John Carney

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's governor signed a package of bills into law Monday aimed at making it easier for formerly incarcerated people to get professional licenses in some trade fields.

Delaware State News reports Gov. John Carney signed three bills, which supporters say they hope will improve employment access by removing roadblocks for ex-convicts facing reentry challenges after prison.

The bills are designed to help job-seekers obtain licenses in trade fields as plumbers, electricians and massage therapists.

Don Rush

It’s called keeping it clean – the beaches that is.

Delaware Governor John Carney launched the anti-littering campaign in April around a month after 10 tons of trash showed up on Virginia Beach after the Memorial Day Weekend.

Rehoboth Mayor Paul Kuhns told the Wilmington News Journal that while he didn’t have any data on how it’s been going he walks the beach just about every day.

And, he says, he has not notice much trash left behind.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Delaware prison officials are taking more steps to ensure that inmates don't get illegal air mail deliveries.

Gov. John Carney planned to visit the state's maximum-security prison in Smyrna on Thursday to sign a bill into law making it a Class F felony to deliver, or attempt to deliver, contraband by drone into Delaware prison facilities.

Officials note that unmanned aircraft systems are capable of delivering contraband into detention facilities without undergoing inspections.

Delaware Army National Guard

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Roughly 250 soldiers in Delaware's Army National Guard are being deployed to southwest Asia.

The Delaware National Guard held a deployment ceremony Saturday at Delaware State University in Dover for the Guard's 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion.

The soldiers will be away for nearly a year as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. That's the Pentagon's name for military actions taken to combat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Delaware Gov. John Carney thanked the soldiers for their service at Saturday's sendoff.

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Governor John Carney has signed legislation that bars retailers from issuing single-use carryout plastic bags to customers.

The measure aims at cutting down the number of plastic bags that eventually wind up in landfills.

WBOC reports that stores with more than 7-thousand square feet or chain stores with three or more locations and at least 3-thousand square feet of sales space are effected.

Restaurants will also be affected with exceptions for bags used for such things as wrapping meat, other foods or flowers.

The measure goes into effect in 2021.

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Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine is stepping down from the bench half way through his term.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Strine handed his resignation letter to Governor John Carney on Monday with his retirement to take place in the fall.

A spokesman for the chief justice told the paper that Strine is on vacation apparently not available for comment.

But in his letter the chief justice said he expected to serve the people of Delaware in even more effective ways.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's state Senate has approved a capital budget of $863 million for construction and transportation projects in the fiscal year starting Monday.

The spending plan approved unanimously Thursday is significantly more than the $678.6 million proposed by Democratic Gov. John Carney in January, and $46 million higher than the current capital budget. The measure now moves to the House.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Senate lawmakers in Delaware have given final approval to a $4.45 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that starts next Monday

Democratic Gov. John Carney was expected to sign the fiscal 2020 budget Tuesday following the Senate's endorsement in a 20-to-1 vote.

The budget is about 4.2% higher than this year's budget, an increase greater than what Carney had proposed in January.

House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's governor has signed a bill giving state judges more discretion in sentencing criminals.

The bill signed Tuesday by Democratic Gov. John Carney expands the types of offenses for which a judge could impose concurrent, rather than consecutive, sentences. That means offenders convicted of multiple related crimes could face less prison time than what they would face under current law.

House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney's decision to defend a state mandate for political balance on Delaware's courts that has been declared unconstitutional has cost state taxpayers just under $47,000.

A federal judge this week approved an agreement calling for the state to pay attorney fees for the lawyer who successfully challenged the political balance mandate.

The judge ruled in 2017 that the political balance provision in Delaware's constitution violates the First Amendment by restricting government employment based on political affiliation.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a bill creating a new transportation infrastructure fund for Delaware.

The legislation approved Tuesday on a unanimous vote calls for $10 million in initial financing for the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The bill now goes to Gov. John Carney for his signature. Carney proposed the legislation earlier this year as a source of money that could be quickly tapped for economic development projects.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are poised to give final legislative approval to a bill creating a new transportation infrastructure fund for Delaware.

The legislation to be voted on Tuesday calls for $10 million in initial financing for the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund.

Supporters say the fund, proposed by Gov. John Carney, could be quickly tapped for economic development projects.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Barclays says it is relocating some 500 financial services jobs in Delaware to a new business campus in New Jersey.

Officials with the U.K.-based bank said Wednesday that job transitions from Wilmington to the Whippany, New Jersey, campus will begin this fall and will be completed by year's end.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have approved a bill requiring Delaware gun owners to safely store firearms so people who shouldn't have them don't get them.

The bill received a 23-18 vote Tuesday and now goes to Gov. John Carney.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill to legalize marijuana in Delaware is getting is first committee hearing in the legislature after a failed effort to pass a similar bill last year.

The bill is set to be considered Wednesday in the House Revenue and Finance Committee. It aims to eliminate the black market for pot by establishing a state-licensed industry that would create jobs while padding state coffers with licensing fees and taxes.

As a revenue-generating proposal, the bill doesn't allow Delawareans to grow their own marijuana for their personal use.

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Governor John Carney has announced a $60 million initiative that would target English learning students in Delaware.

Javier Torrijos Chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission noted that, “English learners are growing tremendously. Since 2003 it’s grown over 400 percent. And we have over 13-thousand EL students in Delaware.” He adds, “So, it’s extremely important that they have the funding, the resources that are needed, the resources for these children.”

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Legislative budget writers have added millions more in spending to Gov. John Carney's proposed $4.4 billion operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Joint Finance Committee finished marking up Carney's spending plan Thursday by adding millions more to the proposed operating budget for disabilities services, Medicaid dental care for adults and college scholarships for Delaware residents.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's attorney general is investigating the medical contractor for the state's prison system amid allegations that contract counselors were ordered to forge documents to falsely state that inmates were getting mental health treatment they never received.

The state Department of Justice confirmed the investigation this week and urged anyone with information about the record-keeping practices of Connections Community Support Programs Inc. to contact the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers are circulating bipartisan legislation to restore capital punishment in Delaware.

The legislation, expected to be introduced soon, specifies that the death penalty could not be imposed unless a jury, unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt, finds at least one aggravating circumstance that makes a crime eligible for capital punishment.

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REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - The garbage dumped on Delaware's roadways, waterways and parks and other public areas has state officials talking trash.

Gov. John Carney planned to join environmentalists and other elected officials on Tuesday in Rehoboth to launch a statewide campaign encouraging Delawareans not to litter and to help clean up outdoor spaces.

The campaign comes after a state Anti-Dumping and Anti-Littering Task Force issued a report last year with several recommendations to get Delawareans to clean up their act.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has given final approval to a bill establishing in-person early voting in Delaware, starting in January 2022.

The legislation was approved Thursday on a 16-5 vote, following passage in the House last month.  It now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney, who says he will sign it into law.

The bill allows registered voters to cast ballots at least 10 days before an election at locations - at least one in each of Delaware's three counties, and in the city of Wilmington - to be determined by the state elections commissioner.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney has lost his latest challenge to a federal judge's ruling invalidating a state mandate for political balance on Delaware's courts.

A three-judge appeals panel upheld that ruling in February, saying that limiting membership on Delaware's Chancery, Superior and Supreme courts to Democrats and Republicans was unconstitutional.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. John Carney has signed legislation adding Delaware to a group of states pledging to give their Electoral College presidential votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the voters' will in those states.

Carney's approval Thursday makes Delaware the 13th Democratic-leaning state to join the popular-vote compact, which now has 184 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.

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There was a gathering last night at a Newark mosque where Delaware officials and religious leaders came together to discuss safety precautions in the wake of the New Zealand shooting that left 50 dead.

Among those attending were Governor John Carney as well as Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper.

WBOC reports Coons declared that the state of Delaware government officials stand in solidarity with them in the fight for justice and peace.

Don Rush

Governor John Carney kicked off the effort to raise the age for buying tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21.

During yesterday’s news conference the Delaware Democrat noted that many of the cardiovascular diseases arise from smoking.

Deborah Brown with the American Lung Association told WBOC that tobacco related diseases are a major driver behind the high cost of health care.

The state estimates that it costs Delaware around a half billion dollars each year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Board of Pardons is recommending that a former county police chief who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a government corruption case be pardoned.

Following Thursday's recommendation, John Cunningham's pardon request now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

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Governor John Carney stopped by the White House yesterday along with other state governors.

And they talked with the president about revitalizing low-income communities and dealing with the drug epidemic.

The Delaware Democrat was there while attending the National Governors Association Winter meeting.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there are over 87-hundred Opportunities Zones in the country with 25 in Delaware.

Many of those are near Wilmington.

Meanwhile, the governors also discussed methods to combat the opioid crisis.

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Governor Larry Hogan has called his fellow governor in Virginia to step down.

The Maryland Republican’s remarks on a CBS affiliate comes on the heels of racist photos in Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook.

Hogan said, “It’s completely unacceptable. I’m sure he has lost the confidence of the people.”

WBOC reports that the scandal led to the postponement of an event that had been scheduled for Salisbury University in which Hogan, Northam and Delaware’s governor John Carney were the appeared.

Lt. Governor's Accusers Goes Public

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A federal appeals panel has upheld a ruling that a provision in Delaware's constitution requiring a political balance among state court judges is unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in favor of James Adams, a lawyer who sued Democratic Gov. John Carney over a constitutional provision that requires the governor to split judicial nominations between the two major political parties. Adams says he wanted to apply for judgeships, but he didn't meet the political affiliation requirements.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. John Carney is proposing an increase in Delaware's operating budget of almost 4 percent next fiscal year, boosting spending to more than $4.4 billion dollars.

The budget proposal unveiled by Carney on Thursday includes another pay raise for state employees equal to the raises they received this year, and tens of millions in new spending targeting disadvantaged students in public schools.

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