2014 Update—June 8th to 21st

On Sunday the 8th I attended a ‘changing of the guard’ at Delaware’s Civil Air Patrol, down at Dover Air Force Base, and also knocked doors.  On Monday the 9th I had a conference call with nurse leaders about the midwifery bill (House Bill 319, aka HB 319), and attended a DelTech scholarship fundraiser at the Chase Center celebrating the career of Orlando George.  On Tuesday the 10th I attended a lunch reception of the local Turkish-American group, and after session attended a reception at the Delaware Agriculture Museum.  On Wednesday after session I attended a reception at Woodburn (the Governor’s residence in Dover), and then hosted an informal conversation on gun rights and gun safety in Newark.  On Thursday I attended the signing into law of the bill which prohibits the sale of ecigarettes to minors.  After session I attended a meeting to examine our infrastructure spending, its impact on our state’s credit ratings, and identifying a better path forward.  On Friday I interviewed with the Progressive Democrats for Delaware’s endorsement committee.

On Sunday the 15th I joined House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, James Wilson, the head of Bike Delaware, and some friends for a bike ride along the C&D canal.  On Tuesday the 17th I attended a reception held by the state realtors, and I met with the YMCA’s Youth in Government official, and this year’s YIG Governor, Phoebe Lucas (a district resident, and recent Newark High graduate).  I was honored to introduce her to the House of Representatives.  On the 18th I participated in a meeting of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, attended a meeting of the State Chamber of Commerce, a luncheon held by Common Cause in which I provided a brief update of the current campaign finance reform and good government legislation, attended a committee hearing, and attended a press conference held by Common Cause (and spoke there, too).  On Friday I taped a segment on the Comcast Newsmakers program, providing an update on the state’s budget process.  Yesterday I attended an event in Rehobeth held by the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats (BGDSD) featuring US Senator Chris Coons.  BGDSD announced their endorsed candidates yesterday, and I am very pleased to have been endorsed by them this year.  Afterwards I headed back to Newark and attended the 59th Annual DFRC Blue-Gold All*Star Football Game with Pam.

I have spent an incredible amount of time in the past two weeks on HB 319, the midwifery reform bill.  We were able to identify six needed changes, which I placed into an amendment.  I explained these on Wednesday the 11th to the House Health Committee, which voted to release the bill to the full House (it is on this Tuesday’s agenda).  I finalized the amendment on the 13th.  There were still some concerns, and on Thursday the 19th I identified a (hopefully) final amendment which will show up on Tuesday.  It removes one of the six pieces I had added in the first amendment, and satisfies the concerns of some doctors.

I have worked with staff and council of the City of Newark on some matters in Dover, including HB 333 (about fees and taxes), and HB 410 (Alderman’s Court), and also about next year’s municipal street aid, which the city uses to help repair city streets.  I worked with some friends who have raised concerns with SB 198, which deals with hazardous waste site remediation.  I have worked with colleagues on improvements to bills dealing with auctioneers, home inspectors, debt collection, and HB 331, the UD/DelTech FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) bill.

A large number of bills will be considered by the House in the last four legislative days of the year, and so I will be spending a lot of time reviewing each and determining how to cast my vote on each.  I have dug into the proposed ‘final’ state budget for next year, all 235 pages of it.  It is Senate Bill 255.  I am also learning more the possible paths for ‘casino relief’ being considered at this time.

Two of my House Bills were passed by the Senate, and so I have three remaining House Bills which I am working hard to get through the Senate before we adjourn late on June 30th until January.

On Thursday the 12th I blew my top on DelDOTs failure to address the potholes at the intersection of Christina Parkway and Elkton Road, and both DelDOT and the city (although it isn’t their responsibility, it is DelDOT’s) quickly made some improvements.  I helped a constituent who was facing eviction later this summer—I believe that she is back on track through assistance from the Newark Housing Authority.  I worked with the city and DelDOT to examine a concern with tree damage suffered during the winter, likely through the high amount of salt and other chemicals used due to the large amount of snowfall.

Please note that I shall be hosting the monthly coffee on Wednesday the 2nd from 7:30-9am at the Panera on Main Street.