2015 Update—February 23rd to March 7th

On Monday February 23rd I had two meetings on manufactured housing in Dover, and an education task force meeting also in Dover.  Afterwards I attended the Colonial School District board meeting, which included a discussion of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee’s (WEAC) work.  On the 24th I attended and spoke at an event celebrating the work of the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute (I have led classes with DFLI’s Delaware Money School since its inception over a decade ago).  That evening I attended a forum in New Castle on manufactured housing hosted by the Attorney General’s office, and after that I attended a portion of the quarterly meeting of the citizen’s advisory council on White Clay State Park.  On Wednesday the 25th I attended a breakfast with the Governor; Representative Bryon Short also was at this breakfast.  At noon I attended a small business caucus meeting at the Painted Stave Distillery in Smyrna.  That evening I drove to Dover for the last Attorney General office forum on manufactured housing.  On the 26th I attended a breakfast at DelTech, and that evening I attended an annual banquet of the Delaware Council of Engineering Societies.  On Friday I attended a coffee with stakeholders concerned with midwifery legislation.  I met with a resident concerned with changes facing the disabilities community that afternoon.  On Saturday I participated in a Newark Jaycees fundraiser as a guest bartender at Caffe Gellato.

Due to snow, I was unable to participate in Monday’s United Way Read Across America program on Monday the 9th.  I had looked forward to reading Dr Seuss books to the children that morning.  That evening I attended the UD College Democrats meeting, and afterwards the monthly meeting of the 23rd Representative District Democratic Committee.  On Tuesday the 10th in the morning I met with UD’s Ed Ratledge to discuss the work of the DEFAC committee charged with reviewing the state’s revenue sources.  I had lunch at Klondike Kate’s with the Governor, Senator Townsend, Representative Kowalko, and a resident.  I met with the new Common Cause legislative liason Claire Snyder-Hall that afternoon, and then with Newport mayor Mike Spencer.  On Wednesday I hosted my monthly constituent coffee at Panera, and afterwards attended a meeting I called with the disability community leaders, to explore the Death with Dignity issue.  On Friday morning the 13th I met with a member of the Newark Housing Authority board, and then met with Marc Marcus of the Newark Empowerment Center and Friendship House, to discuss Newark’s (and the state’s) homeless community.

I have been working on several pieces of legislation, which I expect to be filing in March and April.  Through meetings, phone calls, and emails, the midwifery bill is close to release.  The death with dignity bill is also making progress.  I have legislation honoring March as National Nutrition Month, and to establish a Commission on Indian Heritage and Culture.

I have worked on several education issues in the past two weeks.  The task force I chair is finalizing the report it shall provide to the General Assembly, likely later this month.  I am striving to stay involved with this winter/spring’s work on the “ESEA Waiver” which details how Delaware will follow federal DOE requirements, requirements that led to the present Priority School situation.

I have had many conversations, emails, and meetings regarding funding our infrastructure, our roads and bridges.  There is a growing consensus that this issue is large enough to produce a broad, bipartisan solution.

I have helped a parent of a student at DelState learn more about a theft report her daughter filed.

I was very pleased when DelDOT announced that it would be raising the speed limit over most of I-95 from 55mph to 66mph, based on the results of their speed study.  I had requested this analysis many months ago.

I have worked with residents of the Evergreen community to address a serious drainage problem there.

I have replied to many constituents who shared their frustration over the Governor’s proposal to reduce the rebate for property tax paid by senior citizens, for the elimination of the transportation stipend currently paid to families with students in private schools, and more recently, the proposed increased health care costs for state employees and retirees.