2016 Update—June 5th to 18th
On Monday the 6th I worked on the phone with a House attorney on legislation I was preparing to submit. Later that morning I went to Wilmington for a meeting to discuss how to better help victims of human trafficking, and that evening I attended the graduation ceremonies for Newark High School. On Tuesday before legislative session I attended a meeting of the K-12 Financial Literacy Task Force. On Wednesday the 8th I stopped into the annual meeting of Common Cause in Dover, chaired the meeting of the House Manufactured Housing Committee to discuss draft legislation, and attended other committee meetings. On Thursday I started the day at a legislative breakfast in Wilmington, followed by the Installation of DelTech President Mark Brainard. In Dover I attended a meeting of the Delaware Arts Advocacy group, and held a meeting with the City of Newark and DelDOT to identify a temporary solution to the rerouting of Route 16 which starting later this month will no longer serve the Fairfield community. On Friday evening I attended and addressed the graduation ceremony for the Groves Adult High School. I door knocked in Cherry Hill on Saturday the 11th.
On Monday the 13th I held a meeting at Panera for those serving the homeless in the greater Newark area. On Tuesday I met with DMV to discuss titles for manufactured homes, and worked with several stakeholders to identify a path forward to get Delaware to adopt a direct shipment of wine law early next year. I also met with the Delaware Realtors Association. On Wednesday the 15th I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for a bridge linking a recreation trail in Delaware City to the Mike Castle C&D Canal Trail. I chaired the Manufactured Housing Committee meeting and attended several other committee hearings. That evening I stopped by DSEA headquarters to hear a portion of a presentation by Treasurer Simpler on the upcoming changes to the deferred compensation plan for state employees. On Thursday I attended the Small Business Caucus before caucus. On Friday morning I taped two segments for the Comcast Newsmakers program, and I had lunch with a member of the Newark city council. On Saturday I door knocked in Ridgewood Glen.
There were many emails over the past two weeks. Many dealt with legislation I am promoting, including SB 277 (Delaware Pathways Steering Committee), SB 274 (Automated Kiosks), SB 278 (UD/DelTech FOIA), HB 403 (Manufactured Housing—requiring titles), HB 428 (Dental Hygienists), HB 400 (medical marijuana for the terminally ill), HB 381 (prior authorization by insurers), and HB 253 (Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC), the WEIC education bills, HB 374 (reducing school board terms to four years), HB 134 (direct shipment of wine), and HB 202 (plastic bag fee).
I have addressed many residents’ concerns with changes to the state deferred compensation plan, with whether nurses and drivers education programs at private schools would see reduced state funding, and whether SB 52, the CARE Act, would provide reasonable liability protections for nurses,
Due to a resident raising the issue, I have had emails and discussions with some Cabinet secretaries about how Delaware state government can achieve greater use of Delaware firms. I worked with staff and colleagues to ensure that the bill to shift the Delaware primary elections to April (HB 375) properly addressed third parties.
I have had discussions and emails with the Governor and his staff regarding the change proposed by the Governor of the health care plan available to new state employees. I have had discussions regarding the state budget for next year.
I have followed up with some issues that have been raised during my door knocking, including a trash truck problem in Abbottsford.
I have raised some issues with the UD, and am hopeful that we can find good resolutions to them.
I have raised a few road issues, with the city of Newark and with DelDOT, and we are getting some good results (potholes fixed, striping corrected, signs installed).
We are finalizing plans to establish a working group to dig into the issue of enforcing municipal housing ordinances, beginning with a Resolution, and following it up with meetings which will begin next month.
I am working with Rep David Bentz and stakeholders to try to create language to adequately address the liability issues raised by SB 52 (CARE Act).
We have two more weeks, and my legislation continues to move forward. The EITC bill cleared the House Appropriations committee last week, and HB 403 (manufactured housing) cleared the MH committee. HB 400 (medical marijuana) and HB 381 (prior authorization) both cleared the House last week. HB 348 (Ada Leigh Soles scholarship) cleared a Senate committee last week.