2013 Update—December 15th to 26th

On the 16th I attended the Delaware Economic Forecast Advisory Committee (DEFAC) meeting, to learn the forecast for revenues for the state for the next fiscal year.  The forecast was stronger than three months’ earlier, however the projected required expenses are not yet covered by the higher revenues, so money will be tight in Dover in 2014.  On the 17th I attended a strategy session on preventing gun violence, stopped by a meeting of Residents Against the Power Plant, and joined legislative colleagues at the 125th anniversary of the Aetna Hose, Hook, and Ladder Company, where we presented a very well-deserved House tribute.  On the 18th I had two meetings on Delaware’s education system, and joined a holiday event for the Greater Newark Economic Development Partnership at Klondike Kates, followed by a film screening at the Delaware Food Bank, which was followed by a discussion group which included Speaker of the House Schwartzkopf, House Majority Leader Longhurst, and House Majority Whip Viola.  On Thursday the 19th I helped prepare holiday baskets at First Presbyterian Church for the Newark Area Welfare Committee’s program, and then taped segments for the Comcast Newsmakers program.  On Friday I joined a holiday luncheon with the UAW’s Community Action Program Council.  On Monday the 23rd I met with a reporter with WDDE/Delaware Public Media, to discuss 2014 legislative topics.

With emails, I have been preparing for legislation for January.  Topics include the minimum wage, the earned income tax credit, responsible, increased infrastructure spending, partial removing of a zoning exemption, midwifery licensure, a conditional drivers license for education purposes, manufactured housing rent justification cleanup, and ‘death with dignity.’

Also with emails in the past two weeks, we are moving forward with installing a speed bump on Aronomink in Chapel Hill, in concert with the local civic association and DelDOT.  The residents of this stretch of Aronimink (between Decker & Decker) raised this concern when I was doorknocking this fall, and DelDOT’s process confirmed that a speed bump was warranted.  I also learned of a drainage problem at the entrance to West Meadow; I visited the location, and reported it to DelDOT for their investigation.

I asked DelDOT to look into a crossover for emergency vehicles on route 95 just east of route 896, at the request of Aetna fire company.  I asked the Department of Health and Social Services for an update on the medical marijuana regulations, and learned that they should come out next week.  Earlier this year I had submitted a number of suggestions for improvements/corrections.  I also shared a suggestion with the State Bank Commissioner, for two additional pieces of information to be included in the annual report on payday loans issued in Delaware.

There are multiple arbitration procedures underway dealing with this year’s manufactured housing rent justification law.  I submitted a letter providing some background to one of the arbitrators.  A preliminary decision by one arbitrator confirms that the process we developed is valid, and provides a bona fide due process.  It is early, but I am hopeful that our underlying design is fully functional.

DelDOT completed necessary corrective work to stormwater pipes under Casho Mill Road.  This fix, coupled with changes that the city has made, are designed to reduce the flooding in and around Barksdale Estates.  That would be a welcome development!

We sent out an e-newsletter.  Let me know if you would like to be added to this e-distribution list.

My next morning coffee is Wednesday January 8th, from 7:30-9am at Panera on Main Stret.