2017 Update—April 1st to May 6th

On Saturday April 1st I attended an interfaith ‘This is What Democracy Sounds Like’ event. On Sunday I attend the annual meeting of the Friends of the Newark Free Library. We had legislative days on the 4th to 6th. On Tuesday the 4th I attended the equal pay day press conference. On Wednesday the 5th the Governor joined our monthly coffee, and held his Budget Reset meeting with the 150 or so attendees. Later that day in Dover I attended the Disability Day rally. On Friday we video taped a segment describing my bill to reform the Delaware Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. Later that day I attended the event commemorating the 325th birthday of the building that houses the Blue Hen B&B in Newark. On Saturday I drove to Milford to participate in an event to announce the winners of the Voice of Democracy contest and other awards given by Delaware’s VFWs. That evening I attended the annual Newark Senior Center fundraiser.

The legislature had a two week break, and Pam and I were out of town. While I was out of town, I had a statement read at the Governor’s Roundtable on Legalizing Marijuana.

The legislature was back in session on April 25th to 27th. On Tuesday the 25th I attended the Kids Caucus, and a reception given by Wesley College. On Wednesday I attended the pay equality rally, and the Muslim Unity rally. I met with advocates for those with disabilities to discuss the End of Life Options Act I would be introducing. On Thursday I met with representatives of labor, the University of Delaware, and families of those incarcerated in Delaware’s prisons. On Saturday the 29th I attended Ag Day at the University of Delaware, and attended a Sikh Awareness Month dinner.

On Monday May 1st, I met with a colleague and others to brainstorm existing and new proposals for changes to the personal income tax, as part of the solution to the nearly $400 million budget hole. The legislature was in session on the 2nd to 4th. On Wednesday I hosted my monthly coffee at Caffe’ Gelato. Later that day in Dover I attended the annual Law Enforcement Memorial. On Thursday before session I stopped by Troop 2 to receive a blue tape installed on my windshield to show support for Officer Ballard, who was killed on duty the prior week.

I have met with and discussed on the phone, legislative matters with reporters, print and radio.

Emails

There were many emails relates to current legislation (HB 110, marijuana legalization/regulation/taxation), HB 113 (Earned Income Tax Credit), HB 160 (End of Life Options Act), HB 165 (direct shipment of wine), HB 125 (reinstating the death penalty), SB 5 (matching Delaware Code to existing Roe v Wade federal language), HB 100 (support for those with addiction challenges), HB 75 (Freedom of Information Act), HB 80 (auto insurance and credit scores), HB 89 (voting in April), a draft bill to address breaches of personal information, HB 131 (manufactured housing), HCR 2 (task force for manufactured housing), HB 109 (adding two new tax brackets), and SB 48 (immunity for pharmacists dispensing Naxolone).

There have been many emails on the budget, including on concerns with proposed spending cuts and revenue increases, and emails on suggested alternatives. Concerns include the tobacco tax increase proposal, and reductions in state employees’ and retirees’ healthcare benefits.

I have worked with a few agencies to help a woman who housing is threatened, and another woman who has had some concerns with the Newark Housing Authority.

I reported a Verizon FIOS cable which had been exposed for several weeks (It was repaired). I worked with the City of Newark with a concern that many residents had with billing for snow removal along Casho Mill Road. I have written letters of recommendation or forwarded resumes for two individuals. I raised resident concerns regarding speeding along Wedgewood Road. I have obtained information from an area employer who participates in a program to provide meaningful work to those with developmental disabilities overseen by the CHIMES program. I have been working with a resident whose parent lives in a Delaware manufactured housing community which is in the process of being sold, and she would like to know her rights. I have gathered a little information related to the reported suicide outside the Rockford center recently, and shared it with a friend of the victim’s family.

I reviewed the Governor’s proposed budget, line by line, and provided a one-page summary to members of the Joint Finance Committee. I have been doing this each year since I joined the legislature.

I have worked with the Governor’s staff to share the process that the White Clay Creek State Park’s tri-valley trail has undergone, and what lies ahead.

I have emailed Senator Sokola and others to help coordinate an Education Forum later this month.

Legislation

I introduced several pieces of legislation during this time, including HB 113 (EITC), HB 160 (End of Life Options Act), and HB 165 (direct shipment of wine). I also introduced two amendments.

I am working on further legislation, one on data breaches, one on annexing property, one on further charity write-off boxes on tax returns.

Posted in Legislative Updates