Delaware Public Media
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Croda settles with state after ethylene oxide leak

The state and a chemical company have reached a settlement over the toxic gas leak that shut down the Delaware Memorial Bridge last fall.

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This week on "The Green"

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Water contamination worries grow as feds probe New Castle Nat’l Guard base, seek weaker cleanups

Concerns about the effects of toxic PFAS chemicals on public water supplies in some areas of Delaware are rising with the announcement of a federal government probe into a reserve base at New Castle, and a report that the Pentagon is seeking to weaken standards for cleaning up contamination at military installations such as Dover Air Force Base.

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Delaware's aggressive use of its Strategic Fund continues, playing a role in this week's announcement that Sallie Mae will move its corporate headquarters from Reston, VA to the First State.  The move is expected to bring at least 15 hundred jobs to Delaware.  Delaware First Media detailed Governor Jack Markell's push to replenish the fund is part of its coverage of the budget process in the General Assembly. (See State ready to spend more to lure business.)

As a part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Delaware contributes to the streams of toxins that flow into the bay—the nation’s largest estuary—from its many distant tributaries. Efforts to clean up the heavily polluted bay must address causes such as fertilizer and animal-waste runoff from farms, including those in Delaware.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper believes that Congress can take comprehensive action to clean up the Chesapeake Bay while avoiding harm to farmers—and even potentially helping them.

In a new atmosphere of open hearing rooms, with the luxury of more money than expected, and with more time to read and digest the proposed spending bill, the Delaware General Assembly passed a balanced 2011 budget.

The election-year budget, signed by Gov. Jack Markell at 2:43 a.m. Thursday, is not nearly as painful as last year’s, nor as frugal as the Governor wanted. In the end, the most dramatic shifts may have occurred more in the process than the product.

For a look at what was accomplished—and what was left for another day—click on the stories and videos below.

Candidates weigh in on 2011 budget

Jul 1, 2010

As legislators in Dover wrapped up the 145th General Assembly, we spoke with some of their ballot-qualified competitors for the 2010 election, who hope to have a seat in the 146th session. Here is a sampling of their responses on key budget issues.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="127" caption="Beth Miller"][/caption]

As the sun set last night on the 145th Delaware General Assembly session, both Governor Jack Markell and state legislators had reason to cheer. The budget came in on time and with revenue to spare. Several noteworthy laws were passed. But ultimately something that was not accomplished may lessen the legacy of the legislature’s achievements.

[AUDIO] Governor's closing remarks

Jul 1, 2010

Governor Markell summarizes the new budget detailing changes in education, law enforcement, environmental spending:

[audio:|titles=Markell on the new budget]

Typically the final days of Delaware's two-year legislative session involve frantic, often secretive dealings to push through a budget and other bills.

The endgame of the 145th General Assembly was different, even historic in some ways.

While the usual mad signing scramble took place in the final hours of the mandatory June 30 budget completion deadline—and slid into the early hours of July 1, as is customary—the process was in many ways less harried and more transparent.

As the ink was drying on his  late-night bill signing, Governor Jack Markell praised "the bipartisan support we got" on the budget bills, on recycling legislation, on the slate of new laws to protect children in the wake of the molestation scandal involving former pediatrician Earl Bradley, and "on pretty much every bill that was passed."

It was a glass-half-full description of a session in which many of the Governor's proposals for getting a grip on state spending were tabled until next year.

Markell on the final budget push - VIDEO

Jul 1, 2010

The 2011 budget was a mixed bag for Governor Jack Markell, whose hopes for cutting state spending largely were dashed by the General Assembly. In an interview with Tom Byrne, he reacted to the budget process this year and talked about his economic agenda for Delaware.

The goal—fiscal discipline

Gov. Markell Clip 1

The reality? “We’re getting there”

Children squealed with joy as they shot basketballs into a hoop outside the Children’s Beach House in Lewes. Their camp counselors watched as one by one these children with special needs practiced a new skill.

Inside the building, however, there was little joy.