Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

AG Denn renews plan to use settlement fund for inequity, justice, public health reform

Anne Hoffman/Delaware Public Media

Attorney General Matt Denn has renewed and revised his proposal to use $29 million in financial crisis settlement money to help some of the state’s most vulnerable communities.

Delaware received that settlement from Bank of America and Citigroup for allegations of misconduct after the 2008 market crash, which some state activists say destabilized places like Wilmington.

The settlement fund has $29 million left, after $5 million was used to balance the state’s budget. Denn said he disagreed with that move. Earlier this month, he made an emergency request for $2 million to help police fight crime in Wilmington and Dover.

The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee approved that plan. Now, Denn hopes they'll accept his new proposal to funnel the rest of the funds into afterschool and substance abuse treatment programs and foreclosure prevention.

"Speaking for a moment as an elected official whose top priority is fighting violent crime," he said, "investing in these communities is really what we should be doing if we really want to bring down the rate of violent crime."

His proposal, called "Lifting Up Delaware's Communities," would work with nonprofits, schools and the state. Under the plan, 16 schools would receive $100,000 every year for three years to hire additional teachers or para-educators.


"I am one who believes that school should be a holistic environment of help and it should be a continuum of services for our students," said Monique Taylor Gibbs, a teacher at Warner Elementary in Wilmington. She says that with the proposed money, kids who live in precarious home environments could stay at school until 6pm.


Other nonprofits, like organizations that assist inmates in the process of re-entry, would compete for up to $3 million in proposed grants. 



The JFC will consider the proposal when it reconvenes in January.


Related Content