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Politics & Government

Special session could include calls for clarification around impeachment process

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Roman Battaglia
/
Delaware Public Media

State lawmakers are convening for a special session this week to finalize the new district maps.

State lawmakers are responsible for drawing new district lines every ten years; those lines can be very important in ensuring Delawareans are represented, and their concerns are heard in Dover.

Both chambers released their final maps, which have undergone changes after public hearings to better ensure communities stay together.

On the House side, Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf says they’ll be able to avoid an incumbent fight near Newark. House Republicans had objected to a proposal that would draw Rep. Michael Ramone out of his own district.

Schwartzkopf says the issue arose because his caucus had gone in with old information telling them Rep. Mike Smith also lived on the border with Rep. Paul Baumbach’s district, and it was either him or Ramone.

“But in the meantime we found out that Mike Smith doesn’t live at the bottom of his district anymore like he used to,” he says. “Now he lives more at the top of his district, so it’s not an issue.”

In the final proposed map, Ramone’s house remains in his old district, keeping him from having to run against Baumbach.

Schwarzkopf has said redistricting may not be the only item on the agenda, lawmakers are exploring their options surrounding removing a public official in office.

“There is a possibility that there may be a resolution, a joint resolution that would ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on some of the language in the Constitution and get us an advisory opinion about how we’re supposed to go about this if we decide to do it,” says Schwartzkopf.

Schwarzkopf is talking about possibly removing State Auditor Kathy McGuiness, who currently faces multiple felony and misdemeanor stemming from her conduct as state auditor.

Some lawmakers have called for a resolution instead asking the governor to remove McGuiness, following approval from the General Assembly, but Schwartzkopf says clarification around that passage is also needed.

Delaware hasn’t impeached a public officer in decades, so Schwartzkopf says they want to make sure if that’s pursued it’s done the right way to avoid any legal battles.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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