John Carney

One of the keys to the tourist season are rentals. Just this week, Governor John Carney (D-DE) lifted the temporary ban on short-term rentals beginning June 1. Lee Ann Wilkinson is CEO of Lee Ann Wilkinson Group Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty. She told Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush prior to the governor's decision that these rentals were essential for the tourist season.

Virus Update

May 1, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland is reporting more than 37,000 unemployment claims filed for last week. The numbers reported Thursday marked the third straight week the numbers have declined from more than 109,000 the week of April 4. There have been more than 385,000 claims filed in the last six weeks. That's an unprecedented surge in a state where businesses have been shuttered for weeks in response to the coronavirus. The number of cases has bedeviled the state labor department's unemployment website. Gov. Larry Hogan acknowledged the “serious problems” with a new website on Wednesday.

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With the coronavirus hitting the undocumented community in Delaware activists have sent a letter to the governor asking for more help. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with community activist Erika Gutierrez about that letter and what the community is seeking.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware lawmakers are continuing to hear spending requests from state agencies following Gov. John Carney's proposal last month to increase the government's operating budget by almost 4% next fiscal year.

The legislature's budget-writing committee will hear Wednesday from the Division of Public Health, the Division of Social Services and the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance.


(AP) Delaware lawmakers are set to hear spending requests from state agencies following Gov. John Carney's proposal to increase the government's operating budget by almost 4% next fiscal year.

The legislature's budget-writing committee convenes Tuesday for the first in a series of hearings on agency budget requests.

The committee will hear first from representatives of the Office of Management and Budget and the state departments of human resources and finance.

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Republican lawmakers have laid out a set of proposals to bring the death penalty back to Delaware.

Under the legislation capital punishment could be imposed for a mass murder that includes three deaths or more, repeat murder offenders, horribly inhumane deaths that include explosive devices and hate crimes.

Frontier Airline website

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Frontier Airlines is planning to resume service from Delaware almost five years after it ended operations at Wilmington-New Castle Airport.

Gov. John Carney's public schedule reflects that he will attend an event with Frontier on Tuesday in which the airline will announce a resumption of commercial service.

The governor's office declined to comment Monday.

A Frontier spokesman said in an email Monday that the company had nothing to add. Delaware has been the only state without commercial airline service since Frontier left in June 2015.


DOVER, Del. (AP/DPR) — Gov. John Carney is proposing tens of millions of dollars in capital investments to strengthen Delaware's economic infrastructure.

In his State of the State address Thursday, Carney called for investing $50 million in economic development initiatives.

This would include new programs to build lab space to help emerging companies grow, and to make commercial sites quickly available for prospective employers.

In addition, Carney push additional restrictions on guns noting the passage of the Beau Biden Violence initiative and the Red Flag laws.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware lawmakers want to establish a state trust fund to coordinate and manage financial resources for clean water initiatives.

Democratic Gov. John Carney signaled his support Tuesday by announcing that he would propose $50 million in next year's capital budget for wastewater, stormwater, drainage and drinking water infrastructure.

Officials say the $50 million is in addition to $20 million for clean water programs in the current year's budget, and can be used to leverage federal funds.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) — Attorneys for Gov. John Carney have dropped their opposition to Delaware's education secretary and budget director being deposed in a lawsuit alleging the state is failing to provide adequate educational opportunities for disadvantaged students.

A judge had planned to hear arguments Thursday on a requested protective order preventing Susan Bunting and Michael Jackson from being deposed.

The hearing was canceled after Carney's attorneys informed the court the dispute over the depositions had been resolved.

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(AP) Attorneys for Gov. John Carney are trying to prevent Delaware's education secretary and budget director from being deposed in a lawsuit alleging that the state is failing to provide adequate educational opportunities for disadvantaged students.

A judge planned to hear arguments Thursday on a requested protective order preventing Susan Bunting and Michael Jackson from being deposed.

Attorneys for the ACLU and Community Legal Aid Society say the two officials have knowledge and information that can't be obtained from others.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state Senate has unanimously confirmed Gov. John Carney's appointment of a veteran corporate law attorney to serve as a vice chancellor on Delaware's Court of Chancery.

Wednesday's vote clears the way for Paul Fioravanti Jr. to take his seat on the court, which is known for handling high-profile disputes involving some of the nation's largest companies, many of which are incorporated in Delaware.

Fioravanti has worked at a Delaware law firm for the past 20 years, focusing on corporate and commercial litigation.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Department of Corrections has 21 new correctional officers joining the department.

The Delaware State News reports that the new class graduated Friday with an hour-long graduation ceremony attended by Gov. John Carney.

The new officers are from Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The department still has 145 unfilled positions. That's about a 10% vacancy rate.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Senate has confirmed Democratic Gov. John Carney's nominees to serve as chief justice and associate justice on the state Supreme Court.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to confirm Associate Justice Collins Seitz Jr. as the successor to retiring Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr.

Seitz was appointed an associate justice in 2015 after a law career in private practice. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Villanova University law school.


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton has praised the appointment of an African American woman to the Delaware Supreme Court but says more needs to be done to increase diversity in the state's judiciary.

The Wilmington News Journal reports Sharpton spoke Thursday at a church in Wilmington.

He commended Gov. John Carney for appointing Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves to be an associate justice.

If confirmed, she would be the first black judge to serve on the state Supreme Court.

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There was no comment yesterday from Delaware Governor John Carney’s office in a question about Jaqueline Mette’s involvement a legal review of her brother’s Turf Hotel Tax.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Mette serves on the governor’s four-person legal team that reviews legislation approved by the General Assembly.

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A panel reviewing how effectively the Delaware school system is using a $75 million funding plan held its first meeting last night in Dover.

The plan backed by Governor John Carney is aimed at helping students from low-income families and those whose primary language is not English.

WBOC reports that the Opportunity Funding Community Engagement Committee will also examine ways to get the word out about the how the money can be most effectively used.

In addition, it will also recommend the rules and mechanisms for the program’s future.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Democratic governor is nominating two Democrats to seats on the state Supreme Court, maintaining the high court's partisan balance as he fights for the state constitution's provision requiring partisan balance among state court judges.

Gov. John Carney said Thursday he would nominate Justice Collins Seitz Jr. to become the Delaware Supreme Court's chief justice, replacing retiring Leo Strine Jr. Seitz has been an associate justice since 2015.


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A new memorial plaque has been erected in Delaware to mark the 1903 mob lynching of a black man accused of raping and killing a white woman.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the plaque dedicated to laborer George White was unveiled Sunday, replacing one stolen over the summer.

The newspaper says White's death is Delaware's only documented lynching. White was burned alive at the stake, and the mob took pieces of his body as souvenirs. Gov. John Carney and other officials attended the unveiling ceremony.

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Governor John Carney is calling for the federal government to enact strict gun laws.

The Delaware Democrat sent a letter to the president and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell along with 11 other governors calling for “red flag” laws.

These prevent people from buying a fire arm if they are deemed a risk to themselves or others.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the letter notes this year alone over 10-thousand people have been shot and killed with 570 over the last two weeks.

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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.

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.