John Carney

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has confirmed Gov. John Carney's nominations for five judgeships.

The judgeships approved Wednesday include Morgan Zurn and Kathaleen McCormick as vice chancellors in the Court of Chancery, which was recently expanded from five judges to seven.

Zurn has served as a Master on the Court of Chancery, while McCormick has worked as an attorney specializing in corporate matters.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit over a state mandate for political balance on Delaware's courts.

Federal appellate judges in Philadelphia were to hear arguments Tuesday in an appeal filed by Democratic Gov. John Carney, who's challenging a ruling by a federal judge in Wilmington. The judge declared that the political balance provision violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by restricting government employment based on political affiliation.

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A new law eliminates the so-called gag clause making it easier for pharmacists to tell patients in Delaware about the lowest prices for their prescriptions.

WBOC reports that the clauses could be used to keep patients from knowing about the cheaper medications.

Governor John Carney signed the legislation yesterday.

He said that he is trying to make the cost of medications for Delawareans more transparent with access to direct and clear information.

He added that includes the prices of prescription drugs.

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A Philadelphia federal court of appeals is to hear the fight over whether the Delaware governor must have a balance of Democratic and Republican judges in the state.

The case involves Governor John Carney against James R. Adams a former Department of Justice lawyer.

Wilmington attorney David Finger charged that arguments for keeping the balance is mere political horse trading.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Finger said that as a political independent Adams would be kept off the Delaware bench.

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Plans to protect transgender students from discrimination in Delaware public schools has stalled.

The Delaware Education Secretary Susan Bunting said that recent court rulings had raised important legal questions.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this was an apparent reference to an appeals court decision on Pennsylvania’s policy of allowing students to use bathrooms and locker room that correspond to their gender identity was not required under Title IX.   

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Delaware Governor John Carney has reached the mid-point in his term and a recent poll found that 52 percent of voters approve of his handling of the job.

The Morning Consults survey also found that 28 percent say they disapprove.

His approval rating is down from the 61 percent he received just after taking the job.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that his poll numbers took an immediate downswing of 10 points with the inmate uprising at the prison facility near Smyrna in which one prison guard was killed and three others taken hostage.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials are touting the important role that broadband technology can play in making Delaware more prosperous and competitive.

Gov. John Carney planned to meet with representatives from Delaware Electric Cooperative in Greenwood on Tuesday to see how the utility has used communications technology to promote economic development and connect its 26 substations.

Carney then was scheduled to travel to Seaford to announce the state's plans to further expand broadband access to underserved areas.

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Those driving through the Lewes area this morning are warned to expect delays and road closures for a procession that honors a fallen Delaware State Trooper.

The visitation and funeral will be held at the St. Jude Apostle Catholic Church for Master Corporal William Matt at 9:30 a.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro.

WBOC reports that the Delaware Department of Transportation says state police and Sussex County Fire Police will be on hand to direct the traffic flows from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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The battle over the Delaware state budget ended just in time for the new fiscal year.

It came when Democrats and Republicans hammered out increase in the minimum wage of $9.25 an hour next year along with provisions that included a training wage.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state budget was helped by an extra $390 million to allow Governor John Carney to sign a $4.2 billion spending plan along with a $49 million supplemental bill for state pay raises and one time bonuses.

An amendment to Delaware’s constitutional amendment to limit spending in good years to save money for lean years has failed in the General Assembly.

It was backed by Governor John Carney but was never called up for a vote before the end of the legislative session.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that multiple sources said the Democratic leadership in both houses made the decision not to bring up the amendment for a vote.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware House has given final approval to a $4.27 billion operating budget for the fiscal year starting Sunday.

The budget bill passed unanimously Tuesday and now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney, who is expected to sign it Thursday.

The bill represents a 4 percent increase over this year's budget. It includes $26 million for pay raises of $1,000 for most state employees and 2 percent for teachers, and millions more than Carney proposed in areas including disability services, special education and school transportation.

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(News Journa/AP) Delaware’s capital budget is expected to grow by 30 percent under legislation from the Joint Capital Improvement Committee.

The $769 million spending plan now heads to the full Assembly for a final vote.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports even that figure is not enough to meet the state demands that range from infrastructure to construction.

Although it is not the largest capital budget in the state’s history.

The budget is funded with nearly $189 million in tax revenue.

That’s compare to only $30 million two years ago.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Private-sector workers in Delaware could be forced to join a labor union in order to get or keep a job under legislation passed by the General Assembly.

The Democratically led House on Thursday voted 25-13 to approve the bill, which cleared the Democrat-led Senate last month. The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

The bill permits private sector labor organizations and employers to enter into union security agreements to the extent allowed under federal law.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has given final approval to a bill authorizing 12 weeks of paid family leave for teachers and other state government workers.

The measure was approved 16-4 Wednesday despite concerns about hardships on school districts who would need to find long-term substitutes for teachers on extended maternity leave.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature and will make Delaware one of only a handful of states offering paid family leave.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Senate has approved a $4.27 billion operating budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The budget bill passed on a 19-1 vote Wednesday and now goes to the House.

The bill, which represents a 4 percent increase over this year's budget, includes $26 million for pay raises of $1,000 for most state employees and 2 percent for teachers.

It also includes millions more than Democratic Gov. John Carney proposed in areas including disability services, special education and school transportation.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says Maryland will recall the four members of the National Guard he sent to the U.S.-Mexico border and will not deploy other resources until a federal policy of separating immigrant children from their families is rescinded.

Hogan made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter.

The Republican governor says he has ordered four crewmembers and a helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico.

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The effort to ban the sale of assault weapons in Delaware has died in the state Senate.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that two Democrats along with Republicans killed an effort to bring the measure to the floor for a vote.

State Senator Bryan Townsend, a co-sponsor of the measure, said that it was unfortunate that the bill did not even get a chance to be debated.

Tuesday’s vote was the second defeat and gun control advocates in the wake of a series of mass shootings including the one that took place at a Parkland high school.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers are trying to push a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons to the Senate floor for a vote, even though the measure failed in committee.

The proposed ban failed to clear a committee last week amid strident opposition from gun-rights advocates.

But the Democratic Senate president said Thursday he will put the bill first on next Tuesday's agenda.

In order to consider the measure, a majority of the Democratic-led Senate would have to vote to suspend the rules.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected Democratic Gov. John Carney's request to reconsider her ruling invalidating a state mandate for political balance on Delaware's courts.

The judge on Wednesday did revise her December ruling to clarify her decision regarding whether a lawyer had standing to challenge certain provisions in Delaware's constitution regarding the political makeup of state courts. She said the clarification should simplify the record when a federal appeals court considers the case.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the legislature's budget-writing committee have approved spending $23 million to give state employees $500 bonuses next year, on top of pay raises proposed by Democratic Gov. John Carney.

Tuesday's vote came as committee members began drafting a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Carney has proposed spending another $26 million on 2 percent pay raises for school teachers and $1,000 pay increases for other state employees. That does not include $13 million for contractually obligated pay raises for certain employees.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A state panel has added more than $80 million to Delaware's government revenue estimate as lawmakers prepare to begin drafting a new budget.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday increased this year's revenue estimate by more than $64 compared to April's projections, thanks largely to corporate franchise and income taxes.

The revenue estimate for fiscal 2019, which starts July 1, increased by more than $16 million compared to April's estimate, with corporate franchise taxes again playing a large role.

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Delaware motorists will get the chance to upgrade their licenses next month.

It’s an effort to combat fraudulent attempts to alter or duplicate a real driver’s license or identity card.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that current licenses will still be in circulation through 2026.

The paper reports that the new features range from an image of Legislative Hall on the front and a federally compliant gold star to images a blue hen on the back.

Governor John Carney said the new license design is aimed at keeping personal data more secure.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware has become the first state in the nation to completely ban marriage for anyone under 18.

Democratic Gov. John Carney on Wednesday signed into law the measure that makes it illegal for minors to get married, even if their parents approve. Previously, anyone could get married in the state at any age with a judge's approval.

Supporters say the bill is an important step to protect children from being forced to marry someone against their will, citing human trafficking.

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Delaware could be the first state in the country outlaw underage marriage.

The state Senate voted unanimously for a measure that would forbid marriage for minor even if they do have their parents’ consent.

Governor John Carney says that he will sign the bill.

State Representative Kim Williams told the Wilmington News Journal that she hoped that other states would follow Delaware’s lead.

Up and down Delmarva police departments marked National Drug Take Back Day this past weekend.

State officials said that since 2010 the program has collected more than 76-thousand pounds of medication.

WBOC reports that the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services says that the program allows people to safely dispose of unused medication.

Governor John Carney said the program was part of a state effort to reduce drug addiction along with education and prevention efforts.

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Governor John Carney is urging Delaware lawmakers to take an up or down vote on gun legislation in the General Assembly.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the governor’s remarks come as three pieces of gun legislation remain stalled.

Perhaps the most controversial is a proposed ban on assault weapons which is having trouble getting out of committee.

Another measure would raise the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21.

That measure was tabled just before Easter Break.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney and state Delaware Education Secretary Susan Bunting have set up a new Teachers Advisory Council to gather feedback from educators on policy decisions.

Bunting invited two teachers from each of the state's 19 school districts and six charter school educators to join the group. The council, announced Tuesday, will met bi-monthly to discuss a variety of issues affecting teachers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers in Delaware have unveiled legislation to ban the sale of semi-automatic guns that resemble military weapons.

The bill introduced Thursday was proposed by Democratic Gov. John Carney in the wake of last month's Florida high school shooting, which left 17 people dead.

Seven states and the District of Columbia have banned assault-style weapons, including neighboring Maryland and New Jersey. Delaware's legislation is based on the Maryland law, which was recently upheld by a federal appeals court.

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It’s snow time on Delmarva.

In Delaware New Castle County could get as much as 12-to-18 inches before the storm moves off on tonight.

Kent County is expected to see 6-to-8 inches while Sussex County could receive as much as 4-to-6 inches.          

Governor John Carney has issued a state of emergency that will allow Delaware National Guard Units to assist with the response to the storm.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A state panel on Monday boosted Delaware's official government revenue estimate by about $100 million, giving lawmakers more options in fashioning a budget for next fiscal year.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council increased its revenue forecast for the current year by $46 million compared to December's estimate. The increase is mostly due to higher projections for personal income tax revenue and abandoned property collections.