Last summer, many folks took notice the Delaware Senate did not pass the state budget with a 3/4 majority vote as required by Delaware state code. There was a specific reason they needed a 3/4 vote. That was because the universities and charter schools they have appropriations for are considered corporations. The law states the 3/4 vote is needed to appropriate money to corporations. If they didn’t give any money to those entities, they only need a majority vote. At the end of the legislative session in 2015, State Senator Colin Bonini introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution #39 which formed a working group to determine if the universities and charter schools were indeed corporations as defined in state code.
The group met twice and quickly issued a letter to Governor Markell which determined charter schools, the University of Delaware, and Delaware State University are not “corporations” as was originally written in the law because they have many key relationships with state government. So therefore, that was why the 3/4 majority vote was not needed, based on a legal opinion which came out of all this.
On Tuesday, the Delaware Senate passed Senate Bill 285, the FY2017 budget bill, with a vote of 15 yes and 6 no. The Delaware Constitution requires 3/4 of both the Delaware House of Representatives and the Delaware Senate to vote yes in order for the budget to pass. The Delaware Senate did not get the necessary 3/4 vote. It was a little bit over 71%, not 75%. But they passed it anyways and sent it to the House who did pass it with the required 3/4 vote. Now it heads to Governor Markell’s desk. As El Somnambulo pointed out on Delaware Liberal this morning, only the General Assembly can declare this unconstitutional and could send it to the Delaware Supreme Court. This is the dark side of shady Delaware Politics as El Som pointed out:
The question, of course, was moot when the budgets passed almost unanimously. But that’s not the case this year. I don’t care whether the R’s are doing this just to be pains in the ass. The idea that the General Assembly would willfully pass, and the Governor would sign, a budget that might not meet constitutional standards is, well when you think of it, not surprising. Just depressing and sorta outrageous. And business as usual.
The absolute corruption and fraud in Dover continues. It isn’t just education folks, it is everything. This General Assembly has no respect for the Delaware Constitution or those who came before them. They set up laws to allow illegal activity in our state. Yes, that is an oxymoron, but it is what they do. And we still keep voting the same people in, year after year. At least Senator Karen Peterson has the good sense to get the hell out of there before they do something even more stupid. The same day the Senate illegally passed the budget, WBOC reported a federal judge ruled Delaware’s abandoned property collecting practices violate due process law. Amounting to revenue for the state to the tune of almost $500 million dollars on an annual basis. That is about 1/8th of the state budget folks. How can we, as the citizens of Delaware, allow this to continue? When will the people rise up and take control? Are we just as guilty as the politicians that look the other way on illegal activities by electing the lawmakers who violate our Constitution?