I would first like to thank the meteorologists for making this article necessary. Was this the new ‘faith-based’ meteorology? Rest assured I won’t be watching the insipid smile-meisters on the Weather Channel to find out what went wrong with their model. Don’t have the time. (Personal to Al Roker: Eat something, willya? The human shar pei look is disconcerting.)
I’m now assuming the General Assembly will meet today, so you’re gonna get the Full Monty weekly preview. The last preview before the six-week break for meetings of the Joint Finance Committee meetings. Which reminds me, the Governor will submit his proposed budget later this week, which, of course, plays a central role in the work of the JFC.
OK, I’ve been putting it off long enough. I suppose I should briefly discuss Governor Markell’s State of the State Address. Markell states in the address that he is open to all sorts of proposals for bridging the infrastructure funding shortfall, but he’s not gonna lead on this, he’s gonna wait until the General Assembly comes up with something, um, concrete. He also embraced Matt Denn’s proposals for addressing crime and its causes, particularly in Wilmington. And he supported a (wait for it) fact-based task force (as opposed to other task forces). Well, a ‘commission’, not a task force. So commissions are fact-based. Task forces are not. Got it.
Matt Denn and Ted Kittila, opponents in the race for attorney general, had another bizarre connection that had nothing to do with the election.
Kittila was the lawyer for a jailed insurance executive accused of plotting to kill Denn.
h/t Nancy Willing for linking
The Vote Tracker is a joint project between Delaware Liberal and the Progressive Democrats for Delaware (PDD). Each week we will be keeping track of how our General Assembly votes on bills of progressive or liberal interest. Now, this chart does not follow all the legislation that has been filed. We don’t report on perfunctory […]
State Representative Bryon Short was on Facebook over the weekend highlighting this study that argues that Delaware has the best tax system in America, in that it is the least regressive (i.e. taxes the poor and lower and middle classes of income earners more than the top earners). I thought to myself, how the hell could that be? Someone early $60,000 pays the same tax rate as someone making $6 million under the state income tax scheme.
What I was forgetting is the “no sales tax.” Sales and other consumption taxes are very regressive because they fall most disproportionately on the poor. And that is the sole reason we are the least regressive tax system in America.
What the report ignores is how regressive our income tax structure is. And there is something Democrats in the General Assembly can do about that.
Press play, as the stream is now live with highlights of the past year and other pre-SOTU events. You can watch the speech here, and you also join us for a discussion of and real time reaction to the speech at our Live Blog. To join our Live Blog, click on the word “Live Blog” in the main navigation bar underneath the banner logo.
While the General Assembly awaits Governor Markell’s State of the State address this Thursday, we already know what won’t be in the governor’s speech: There will be no proposed income tax increase; there will be no proposed gas tax increase. We know that Jack’s millionaire buds have convinced him that they would suffer if they had to pay even a penny more to fund government. So, Jack has already announced that he won’t be asking the wealthy to sacrifice. And, in a gesture that is, um, ungubernatorial, Markell has whined that, since the General Assembly turned its collective noses up at his gas tax proposal last year, he won’t propose anything to close the gap in the state’s infrastructure budget. He’ll just wait for the General Assembly to come up with…something. If only he’d take that approach with public education. His legacy grows more undistinguished by the day.
Perhaps this is the week that Alex Pires gets his customized banking legislation passed. If not, then next week will be the week It’s already passed the House unanimously. As Nancy Willing pointed out, this bill was introduced at the behest of Alex Pires, and it will only benefit Pires’ bank. The article further points out that this may not be the first time that Pires has had undue influence on the General Assembly. Let me point out the obvious: If you or I were disadvantaged by some ‘arcane’ statute, do you think we could get the Speaker to sponsor it, fast-track it, and get it through the General Assembly within a week or two? And just because the Bank Commissioner, who largely does the bidding of the banks, says it’s ‘arcane’, is it really arcane? Or is it just an impediment to a connected businessman who doesn’t want to wait in line and rarely does? Whether the bill deserves passage on its merits is hardly the point. The point is that representative government does not represent most of us. But it DOES represent people with lots of clout, regardless of how they accumulated it. Which is why Alex Pires will get his banking bill.
Why did I title this post “Matt Denn Announces for Governor?” Well, obviously he has not announced, and if you asked the Attorney General I am sure he would say he is not running. But doesn’t this $36 million dollar proposal strike you as something beyond just his duties as Attorney General. Normally Attorneys General do not care how the settlement monies their office secures for the General Fund is spent, and if they do care, they want more policing and more funding for enforcement.
Matt Denn responded to the News Journal scoop on Facebook:
Once again good news from my office has gotten out a couple of days before I wanted it to. When I ran for Attorney General, I said we couldn’t address violent crime just through law enforcement — that we had to invest in dealing with the underlying causes of crime, such as treating substance abuse addiction, helping young people learn in school and stay out of trouble after school, and working with inmates released from prison to ensure that they do not re-offend. This is my first shot at delivering on that, by using these settlement funds to help repair the harm caused to our communities by the recession brought about by the financial institutions’ conduct. If you can join us Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in the Carvel State Office Building auditorium, come hear the details!
The interior of Holy Trinity Church, or Old Swedes Church, on Church Street in Wilmington. The church was built in 1698, and is named for the descendants of the original Swedish settlers who lived north of the Christina River. The church became an Episcopal church in the 1700s, and is said to be the oldest […]
I hope she runs again. I chalk the loss up to Tom Carper and John Carney undermining the Democratic brand and thereby giving no support to down-ticket Dem challengers with less name recognition.
Talk about your soft openings. When the most urgent piece of legislation appears to be one that would allow smaller eateries to serve beer and wine, then you get a pretty good sense that it could be a slow January.
The other bill on the fast track is a banking bill, and it passed the House unanimously. The sponsors of the bill don’t fill me full of confidence that this is simply an innocuous piece of legislation. It strikes me as a special interest bill, and the interests are those of the banks, not of the consumers. Could someone please give us some background on the gestation and urgency of this bill? And, um, talk me down?
Yes, this is symbolic, but we’ve come a long way.
The Wilmington City Council sent a request to state leaders Thursday night: Don’t allow any more charter schools to open in the city for the time being, and give the city more say over which schools get approved.
Council approved 9-3, with President Theo Gregory absent, a resolution urging the Department of Education not to consider any new charter applications in the city to “allow elected officials and community representatives time to assess the impact of charter schools in Wilmington and throughout the State.”
Impact is the key word and one of the biggest problem with charters – their impact on surrounding neighborhoods and schools isn’t really considered – and even though the new charter law pays lip service to impact, impact alone isn’t enough to stop a charter from entering a community. Try building an addition to your house without community approval. Maybe labeling the addition as a charter school would be the way to go!
Whether or not a community wants a charter in their neighborhood doesn’t matter. As long as a charter follows state law they can pretty much go where they want. Westgate Farms fought against Odyssey Charter moving in. They eventually won by focusing on the historic location. Good thing a cemetery was located there. Otherwise, Odyssey could have moved in – no matter what the surrounding community thought or wanted.