jack markell

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers who meet this week to begin marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $4 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 have almost $36 million less to work with than they did last month.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday lowered official revenue projections for the current and upcoming fiscal years by about $18 million each compared to April's estimates.

The changes were largely driven by lower expectations for personal and corporate income taxes.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has unanimously approved a bill aimed at strengthening reporting of sexual assaults on college campuses.

The bill approved Wednesday requires employees of higher education institutions to offer to report sexual assault incidents to law enforcement officials if the alleged victim agrees. Lawmakers struck a previous version of the bill that required school officials to contact police regardless of the alleged victim's wishes.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill banning sales of a popular cough suppressant to anyone under 18 in Delaware unless they have a prescription.

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to pass the legislation, which seeks to limit over-the-counter sales of dextromethorphan, or DXM, to minors.

The measure, which cleared the House unanimously last month, is aimed at youngsters who abuse DXM to get high.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House is set to vote on a bill that would remove homosexuality from the definition of misconduct that would serve as grounds for divorce.

The legislation to be voted on Tuesday strikes both "homosexuality" and "lesbianism" from the definition of marital misconduct.

The law defines misconduct as behavior by a spouse so destructive that a person filing for divorce could not reasonably be expected to continue in the relationship.

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The State of Delaware is seeing an increasing number of seniors moving into the state while millennials are moving out.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that three decades ago 30 percent of the First State’s population was between the ages of 18 and 34.

That figure has declined to 23 percent.

In addition, 61 percent of the people born in Delaware now live somewhere else.

The News Journal reports that economists say millennials are looking for a better labor market where the can build their lives.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Chris Coons is taking a break from politics to do a little preaching.

Coons was scheduled to the give keynote address Thursday at the 56th annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast in Dover.

Gov. Jack Markell will join a host of other officials at the event, including state lawmakers, local elected officials, clerics and representatives of charitable organizations.

The theme of this year's breakfast is "Faith and Family."

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is pledging his support for a bill to toughen penalties for texting or otherwise using a handheld phone while driving.

After experiencing a virtual reality demonstration Tuesday of the potentially fatal consequences of texting while driving, a somber Markell said he would sign the bill no matter how high the penalty is increased.

As currently written, the bill increases the penalty for a first offense from $50 to $100. It also increases the penalty for subsequent offenses from between $100 and $200 to between $200 and $300.

Don Rush

Harrington wants to have its downtown designated as a Development District.

Governor Jack Markell says he will grant the application for such a designation which will bring grants and rebates to entice more businesses to the downtown area.

WBOC reports that the incentive package will include tax breaks for the first year of homeownership as well as fee waivers for new businesses.

The television station reports that Harrington has finished the application but has yet to send it in.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is signing legislation to create a state commission that will review drug overdose deaths in Delaware.

The Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission being established with Thursday's bill signing is similar to commissions the state already has in place to review child deaths and deaths of domestic violence victims.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A state panel is updating Delaware's revenue forecast as the time approaches for lawmakers to begin marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Monday's update follows a meeting last month in which the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council lowered the official revenue projection for the current fiscal year by about $38 million.

The decline was mostly offset by a corresponding increase in the upcoming fiscal year because of an accounting change involving abandoned property.

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Republican lawmakers in Delaware want the governor the secretary of Homeland Security to be notified when refugees from Syria, Iran or Sudan come to the First State.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state Representative Deborah Hudson said that she does not trust the federal government to prevent potential terrorists from coming to this country.

The paper reports that the Republicans zeroed in on countries which the State Department says has supported terrorism within the last five years.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Young people from across the state are taking over Legislative Hall, at least temporarily.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to welcome middle school and high school students to Dover on Friday for opening ceremonies of the 48th annual YMCA of Delaware Youth in Government event.

The program is a national teen leadership initiative featuring state-organized model government programs.

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Children should be a bit safer when they go off to youth summer camp because of Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden who died of cancer last year.

A new Child Protection Act goes into effect April 7th that will require finger-print background checks at the state and national level on their employees and volunteers.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this will be the first time such a practice will be codified in the First State.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware's revenue forecast for the current fiscal year is down by about $38 million, but the decline is mostly offset by a corresponding increase for the new fiscal year starting in July.

Higher refund estimates that more than offset a projected increase in corporate income tax revenue, coupled with a decrease in projected abandoned property collections, prompted a state panel on Monday to lower its revenue forecast for this year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Road crews are set to begin work on a project aimed at alleviating flooding problems on the main road running through the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Gov. Jack Markell and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper were among the guests scheduled to attend a ground breaking ceremony Monday for bridge construction and road improvements on Prime Hook Road.

Flood waters typically inundate and damage the road during heavy coastal storms.

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The plan for school redistricting for the Wilmington/Christina area has survived another hurdle.

The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission approved shifting Wilmington students from the Christina School District to the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The move that would allow students to go to a school closer to home came at the suggestion of Governor Jack Markell.

The News Journal reports that the State Board has to approve the plan along with a vote in the General Assembly.

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More than $1.7 million was raised this year for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation by students and community from the University of Delaware.

The students at Delaware 10th annual UDance Dance Marathon celebrated raising the money which will go to fight childhood cancer on Sunday.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the UDance serves as a reminder that the children have those who are rooting for them.

The marathon included local bands as well as the Dover High School Drum Line.

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The Delaware Council on Development Finance gave its unanimous approval for $9.6 billion in tax payer money for the next five years toward keeping a spin off company from the Dow-DuPont merger.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that the vote comes just a media reports suggest that BASF is looking at a counter offer to buy DuPont.

In December DuPont agreed to merge with Dow to create a $130 billion company.

The News Journal reports that experts say it is too early to say if the Germany company will actually move forward with the effort.

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Repealing the death penalty in the Delaware legislature will have to wait until the state Supreme Court makes its decision on the constitutionality of the current law.

That’s the decision by the measure’s two sponsors Senator Karen Peterson and Representative Sean Lynn.

The two Democrats say it only makes sense for the General Assembly to wait for the high court.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state House of Representatives rejected the bill last month by a vote of 23 to 16.

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There was a protest of around 25 people outside Governor Jack Markell’s office in downtown Wilmington.

It was held by the NAACP and black ministers who called on the governor to act in response to the widespread allegations of racism in state government.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Reverend Silvester Beaman of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church said there should be zero tolerance such behavior.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is joining law enforcement officials and lawmakers to celebrate the opening of a new horse stable facility for the Delaware State Police mounted patrol.

The new stables being showcased Tuesday are located on the grounds of the Department of Correction's Central Violation of Probation Center in Smyrna.

The stables are operated through a partnership between state police and the Department of Correction, providing job training opportunities for offenders who are housed on-site.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is meeting with business leaders and educators in Washington to discuss ways to help high school students move from the class room to the workplace.

Deputy federal labor secretary Christopher Lu also was among Friday's scheduled speakers at a luncheon hosted by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

The meeting is aimed at strengthening the "School-to-Workforce Pipeline" by bringing business leaders together with more than 100 principals from top-performing STEM and magnet high schools from around the country.

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Governor Jack Markell has gotten private organizations to provide $10 million to provide birth control to women in Delaware.

The money would train medical providers to implant contraceptives and to educate women on various safe methods of birth control.

In addition, the Wilmington News Journal reports that funds will also go to provide different forms of contraceptives in doctor’s offices so that the women can get same-day long-acting birth control.

The News Journal reports that $1.7 million in state funding will also be provided to support the program.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Hundreds of people involved in Delaware's biomedical research community are gathering at the University of Delaware this week to swap ideas and discuss ways to increase basic, clinical and translational research opportunities across the region.

Gov. Jack Markell was among the scheduled speakers Thursday at the inaugural Delaware Biomedical Research Symposium at the University of Delaware.

Thursday's scheduled keynote speaker is Dr. Kathleen Brady, director of the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

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As Dow and DuPont merge the agricultural spin will maintain its headquarters in Wilmington.

In addition, the Wilmington News Journal reports that a yet unnamed specialty products company will also locate its headquarters in the Delaware town.

This will keep some high-level executive jobs in the state.

The News Journal reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission says more revenue is expected to come from the two companies than DuPont.

The paper reports that combined the two companies are expected to be valued at $32 billion.

Don Rush

A ten cent increase in Delaware’s gas tax is now up for consideration in the state legislature.

It’s estimated that the increase would raise around $50 million and would go toward infrastructure such as bridges and roads.

Unlike a previous attempt by Governor Jack Markell in 2014 it would expire after a year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this would allow lawmakers to assess the impact of the falling oil prices.

But several Republicans voiced their opposition to the increase.

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Governor Jack Markell announced that he will ask for $2.5 million in federal disaster relief to rebuild the infrastructure along Delaware’s beaches damaged from the recent storms.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that funds would go toward repairing the northern end of the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach as well as storm water pipes damaged by the waves.

Money would also go toward trails in state parks such as Gordons Pond in Cape Henlopen State Park.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Is Delaware ready for its close-up?

A state panel that is meeting Wednesday in Dover is charged with implementing programs aimed at promoting a motion picture and television industry in Delaware.

The panel was formed pursuant to a resolution passed by lawmakers last year and signed by Gov. Jack Markell in July.

Initiatives the panel may look at include providing informational materials pointing out desirable shooting locations within the state, and cooperating with management and labor engaged in the movie and television industries.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is joining Delaware's congressional delegation for a groundbreaking ceremony on a long-awaited road project to ease traffic congestion in southern New Castle County.

Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau also is among those scheduled to attend Friday's groundbreaking for the U.S. 301 project.

The new 301 will be limited-access, four-lane toll road stretching from the Maryland/Delaware state line to State Route 1 north of the Biddles Corner Toll Plaza.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the General Assembly's budget-writing committee are ready to begin delving into Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $4.1 billion operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Joint Finance Committee was to convene Tuesday to begin a monthlong series of hearings and discussion on individual agency budget requests for fiscal 2017, which starts July 1.

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