While not busy in legislative session, I have been a bit busy these past two weeks.
For the week of January 31st to February 6th, I had a meeting of the End of Life public listening session in Dover, and the monthly meeting of the 23rd Representative District committee (which is planning the April 15th Spaghetti Dinner and Auction), a meeting to discuss health centers for state employees and their dependents and a NASA event at Gallagher Elementary School. I hosted my monthly coffee at Caffe’ Gelato on Wednesday morning, and then headed to Orlando for a work conference. While in Orlando, I participated in two conference calls, one on planning for this past week’s Greater Newark Area Resource Summit (GNARS) and another on barriers to affordable housing encountered by those with past minor criminal convictions. I had a third call, in preparation for the meeting the following week on public school funding.
For the week of February 7th to 13th, I addressed a task force on public school funding, raising the issue of replacing our outdated unit count system, and also met with Representative Sean Matthews and many members of New Castle County government to explore past due county and school taxes recorded on many (thousands) of manufactured homes, many of which we believe are not titled in the name of the current owner. I attended the annual Delaware National Guard prayer breakfast, and later that day participated in a conference call planning the GNARS summit. I met with Newark City Mayor Polly Sierer, had a meeting to discuss potential legislation affecting filling 90-day prescriptions, and met to help setup the GNARS summit. On Thursday (2/11) we held the first annual GNARS summit, which was VERY well received. We are awaiting survey results to see what we did well and where we can improve the event. I met with members of ATFA, the American Turkish Friendship Association, to discuss engagement with the Delaware community, and I attended a meeting of the End of Life task force in Dover. I also attended a gathering of home-birth midwifery.
Some email related to potential legislation, on reducing workplace violence against nurses, 90-day prescription filling by local pharmacies, reducing terms of office for school board members, and permitting women to sign up for health care coverage upon becoming pregnant
Some email related to legislation that is already filed, HB 1 (sexual assaults on campus), HB 253 (Earned Income Tax Credit), SB 39 (minimum wage), HJR 4 (task force for financial education in K-12 grades), and HB 120 (Indian Cultural Heritage Commission).
I have shared my thoughts on papers prepared by others, in one case on a recommendation by a group of students from Newark Charter School on how to reduce cases of people running stop signs, and another by a person who is opposed to Physician Aid in Dying.
We have worked on constituent issues recently, including on a structure built decades ago straddling the homeowner’s home and the county land behind it (by a prior owner), determining what the city’s plans are related to spraying for mosquitos, improving community sidewalk connectivity, outdoor smoking policy for restaurants, traffic impact of planned development at the corner of Library Avenue and route 273
I have been digging into the proposed state budget a bit. The JFC, Joint Finance Committee, holds public meetings the next two weeks to dig into much of the proposed budget.