Even If WEIC Passes The General Assembly, It Could Still Fall Apart Over Funding Issues

Remember when the Delaware State Board of Education wanted to change a key word from “shall” to “may”?  That created a resolution unanimously passed by the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission that if the “necessary and sufficient funding” is not available at two milestones of the redistricting plan, it will collapse.  End.  Finish.  Kaput.

Today, the House Education Committee did two things: they lifted House Bill #424 from a tabled status and released it from the education committee with eight votes in the positive.  But the discussion before the vote was somewhat tense.  As the meeting started, no House Republicans were present.  Slowly but surely, two of them came in: State Reps. Joe Miro and Tim Dukes.  State Rep. Deb Heffernan started the questioning about the Red Clay Board of Education’s role if the funding is not there.  After a considerable amount of confusion, WEIC Chair Tony Allen and Dan Rich clarified that the amount for the first two years just for the funding changes is $7.5 million each year for a total of $15 million.  In the Governor’s proposed budget, he allocated $6 million: $4 million for the funding changes and $2 million for WEIC transitional costs.

Based on Tony Allen’s statement about the resolution, the necessary and sufficient funding of $7.5 million for FY2017 will not be available even if the General Assembly passes House Joint Resolution #12.  Yesterday, DEFAC determined Delaware’s revenues are lower than projected a month ago so now there is less money in the state budget for next year.  Will the WEIC redistricting plan get out of the General Assembly alive?  Or will the Joint Finance Committee give the money to the redistricting plan if it passes both the House and the Senate?

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State Rep. Sean Lynn’s FOIA Legislation Opens Legislators To FOIA

SeanLynn

State Rep. Sean Lynn filed House Bill 269 on March 3rd.  In the State of Delaware, all state employees are subject to the Freedom of Information Act with one exception: the General Assembly.  Rep. Lynn’s bill would change that.  Any email from a General Assembly legislator, whether they are in the House or the Senate, would be subject to FOIA.  While this could certainly give Delaware more transparency, it would not allow for the FOIA treasure chest: cell phone texts.  I would imagine a lot of what goes on in Delaware happens this way.  But this is certainly a step in the right direction.

I would love to get a crack at State Rep. Earl Jaques and Senator Dave Sokola’s emails!  That would be fun!

HB269