connected pals? If it’s the latter, get the bleep out of the General Assembly.

(Deep cleansing breaths).  Here’s yesterday’s Session Activity Report.  Sometimes, when I read a bill’s synopsis, the intent of the bill escapes me.  Such was the case with HB 127 (Paradee), which passed the Senate yesterday and heads to the Governor. Here is what the bill is really aboutTrying to protect Delaware ratepayers from ponying up a disproportionate cost of a project that primarily benefits those from out of state.  Signs are the Governor will sign the bill.

Neither Earl Jaques’ ‘Every School A Fortress’ bill nor Harris McDowell’s ‘Voluntary Clean Energy Financing’ bill were brought up for roll calls yesterday despite being at the top of the respective House and Senate agendas.

Other committee highlights scheduled for today. Starting with the Senate:

*Jee-zus, another ridiculous ‘Special License Plates’ bill from Colin Bonini, this one creating a ‘special license plate for members of the Dover Air Force Base Chiefs Group’. Transportation Committee.

*A substantive bill designed to protect and rehabilitate Delaware’s water resources will be considered in the Health, Children & Social Services Committee today. SS1/SB 135 (Townsend) would:

…promote long-term freshwater security by facilitating private-sector investments in watershed enhancement projects designed to protect high-quality drinking water for Delaware. The bill provides that the Public Service Commission may allow a public utility to recover, in its rates, its reasonable and prudently incurred capital and ongoing operating costs for watershed enhancement projects that are: 1) confirmed as useful in protecting source water by Delaware’s Water Infrastructure Advisory Council; 2) placed into service; and 3) used and useful in the provision of public utility service. The bill also provides that the Commission may authorize an allowance of funds used during the construction of such project.

*The Senate Executive Committee considers the nomination of Cerron Cade to be Secretary of Labor. Any questions that Nicole Poore might have about the future of Jobs For Delaware Graduates and protection for Tiny Tony DeLuca likely have been posed in advance.  Will someone just please tell me: Is Debra Allen still working two jobs? Will Cerron Cade agree to release her employment records? Will Nicole Poore agree to release Allen’s Senate records, you know, just to make sure she wasn’t/isn’t getting paid twice for ‘working’ the same hours?  If not, we’ve got state-sanctioned corruption and a cover-up. Just thought you’d like to keep that in mind.

Let’s check out the other House highlights:

*The Permanent House Rules will be considered in the, where else, House Rules Committee.  This is notable only b/c there is a new section pertaining to ‘Anti-Harassment Policy And Training’. Section 16A, if you want to skip down. While the rest of the rules are pretty much what they always have been, it’s a highly-recommended read for legislative newbies, including those new to my coverage.

*Not sure how I feel about HB 284 (Gray), except to speculate that this looks like special interest legislation crafted by, say, the Delaware Restaurateurs’ Association.  The bill would:

allow all on-premises licensees who sell a bottle of alcohol (other than beer) to place a cap on the bottle and allow patrons to take it home with them for consumption later.

Bill’s in the Business Lapdog Committee, still trying to figure out which business the lapdogs on the committee are cozying up to this time…

*The House Administration Committee considers HB 300 (Longhurst), the ‘anti-bump stock bill.  A good bill. My only question being, will the D’s allow the NRA thugs to water bill this down to worthlessness? It’s happened before.

One more: The House and Senate Corrections Committees will meet jointly to hear a ‘Presentation By the Department of Correction’.  That’s all the detail that’s been provided. Kinda understated, don’tchatink?

Finally, here’s today’s Senate Agenda.

Join us tomorrow as we await the release of the Governor’s Budget proposal.



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