State budget, one-time spending bills filed in Senate

Betsy PriceHeadlines, Government

The state’s $6.1 billion budget and a $168 million budget of one-time expenditures will cover raises for state employees, rises in healthcare costs for employees, state retirees and Medicaid recipients, an increase for some direct support professionals and help for low-income families who need childcare to work. The Senate is expected to vote on the bills Thursday. “The spending plan …

absentee voting

Republicans block absentee ballot change by refusing to vote

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

Delaware House of Representatives Republicans blocked an attempt to alter the constitution’s rules on absentee voting by refusing to vote on it. Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Sen. Darius Brown, D-Wilmington, would have eliminated limitations imposed in the state constitution about when an individual could vote. It also would allow the General Assembly to set rules governing absentee ballots and …

Realty transfer tax

GOP move to cut realty transfer tax tossed onto trash heap

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

  Another Republican attempt to lower the costs of buying a house by reducing taxes associated with it was shot down along party lines Wednesday. Rep. Lyndon Yearick’s House Bill 343 would have dropped the real estate transfer tax from 4% now to $3% in January 2018. That was the rate it was in 2016 before being raised in 2017 …

Leg Hall hospital board CPI

Bill to amend hospital board bill pops up for vote unannounced

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

A bill to alter the controversial hospital board bill, which is still moving through the Senate, was filed in the Delaware House at 2:55 p.m. Tuesday and showed up unannounced in the House Administration Committee at noon Wednesday morning. Despite protests from House Minority Leader Mike Ramone, R-Newark/Pike Creek, and Lyndon Yearick, R-Camden, about the speed and non-transparency of the …


State committee endorses pricey, private garage tunnel

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

A state building committee voted Friday to build a private tunnel from a planned parking deck into Legislative Hall to allow elected officials to safely walk from secured parking spots into the building without interaction with the public. Right now, the legislators park in marked parking spots with their names clearly marked on them around the capital building. The tunnel …

Committee members urged that giving students a felony might be too harsh.

House committee rejects bill to create student felony assault

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Government

A week after the Milford School District was placed on lockdown and subsequently closed to ensure student safety, a new bill was introduced to the General Assembly to punish those who commit assault in schools.  House Bill 22, sponsored by Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Camden, makes intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury to an employee, contractor or subcontractor of a public …


State should consider dropping plan for tunnel, designers say

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

Designers involved in the construction of a $22 million parking garage across from Legislative Hall have recommended the state cancel plans to build a private underground tunnel  connecting the structures. The tunnel originally was estimated to cost $2 million but will be closer to $3.7 million, partly because its base would lay only 6 feet above sea level in an …

Paid leave bills dealing with bereavement and compassionate leave passed the House.

More paid leave bills, rent increase restrictions pass House

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Government

As the General Assembly is in its last week of session this week, the state House went into the late hours of Tuesday night with discussion around several bills addressing paid leave.  House Bill 65, sponsored by Rep. Debra Heffernan, D-Brandywine Hundred South, provides state employees who suffer a miscarriage, stillbirth or other loss, a maximum of five days of …

Two bills pertaining to gun restrictions passed the House Thursday.

Guns in school zones, polling places bills pass House

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Government

Two laws restricting the presence of guns in school zones and election polling places passed the House and are headed to a Senate committee for debate.  House Bill 201, sponsored by Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, aims to enable a police officer to act immediately when they see or suspect a person with a gun in …

House session

Climate bill passes House after vote on two amendments

Sam HautGovernment, Headlines

Rep. Rich Collins on Tuesday begged House Democrats to join him in opposing a bill that set greenhouse gas emission limits in Delaware. “I have begged you to stand up one time and not just take this direction that apparently is so overwhelmingly powerful in this chamber,” the Millsboro Republican said. “And I know I’ve lost. I tell you it’s …