HB50VetoGate Ends Before It Even Began


I just received an email from Richard Puffer at Legislative Hall in Dover, DE.  He indicated the wrong date was put in for House Bill 50, the parent opt-out bill.  It was vetoed on July 16th, not July 15th.  I’ve met Richard a few times, and he’s a stand-up guy!  If you’ve ever been at Legislative Hall or listened to the audio on their website, he’s the guy that reads off the roll call during votes and does an awesome job doing it.  He sounds like one of those auctioneers!

Here’s his email:

  • ‘Kevin Ohlandt’
  • Markell, Jack (Governor)
  • Kowalko, John (LegHall)
  • Schwartzkopf, Peter (LegHall)
  • Williams, Kimberly (LegHall)
  • Matthews, Sean (LegHall)
  • Lynn, Sean M (LegHall)
  • Sokola, David (LegHall)
  • Jaques, Jr, Earl (LegHall)
Good afternoon,

How Could Governor Markell Veto House Bill 50 On The 15th When It Was Presented To Him On The 16th? HB50VetoGate!!!!

Governor Markell, HB50VetoGate

You know it’s official when it’s on the General Assembly website.  Not that it wasn’t before.  But this was the page I went to the most during this legislative session.  Especially the past few weeks, looking for any action on it, and always left wondering- when would he do something on this.  What is he waiting for.  We found out the answer to that on Thursday July 16th, 2015.  The day Delaware Governor Jack Markell sealed his legacy for thousands of parents in Delaware…. Wait one minute… The legislature website says he vetoed the bill on July 15th. How could that even be if it wasn’t presented to him until 11:57am on Thursday July 16th? What kind of game did Governor Markell play on this bill?

This was the email sent from Richard Puffer:

From: Puffer, Richard (LegHall)
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:01 PM
To: Kowalko, John (LegHall)
Subject: HB 50 – Just sent to Governor’s office



Just sent over HB 50 at 11:57 a.m.

Best regards,

Rich Puffer

Below is the information on the http://legis.gov website:

148th General Assembly
House Bill 50 w/HA 1 + SA 1, SA 2 + HA 2
Primary Sponsor(s): Kowalko Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Lawson

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Baumbach, Keeley, Matthews, Spiegelman, K. Williams, Yearick; Sen. Henry

Introduced On: 03/12/2015


Synopsis of Bill: This bill creates the right for the parent or guardian of a child to opt out of the annual assessment, currently the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.

Current Status: Vetoed   On  07/15/2015

Date Governor Acted: 07/15/2015 Effective Date:

Volume Chapter: :

Full Text of Legislation:
(HTML format)
Legis.html     Email this Bill to a friend

And here is the information on Governor Markell’s own website: http://governor.delaware.gov/ and I’ve enlarged and bolded the date for emphasis:

July 16, 2015

Governor Vetoes Opt-Out Bill, Signs Legislation to Reduce Testing for All Students

Governor Markell announced that he has vetoed House Bill 50, which would allow for any student to be opted-out of any state or district assessment, while he signed Senate Joint Resolution 2, which aims to eliminate unnecessary, ineffective, or redundant tests required by the state, districts, and individual schools.

Unless he got a flux capacitator and went back in time, this is literally impossible.  I’m calling this HB50VetoGate.  Did Markell circumvent Delaware law and veto legislation passed by the the Delaware House of Representatives and Senate before it was formally presented to him?  Physically?  I posted the original letter sent to the House of Representatives, where Richard Puffer, the Chief Clerk of the Delaware House of Representatives said it was delivered back to him at 12:55pm.

Once again, we have a Governor who does whatever the hell he wants, and if you don’t like it, too bad.  How in the world did the legislators put up with him for the past six and a half years?  And all his staff and other departments?  And the other Governors of the USA?  And Obama?

Or…this could just be an error on someone’s end.  I’ll definitely have to check on this.  Can we see the original document signed by Markell?  No, because he never signed it, the whole point of a veto.  So will we ever know the truth on this?