General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Thurs., March 8, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on March 8, 2018

For starters, there indeed was one vote of note on Tuesday.  I mean one vote by one legislator.  To quote my favorite political commentator (me):

Today’s House Agenda is highlighted by a piece of ‘transparency’ legislation.  HB 92 (K. Williams):

…provides that every member of the General Assembly or person elected to state office shall disclose as part of their financial disclosure if they have received more than $10,000 in the last 10 years due to the sale of land, development rights, an agricultural conservation easement, a forest preservation easement or any other type of easement to the State of Delaware, any county, any municipality, any public instrumentality, or any government agency or organization.

Hard to imagine any no votes on this one, but we’ll see. Hope the bill is retroactive in terms of requiring disclosure.

There was one no vote.  If you guessed that it was cast by that scion of unfettered enterprise Rich Collins of the 41st RD, you’d be correct. Kinda makes you wonder…has that ‘law-abidin’ wife-beatin’ former state rep stayed out of trouble long enough for a rematch?  Whatever happened to that guy anyway?  He used to think he was a somebody.  Maybe his ‘friend’ will post here soon. Here is Tuesday’s Session Activity Report.

No session yesterday means that there were no committee meetings yesterday.  Which likely scrambled plans for today’s agendas.  Perhaps that the reason that the minimum wage increase bill  has been postponed for consideration until Tuesday. Well, no. It was already out of committee, and the key amendment  was introduced in January. Democrats should be flat-out embarrassed by this bill.  Amendment 3, which effectively becomes the bill:

…creates a two-step increase in the minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to $8.75 per hour effective October 1, 2018, and to $9.25 per hour effective October 1, 2019.

That’s it. Nothing more. No COLA increases, no additional increases past $9.25 an hour.  Ladies and gentlemen, your Delaware Democratic Party.  The $15 minimum wage that is part of the state Party platform is utter bullshit. Your elected officials prove it every single day.  Even with control of both houses of the General Assembly and the Governor’s office, the best to which this party can aspire is a $9.25 minimum wage by October of 2019.  I’m sorry, this bill is barely worth consideration. This General Assembly is so stingy that even Tom Carper would feel right at home in it.

Deep cleansing breaths.  There is one bill on today’s Senate Agenda.  I like it.  SB 90(Bushweller)  ‘would allow for a student to participate in the Inspire Scholarship Program for eight continuous semesters instead of the current six. This would allow a student to use Inspire Scholarships for each of the semesters during a traditional college program.’  That only makes sense.  Kinda makes you (meaning me) wonder why six semesters is the current level.

The real action is on the House side.  The key bill is HB 300 (Longhurst), which  ‘makes it a crime to sell, transfer, buy, receive or possess a trigger crank or bump-fire device designed to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle, making such weapon function more like an automatic weapon.’  When even the Florida state legislature is enacting gun control measures, this bill should be low-hanging fruit in Delaware.  The low-hanging fruit is good, but not nearly enough.  Yo, John Carney, only your timidity can prevent sweeping reforms from taking place.  Introduce that AR-15 ban legislation and push for votes during the ‘March For Our Lives’ events.  Whatever political discomfort you might feel pales in contrast to the lethality of these weapons of war.

HB 174(Mitchell):

…raises the first offense of purchasing or obtaining a firearm for someone not legally qualified to own, possess or purchase one from a Class F to a Class E Felony. This change is to deter such “straw purchases” by making jail time more likely for the offender, and consequently, to reduce the number of people who cannot legally possess firearms but obtain them in this manner.

It’s not clear to me whether the intent will have any impact, but it’s the type of bill that R’s and other NRA supporters can point to as an example of how they support stronger gun laws.

Finally, there’s legislation ‘inspired’ by Karen Hartley Nagle.  An oxymoron if there ever was one. HB 239 (Ramone) ‘addresses how a vacancy in the office of New Castle County Executive will be filled’. In other words, the bill comes up with permutations to ensure that the current County Council President not ascend to the role of County Executive.  I think it’s bad legislation designed to address a bad situation.  It’s not as if County Council Presidents haven’t ascended to County Executive before. The problem is that everyone recognizes that KHN is a bad joke and unsuited for even the office that she currently holds.  Other than that, I see no inherent problem with the notion of the County Council President ascending to the role of County Executive is necessary. Meaning, I don’t think the legislative remedy is the best remedy.  OTOH, the notion of KHN as County Executive is downright scary…what do you guys think?

Back next Tuesday, nor-easters permitting.


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  1. Pam Scott-Paul Clarky taking Coons’ NCC Exec. seat is when and why the Ramone bill was first floated.

  2. Which is why it’s being introduced now?


  3. Alby says:

    Undoing the results of elections is why it would be introduced in either case.

    If they didn’t want Karen Hartley Nagle to be elected, they could have run someone against her with a better chance of winning than Penrose Hollins.

    For all its incompetence, the Delaware GOP managed to keep Mike Protack out of office, making it arguably less incompetent than the Delaware Democratic Party.

  4. jason330 says:

    I wonder if Protack could have been elected if he had run as a Democrat?

  5. This is the second time the legislation has been floated.

    Its ‘filed this time; why not vote it through? Why not allow the public to vote for the countywide executive position as opposed to automatically elevating to executive a non-administrative council president and voting in a replacement countywide council president? There’s a countywide election either way. Just make it a straightforward special election.

  6. Alby says:

    The problem, Nancy, is that very few people give a fuck about county government, which is why you wind up with people like Christopher Bullock and KHN in these positions in the first place.