Delaware General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., Jan. 25, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 25, 2018

Last session day before the Joint Finance Committee meets. Meaning, today’s the day that Gov. Carney introduces his budget proposal, which then becomes the starting point for JFC deliberations. My expectations are low.

Here is yesterday’s Session Activity ReportCerron Cade is the new Secretary Of Labor.  That’s about it.

Little of interest on today’s Senate Agenda.  Although here’s a real good bill. Passed the House unanimously. Here’s the synopsis:

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 mandated that states allow families that receive child care assistance to continue receiving that assistance for at least 90 days after losing their job provided they are seeking employment during that time. The federal law did not expressly stipulate that states must allow families to qualify for and begin receiving assistance so that they could search for a job, however 14 states have enacted policies to expand eligibility to those families. This legislation codifies the federal intent that families be eligible to continue receiving assistance for 90 non-consecutive days in a year, and extends that eligibility to families who want to start receiving assistance in order to seek employment for up to 90 days.

I raised questions about the Mini-Bond bill, but nobody in the House did. Guess it will fly right through the Senate today as well.

It’s never too soon to rush a laughable special license plate bill through the General Assembly, so Colin Bonini’s SB 128 (Bonini) is already on today’s Senate Agenda. Which reminds me…Sen. McBride’s pledge to post the senate agendas well in advance don’t apply to post-committee-meetings-Thursdays.

There’s more drama on the House Agenda, including legislation directed at Delaware’s Drama Queen du jour.  HB 239(Ramone)  addresses how a vacancy in the office of New Castle County Executive will be filled.  An amendment has been filed providing that the Governor can name a successor until a Special Election can be held.  This bill could well pass because it effectively builds a wall around Karen Hartley-Nagle.  However, I don’t think this bill has been sufficiently thought through. Let us first acknowledge that Mike Ramone’s stated reason for introducing the bill is bullshit:

“Being a business guy, it just didn’t seem to me that the priorities and the thinking mechanisms I would use to pick a county executive would be the same that I would use to pick a county council president,” said Ramone.

“”You’re not addressing budgets; you’re not addressing labor..who’s working where, and how big a force has to be in each of your individual departments; you have department leaders–it’s totally different being an executive than being a person running a legislative branch of government.”

As I pointed out yesterday, plenty of legislators have made transitions to executive positions. I might also point out that both the NCC Executive and the NCC Council President are elected countywide.  So, in effect, we’re replacing a countywide official with an appointee from a governor who (a) might not even hail from New Castle County; and (b) might not even belong to the same political party as the County Executive.  Which raises the question: If Karen Hartley Nagle were not the County Council President, would this bill even have a chance of passage?  Not saying that fear of the damage KHN could cause is unwarranted, but it might make sense to consider whether this bill is the best way to address it. I would hope and expect that, if the bill passes the House, the Senate will take a more sober look at it.  I, for one, would like to see an amendment added to the bill that provides that whomever is appointed to temporarily serve in the position not be allowed to run in the Special Election.  The idea of, say, John Carney as kingmaker does not appeal to me.

The House will also vote on its Permanent Rules, which includes a new section on harassment policies.

Finally (yes, there’s irony in that word), the House will consider HB 160 (Baumbach), the Delaware End Of Life Options Act, which ‘provides an additional option which terminally ill adults nearing their death can decide to select’.  We all know what that is. I salute Paul Baumbach for working so diligently on this humane piece of legislation.  While I doubt that there will be sufficient time to debate and vote on this today, I support the bill and hope that the General Assembly will ultimately vote for its passage.



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  1. jason330 says:

    A special license plate for members of the Dover Air Force Base Chiefs Group?

    OMG Finally! How did the Dover Air Force Base Chiefs Group get by for so long without a special license plate?