Delaware Public Media

Legislative Update

Daily during Morning Edition & All Things Considered (during General Assembly session)

Delaware Public Media Political Reporter James Dawson covers the state's General Assembly each and every day lawmakers are in session.  You can hear his in-depth reports on what's happening at Legislative Hall during both Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow), the new head of the House Education Committee, continues to make waves, calling for a new, state-of-the-art public high school in Wilmington.

Jaques asked lawmakers on the Joint Bond Bill Committee to set aside an unknown amount of money for the proposal this past week.

Delaware’s top judge says he’s “disappointed” with Gov. Jack Markell’s (D) proposed operating and capital budgets.

Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr. recently presented a larger spending plan before the Joint Finance and Bond Bill committees, saying that Markell “did not account for the critical needs of the judiciary.”

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The movement to allow kids and families to opt-out of state standardized testing could spark a full review of how Delaware tests its students.

Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow), head of the House Education Committee, says he’s talking with the Markell Administration to comprehensively review all state testing, which he says makes up about 70 percent of all testing.

It’s in response to a bill supporting the “opt-out” initiative that takes direct aim at the state’s new Smarter Balanced annual assessment.

Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow), the new head of the House Education Committee, continues to make waves, calling for a new, state-of-the-art public high school in Wilmington.

Jaques asked lawmakers on the Joint Bond Bill Committee to set aside an unknown amount of money for the proposal Monday.

“If you’re going to have neighborhood schools, you need to have complete neighborhood schools so that you don’t just have it partially like we have today,” he said.

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