2016 Update—August 20th to September 5th

On Saturday August 20th I attended the picnic at the local VFW, and afterwards attended a Senator Ennis/Representative Carson annual crab feast in Leipsic. On Monday the 22nd I met a stakeholder in the ‘direct shipment of wine’ business, and that evening I attended a meeting of the Newark City Council. I addressed the council and requested that they consider rejecting a proposal to increase the density of a parcel on Barksdale Road, due to unaddressed, serious stormwater flooding issues. The council later in the meeting rejected the proposal unanimously. On Saturday August 27th I attended a morning coffee with city councilwoman Jen Wallace at the Newark CoOp. On Sunday the 28th I attended the IndiaFest celebration at the Bob.

On Monday the 29th I led a workgroup to explore direct shipment of wine, and afterwards met with the pastor of a Wilmington congregation which leads efforts to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit program in Delaware. On Tuesday the 30th I met with stakeholders in the district/charter school funding formula fiasco, and afterwards met with the AFL CIO endorsement committee. On Wednesday I attended and spoke at the bill signing ceremony for HB 400, which extends the state’s Medical Marijuana program to those who are terminally ill and have uncontrollable seizures. On Thursday the 1st I attended the signing of the law which establishes an Indian Cultural and Heritage Commission. On Monday the 5th I marched in the annual Delaware State AFL CIO Labor Day Parade in Wilmington.

Emails

I have had many emails (and phone calls) regarding the ‘district/charter school funding formula fiasco,’ which we learned about on August 27th. This has involved working with colleagues, parents, teachers, district personnel, Newark Charter School stakeholders, and Delaware Department of Education personnel. I was pleased that we were quickly able to ensure that no last-minute, multi-million dollar charge would be enacted without due process, and we were subsequently assured that the issue would be addressed, in an open manner.

I have also had several emails and calls regarding the direct shipment of wine issue. Delaware is one of only a handful of states which does not permit vineyards (in and outside Delaware) to ship wine to state residents. We have struggled for years with a system which would permit this capability, while ensuring safety (no underage recipients of wine) and fiscal discipline (all excise taxes are paid). By gathering a wide range of stakeholders, our working group is hopeful that we will find a solution to this in the coming months.

I have had several emails and calls regarding a Newark/DelDOT/Department of Labor issue regarding contracts the state has for street repaving, and whether the contracts are subject to the prevailing wage rules. This issue has not yet been resolved.

I addressed an issue with DelDOT regarding what you can do when you are out of state and you realize that your tag/registration has expired, and another regarding a home along Elkton Road and flooding that they experience.

I have addressed an issue with DHSS regarding a resident who is upset at his handling by a Delaware mental health facility.

I have addressed an issue with Senator Coons’ office regarding a resident who needs to know the rules for bringing in money from out of the country.

I continue to work with the County on a resident’s concern with a property in Chapel Hill with a history of code violations.

I have had some emails and conversations with the city on issues including a proposed development on Valley Road, traffic light timing,

I have addressed an issue raised by a resident who was concerned with the ability of somebody to purchase cats after having been convicted out of state of animal cruelty crimes.

HB 400 – Rich Jester

Legislation sponsored by Paul Baumbach, State Representative that would expand Delaware’s medical marijuana law to include terminal illnesses was signed into law yesterday by Governor Jack Markell at Christiana Care's Helen Graham Cancer Center. HB 400, which garnered overwhelming support, classifies terminal illness in adults as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana and defines terminal illness as any disease, illness or condition sustained by any person that is deemed fatal within a year regardless of any other medical treatment. Known as “Bob’s Bill,” HB 400 was inspired by Rich Jester, whose father, Bob, was denied access to medical marijuana despite having a terminal illness. Rich Jester and his family joined Rep. Baumbach to offer their thanks and appreciation to everyone who helped make this bill possible.

Posted by Delaware House Democrats on Thursday, September 1, 2016