Delaware Public Media

Politics & Government

Delaware Public Media's coverage of First State politics and government, including the General Assembly. Coverage is led by Delaware Public Media's political reporter Sarah Mueller.

Delaware Public Media

The Joint Sunset Committee is considering requiring state officials to be more open about how they invest money in economic development projects.

Two lawmakers on the committee, Sens. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark) and Dave Sokola (D-Newark) especially urged more transparency of the agency including the use of the strategic fund, which gives millions in incentives to businesses locating or expanding in Delaware.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

Supporters of repealing the death penalty in the First State say they are pleased to see a bill addressing the issue being reintroduced to the General Assembly, even if the chances of it passing are not good.

A similar bill was narrowly passed by the state Senate last session, but was tabled in the House Judiciary Committee.

Ti Hall, campaign manager for the Delaware Repeal Project, says the November elections did little to improve the chances of death penalty repeal passing the House.

Delaware Public Media

The fight to repeal Delaware’s death penalty will be back in the General Assembly next week when lawmakers reconvene in Dover.

State Sen. Karen Peterson (D-Stanton) is reintroducing her bill from last session that would only allow courts to sentence those convicted of brutal crimes to life without the possibility of parole. The measure barely passed the Senate in 2013 and stalled in the House.

During debates over the past two years, those in favor of capital punishment repeatedly said that some criminals deserve the ultimate punishment, but Peterson doesn’t agree.

Delaware Public Media

State employees could see their health insurance costs rise under a plan from the Markell Administration.

Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware) set aside $26.1 million in his proposed fiscal year 2016 budget to help make the Group Health Fund solvent. But that move, coupled with increases in premiums by between two and eight dollars a month, still leaves about a $60 million deficit.

Sussex County is about to get a boost in internet connectivity.

Over the next 6 months, a new high speed fiber optic ring will be built underneath Georgetown, increasing connection speeds 100 times. Four county facilities, including government offices and the airport, will benefit immediately from improved connection.

The fiber optic ring will be a considerable improvement on the single line feed that now feeds Sussex County facilities. The two-way system can redirect the data if service is interrupted along the line.

More than half of the 25,036 Delawareans who signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period were new enrollees.

The numbers released Tuesday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services also show that 83 percent of those who enrolled or re-enrolled for Marketplace insurance through February 22 were eligible for an average subsidy of $264 a month toward premiums. 45 percent of Delawareans enrolled paid less than $100 or less after the subsidies were applied.

Delaware Public Media

Dover City Council voted Monday to offer a plan that would alter how the state capital is governed.

Under the plan introduced by Councilmember Bill Hare and approved 5-2 by the council, all of the city’s operations except for finance and the clerk’s office would be placed under the control of the city manager. The manager would, in turn, report to the mayor.

DEDO preparing to work with smaller Strategic Fund

Mar 9, 2015
Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) is expecting a major cut to the Delaware Strategic Fund in fiscal year 2016.

DEDO Director Alan Levin requested $10 million from the state’s Bond Bill Committee Monday. While that figure matches what Gov Jack Markell (D-Delaware) proposed for the fund in FY2016, it still represents a drop from $22.2 million in the current fiscal year and $32 million in FY 2014.

Karl Malgiero/Delaware Public Media

There may be fewer speeding bicyclists on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk this summer.

City officials have signed off on a program called “B-Safe” which will establish a volunteer bicycle patrol on the resort town’s iconic boardwalk.

Volunteers would be trained how to interact with riders who aren’t operating safely.

Delaware Public Media

In his weekly message, Governor Jack Markell drew attention to the threat of climate change and Delaware’s efforts to meet it.

"While reducing the effects of climate change is a global challenge, we must do our part in Delaware, and I’m proud of the progress we’re making," Markell said.

The governor highlighted Delaware’s investments in cleaner and more efficient energy production, as well as efforts to protect wetlands and improve flood prevention along the Delaware River and Bay.

He also encouraged Delawareans to contribute during the public comment period of the Climate Framework for Delaware released this week. The plan will seek, among other things, to significantly reduce carbon emissions in Delaware by 2030.

The public comment period on the Framework runs through May 30. More information on the proposal can be found at on the state's website.