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A new detox center will be opening in Harrington next month for those seeking the escape their drug addiction.

The 15-thousand square foot structure will provide 12 short-term beds for 23 hour observation and another 16 for those who need extensive care for a week.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that around 30 to 100 spaces will be for outpatient care such as counseling.

Yesterday afternoon Governor Jack Markell showed up for a press conference at the facility.

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Governor Jack Markell put his signature on a measure called the Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III Child Protection Act.

It would beef up background checks for private schools and summer camps.

The requirements would use finger prints for a national criminal background check.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it would ban those with a criminal conviction for a felony sexual assault or a misdemeanor crime involving a child from such employment.

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HARRINGTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are discussing plans for $4.5 million in new funding to tackle substance abuse in Delaware.

State lawmakers approved the funding in the budget for fiscal 2016, which began last month.

Gov. Jack Markell sought the funding in his January budget proposal, noting that 185 Delawareans died from a suspected drug overdose last year and nearly 10,000 adults sought public treatment for addiction.

Markell planned to make an announcement about expanded substance abuse services on Wednesday at the site of a new detox center in Harrington.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Officials in Delaware say seven students have graduated from a new employment training program that prepares them to become certified nursing assistants.

The students graduated from the eight-week program, called Generation, on Tuesday. Gov. Jack Markell gave the keynote address at the ceremony.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware cats are a new protected class under animal control legislation being signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell.

Markell was to sign two bills Tuesday, one relating to cruelty to animals, and the other involving dangerous dogs.

One measure allows first responders to use reasonable force to remove an animal confined in a motor vehicle under conditions likely to cause suffering, injury, or death.

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Website

African American pastors in Delaware are investigating – what they say – is racism by state employees.

The interviews are being carried out by the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council and the NAACP.

Eventually they will hand over a report to Governor Jack Markell.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the ministers and NAACP say they have heard accounts from African American workers.

governor.delaware.gov

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is signing legislation to consolidate regulations for background checks for people working with children in Delaware.

The bill to be signed Monday consolidates into one section of state code the background check requirements for individuals who want to work or volunteer for child-serving entities.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is signing legislation aimed at improving fire safety for homeowners in Delaware.

The bill to be signed Thursday requires builders of new single-family and two-family homes to provide buyers a cost estimate for installing an automatic sprinkler system. The new law also requires that homebuyers be given information from the State Fire Marshal's Office about the benefits of automatic sprinklers.

dmv.de.gov

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is set to sign legislation targeting the driving privileges of motorists with unpaid traffic fines.

The bill to be signed Monday changes the procedures for the suspension, nonrenewal, or nonduplication of driver's licenses or driving privileges for the failure to resolve motor vehicle charges.

The new law says driver's licenses will not be renewed or duplicate licenses issued if there are outstanding fines or fees for minor traffic offenses subject to voluntary assessment until the fees are paid by the license applicant.

nccde.org

The Democratic field is already shaping up for next year’s gubernatorial race in Delaware.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon is not ruling out a run in 2016.

He told the Wilmington News Journal that he had not made up his mind yet.

Campaign news has already been made by Governor Jack Markell who said the Delaware Congressman John Carney would be a terrific choice.

Markell defeated the Delaware Democrat in winning the governorship.

 

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Governor Jack Markell gave high praise to his former political rival congressman John Carney adding that the Delaware Democrat would make a terrific gubernatorial candidate next year.

The semi-endorsement came through a spokesman for the governor this past weekend.

Carney has not indicated if he will make a run for the governorship.

Markell beat Carney in the 2008 gubernatorial primary.

Meanwhile, Carper worked for then Governor Tom Carper during the mid-1990’s.

Markell will leave office next year after his two term limit is up. 

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The Lewes City Council has conditionally approved a measure that would keep people from openly carrying weapons into municipal settings.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the town is using a new power given by state legislation which has not yet been signed by the governor.

Governor Jack Markell’s office says it has not yet gotten to his desk and the resort made implementation dependent upon the governor’s signature.

The resort currently restricts the right to open carry within the town limits with exception for hunters and police officers.

An Apology for Slavery?

Jul 8, 2015
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There could be an apology for slavery in Delaware.

Governor Jack Markell received a request for such a proclamation last week from Harmon Carey, founder and executive director of the Afro-American Historical Society in Wilmington.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that he wrote that there was a “moral imperative”0 to acknowledge the inhumanity of slavery and the unjust prosecution of Abolitionists.

Carey says he believes an apology would heal the wounds still being felt to this day.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Legislation adding electronic cigarettes to Delaware's indoor smoking ban is now state law.

Gov. Jack Markell signed the ban on smoking e-cigarettes in indoor public areas in a ceremony Tuesday at a Wilmington restaurant.

The legislation adds electronic cigarettes to Delaware's existing prohibition on smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places.

The new law contains an exemption for businesses that sell electronic cigarettes if 80 percent of revenue comes from such products and the business meets certain other conditions.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Legislation adding electronic cigarettes to Delaware's indoor smoking ban is about to become law.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to sign the ban on smoking e-cigarettes in indoor public areas in a ceremony Tuesday at a Wilmington restaurant.

The legislation adds electronic cigarettes to Delaware's existing prohibition on smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places.

Delaware department of transportation

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell has signed legislation allowing certain people living in the U.S. without docuements to gain driving privileges in Delaware.

Markell signed the bill shortly after it passed the House on a 22-15 vote Tuesday. The legislation, which cleared the Senate last week, takes effect in six months.

Many were on hand in Legislative Hall when the vote came down.  Among them were 18 year old Miguel Tapia who was born in Mexico, 17 year old Henry Gonzalez from Georgetown and Reverend Alvin Figueroa:

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The Delaware General Assembly has spoken.

Students in public schools will be allowed to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests.

The state Senate took all of five minutes to approve the measure.

It now goes to Governor Jack Markell who opposes the opt-out provision.

But both houses approved the measure by veto-proof votes.

The governor now has ten days to decide what to do.

Some parents have already kept their children from taking the test.

                

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers are beginning to work in earnest on a capital budget for road and construction projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

The legislature's capital budget committee met Thursday to review Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $385 million capital spending plan.

At the same time, lawmakers added roughly $24 million in proposed additional spending items, while acknowledging they don't have a lot of money to work with.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Donald Parsons, one of five judges on Delaware's Court of Chancery, has said he plans to step down when his term expires in October.

Judiciary officials said Monday that Parsons informed Gov. Jack Markell of his decision in a letter dated a week ago.

Officials said Parsons, who was appointed to a 12-year term in 2003 by former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, has not announced his post-retirement plans.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The General Assembly's budget-writing committee is resuming work on a spending plan for the fast-approaching new fiscal year.

The Joint Finance Committee was to reconvene Monday to continue marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $3.9 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The committee's work got a little easier last week when revenue estimates for the current and upcoming fiscal years increased by about $33 million.

But available revenue is still about $15 million lower than when Markell unveiled his budget proposal in January.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has signed legislation decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Markell signed the bill Thursday shortly after it passed the Democrat-controlled Senate on a straight party line vote.

The measure also received no Republican support when it passed the Democrat-led House earlier this month. Republicans say it sends the wrong message to young people, even though it keeps simple possession a criminal offense for anyone under 18.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in Delaware is facing its final legislative hurdle.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill on Thursday. It cleared the Democratic-controlled House earlier this month on a party-line vote.

Democratic Gov. Jack Markell has indicated that he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

The bill would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of one ounce of marijuana or less for personal use. Instead, it would be a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The panel that issues Delaware's official revenue forecast has given legislative budget writers a little more breathing room.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday boosted the net revenue estimate for the current and upcoming fiscal years. The panel says revenues are up by about $33 million over last month's estimate, thanks mostly to personal and corporate income tax collections.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The panel that issues Delaware's official revenue forecast is providing its final update of the fiscal year.

Lawmakers will use Monday's update from the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council to finish marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $3.9 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Last month, the estimate of revenue available for fiscal 2016 increased by about $18.5 million, following a decline of $22 million in April.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's first medical marijuana dispensary will open on June 26, more than four years after lawmakers and Gov. Jack Markell first legalized pot for medicinal use.

The Wilmington News Journal reports The First Compassion Center, located outside of Wilmington, will open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Patient orientations are planned for June 18 and June 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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The Delaware state Senate has voted to ban e-cigarettes from indoor areas with the exception of vape shops and has sent the measure to the governor’s desk.

Middletown Democrat Bethany Hall who sponsored the bill said that this will provide another level of protection for the public.

The legislation was approved on a 13-7 vote and saw a number of amendments turned down by the upper chamber.

Two would have exempted cigar shops as well as taprooms and taverns.

The state House of Representatives turned back similar amendments.

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A legislative hearing exploded yesterday when Delaware lawmakers and parents found themselves in a shouting match over whether to allow students to opt-out of the statewide test.

It’s called the Smarter Balanced Assessment which students took for the first time this year.

The legislation before the lawmakers would allow students to opt out of taking the test.

A number of angry parents said they would keep their children from taking the test with one saying he didn’t care what the law said.

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Despite a 2009 executive order by Governor Jack Markell to increase the diversity of the state workforce a new report says that it has declined over the years.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that black state officials and administrators have declined from 21 percent six years ago to 20 percent.

A group of African American leaders including those from the NAACP of Delaware and the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council say they will organize an effort to confront discrimination in state government.

Delaware Technical and Community College Website

STANTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware Technical and Community College hosted an official unveiling ceremony to showcase the school's new nursing wing that drew a crowd of state and New Castle County leaders.

The Wilmington News Journal reports Gov. Jack Markell and other officials toured the new nursing wing in the Stanton campus Monday. Students have been working in the wing, which features labs, simulators and study spaces, since last August.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to eliminate Delaware's estate tax effective July 1.

The legislation introduced Thursday aligns with a recommendation by a state panel formed by Democratic Gov. Jack Markell.

The panel, which studied how to make Delaware's revenues more predictable and aligned with economic conditions, noted that the estate tax is volatile and brings in little money - only $1.3 million last year.

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