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					                        DELAWARE VOTER
                                                The League of Women Voters of Delaware



 Summer 2009                   lwvde@voicenet.com                      http://www.de.lwv.org                 Volume 52 No. 1
 President: Sandra Spence                                                                                Editor: Letty Diswood


 The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in
 government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and
 advocacy.

           PRESIDENT‟S MESSAGE

I am so incredibly proud of the LWVDE! In this issue
of the Voter, you will read of many of the important
legislative issues we have been addressing. Thanks to
the dedicated work of many active leaders, we have
worked hard to make Delaware a better home for all of
us.

I want to point particularly to our dedicated, volunteer
registered lobbyists: Lisa Pertzoff (energy and
environment), Pat Todd (natural resources, especially
recycling), Joann Hasse (health care), Mickey McKay
(open government), Letty Diswood (elections), and
Christine Stillson and myself (housing). Any given day
the legislature was in session, you would be likely to
find two, three or more of us in Dover, attending
hearings, speaking up on League positions, working
closely with key legislators, and generally making a
difference.

Our registered lobbyists were backed up by a number
of additional active ―policy wonks‖ who worked
diligently through our monthly state Action Committee               Sandy Spence, elected president for 2009-11, addressing
meetings to analyze, prioritize and act on legislative              delegates at the LWVDE Convention, May 7, 2009 at the
issues. They included Clare Brigidini on equal rights;              Noble Eagle, Dover.
Peggy Schultz and her team on land use, transportation
and its intersection with the sticky workforce housing              interested in getting more involved with the League.
issues in New Castle County that have potential                     Finally, we have formed a Governance Committee that
statewide implications; John Sykes who helped out on                is exploring ways to increase efficiency, effectiveness
energy issues, especially the updated energy provisions             and service to our members by reducing duplication of
of the state building code; Janet Kramer on justice                 effort and continue our efforts to undertake cooperative
issues; plus Roberta Ray, Valerie Driscoll, Judy                    action at the state and local League levels. If you have
Taggert, Esther Shelton, Chad Tolman and others.                    any suggestions for our consideration, please contact
                                                                    me directly at sandyspence325@gmail.com! We will
We have a huge agenda for the coming year –                         have a more complete report on this work in our next
including the 90th anniversary celebration of the                   State Voter.
LWVUS, a forum on gambling as a source of state                     Sandy Spence
revenue, a retreat ―at the beach‖ for everyone
                                                              1
   INVESTING IN THE FUTURE AND/OR                                title is: ―Investing in the future and/or betting on the
       BETTING ON THE FUTURE                                     future.‖ However, one question is whether October is
                                                                 too late to hold the forum since casinos could already
                                                                 be approved in August!! Another question is whether
Katherine Flaherty needs your input!
                                                                 there is strong enough League support and interest to
                                                                 proceed further in organizing the forum. It will require
The League of Women Voters of Delaware is                        a strong working committee to assist with choosing
considering holding a forum in early October on the              and contacting speakers/moderator, logistics, and
pros/cons of gambling as a viable state revenue                  community outreach. A co-chairperson would also be
source. However, the government is moving rapidly to             very beneficial. To indicate your support and/or
legalize casinos by August or September.                         willingness to continue with this program, and any
                                                                 other comments regarding this issue, please contact me
In March Governor Markell presented Delaware‘s state             at kflaherty3@verizon.net or call the LWVNCC office
budget to the public. To help close the budget gap of            at 571-8948.
$800,000,000 he strongly urged both the legalization of
sports betting and casinos. By mid-May the sports
betting component was approved and voted on by the                   LEGISLATIVE ROUND-UP JULY 2009
General Assembly.          The ―final‖ budget vote to
legalize and install casinos for the first time in               Lisa Pertzoff
Delaware is still not approved. On May 8 ―in seven
tightly choreographed minutes, the House introduced              The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political
and approved a surprise amendment that put table                 organization, encourages informed and
games on the front burner, pushing Delaware‘s                    active participation in government, works to increase
racetrack slot-machine venues into full-blown casinos,           understanding of major public policy issues, and
‖ which include roulette, blackjack, craps, and poker.           influences public policy through education and
Meanwhile others question ―why can‘t we encourage                advocacy.
legitimate business in Delaware that provides a product
and infuses communities with sound employment and                In keeping with its mission, The LWVDE is heavily
contributes to a better state of welfare for all?‖               involved in analyzing legislation related to its major
                                                                 areas of concern. The first year of the 145th Legislative
The legalization of casinos has become a rapidly                 session, January-June 2009, produced more than sixty
developing legislative initiative. Since June in ―public         bills in which the League had an interest.
meetings‖ the Table Games Committee, comprised of
Acting Secretary of Finance Tom Cook (the son of                 Some we supported, some we vigorously opposed, and
State Senator Nancy Cook), Controller General Russ               many we merely monitored. We have a number of
Larson and Dover Downs CEO Ed Sutor, have been                   volunteer lobbyists, each of whom has a portfolio of
trying to resolve what the revenue shares between the            bills related to a given subject. This year the portfolios
casinos and the state government will be. If they can            were Equal Rights; Health care; Housing; Justice; Land
not reach a compromise in the next 15 days, they could           Use & Transportation; Natural Resources; Open
then present their proposal(s) to a special session of the       Government; & Voting & elections.
General Assembly for a vote in August or September.
                                                                 There were some splendid outcomes and a couple of
The League of Women Voters of Delaware has not yet               disappointing ones. A number of bills were not acted
done a formal study on gambling as a state revenue               upon and may come up again next year in the final leg
source so can not take an official position. However,            of the two-year session. In some cases, this in itself
we are a well-regarded civic organization to hold a              represents a sort of victory, since often the best we can
forum because of our reputation to be professional,              do is try to get a bad bill postponed in hopes that it will
fair, and non-partisan. One of our primary missions is           be either amended or stricken with further study.
to educate and inform the public on current major                There was even one cliffhanger (see below under
legislative topics. This issue certainly falls into that         Natural Resources), the outcome of which is still
category.                                                        uncertain.

We have tentatively scheduled a statewide forum on               Whatever the status of the bills, be assured that the
the pro/cons of gambling as a state revenue source for           League had a constant presence in Legislative Hall this
Tuesday October 13 in Dover. In fact, one suggested              year, carrying out its function of ―active and informed
                                                                 participation in government.‖
                                                             2
                                              NATURAL RESOURCES
                          * ENERGY * WIND * SOLID WASTE * * BOTTLE BILL *

Lisa Pertzoff & Pat Todd had seventeen bills in their             We supported SB 129, allowing farmers to accept
portfolio this year, many of which enable or otherwise            treated water for the irrigation of certain crops, &
encourage energy conservation & use of renewable                  followed with interest SB 72, reauthorizing the Water
energy resources. We are encouraged by all this                   Supply Coordinating Council. We also testified in
legislative activity, and hope this emerging trend                favor of HB 138, that extends tax credits for the
reflects in part the Markell administration‘s emphatic            Delaware Land & Historic Resources Protection Act.
commitment to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions               All three bills passed.
& the development of green energy industry in the
State. Below is a summary of some of the high spots.              Although we had insufficient time to take a position or
                                                                  positive action, we are pleasantly surprised to report
HS 1 for HB 49 & HS 1 for HB 70 prohibit future                   the passage of SB 153, which prepares Delaware for
deed restrictions & covenants from barring the                    grid-integrated electric vehicles – the so-called ―V2G‖
installation of, respectively, rooftop solar panels &             law.
wind energy systems in residential
developments. The League testified                                                        HCR 7 provides an inspiring
in favor of both bills, which passed.     WANT TO TRACK LEGISLATION?                      example of citizen democracy at
                                            Check out this Delawareonline Link!!          work. Due almost exclusively to
Delaware‟s             groundbreaking                                                     the       multi-year,       patient
Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)             This is a terrific resource. Among
                                                                                          persistence of one man, Richard
legislation, passed at the end of the                                                     Schneider,      and      eventually
                                             other characteristics, you can enter
last session under the patient guidance                                                   supported by every major
of its sponsor, Senator Harris               keywords to find all legislation with        environmental organization in
McDowell, was bolstered by two new           status and links to the bill itself. If      the State, including the LWV,
bills.     League-supported SB 85            you follow the link below, you will          The Department of Natural
eliminates forfeiture of excess electric     find a list of all legislation               Resources & Environmental
generation        by      customer-sited     introduced in 2009, with various             Control has been urged to
renewable energy systems, so that            sorting capabilities:                        require all facilities in Delaware
customers can sell unused electricity                                                     to utilize the best technology
back to the grid, thereby promoting           http://php.delawareonline.com/leg/voti      available     for cooling water-
the SEU‘s goal of 300 megawatts of                         ng/bills.php                   intake structures in order to
customer-sited solar power by 2019.                                                       reduce massive fish kills.
SB 173, which we monitored, updates & clarifies the
SEU law. Both bills passed.                                        Perhaps the greatest victory of all for the League the
                                                                   entire session occurred this week with the Governor
SB 59 encountered stiff opposition, but we are                     Markell‘s veto of HB 201. This controversial bill,
delighted to report that it passed both chambers and is            called the “Bottle Bill Repeal,” introduced on June 9th,
awaiting action by the Governor. This bill updates                 was rushed through the Legislature at the last minute
seriously outdated building code requirements for                  on June 30.       The LWV had been consistently
energy efficiency while ensuring that Delaware                     outspoken in its opposition to the bill, issuing an
receives its full share of federal stimulus money.                 Action Alert urging all legislators to vote no, as well as
                                                                   making personal contact with many of them in order to
SB 106, on which we took no position, but followed                 explain our position. Upon its passage, Pat Todd went
carefully, creates Energy Efficiency Resource                      into high gear, sending hundreds of emails and making
Standards (EERS) intended to reduce significantly                  dozens of phone calls, generally mobilizing the troops
consumption of both electricity & natural gas by 2015.             to ask the Governor to veto the bill. His veto, for
The bill, which passed, emphasizes that energy                     which we commend him, suggests that he is willing to
efficiency is the least expensive and most effective               buck the Legislature in order to respond to his
way to meets the State‘s growing demand for                        constituents.
electricity.                                                       Lisa Pertzoff


                                                             3
                          THE STATE OF OPEN GOVERNMENT IN DELAWARE:

A land mark achievement in advancing Open                         governments.
Government occurred in the closing days of the 144th
Delaware General Assembly when majorities in both                 In 2008, an effort was made (SB 264) to resolve this
houses approved passage of HB1 extending open                     obstacle by creating a separate Office of General
government requirements to the General assembly.                  Counsel that would provide legal advise, counsel and
With its passage Delaware joins a growing number of               services to state administrative offices and agencies. If
States that have taken similar action.                            adopted, SB 264 would have removed the existing
                                                                  ―conflict‖ issue. SB 264 did not pass.
The current exceptions that apply to public bodies and
public records and that are enshrined in the original             It‘s likely that the ―conflict‖ issue will reappear on the
FOI statute would continue to apply to meetings and               145th GA agenda. The Delaware LWV will be ready to
records of the Delaware General Assembly- with the                monitor that effort and be prepared to take appropriate
exception of emails which HB1 exempts.                            action.
                                                                  Mickey McKay
The League‘s official position on HB1 did not include
the email exemption.                                                         REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE

                                                                  SB 124 (Bonini) requires either a custodial parent or
                                                                  the legal guardian to be given notice of an
                                                                  unemancipated minor‘s impending abortion. The
                                                                  Judicial bypass option remains.   It was defeated in
                                                                  committee. LWVDE opposes
                                                                  Joann Hasse

                                                                           PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE

                                                                  SB 169 (Ennis) will make blocking ingress or egress
                                                                  from a health care facility a Class B misdemeanor. The
                                                                  bill reads ―A person is guilty of obstructing ingress to
Mickey McKay (standing) giving a training session to League
members on „How to do an FOIA audit” before LWVDE
                                                                  or egress from a health care facility when the person:
Convention started, at the Noble Eagle May 7, 2009.               1) knowingly obstructs, detains, hinders, impedes, or
                                                                  blocks another person‘s entry to or exit from a health
                                                                  care facility; or (2) knowingly approaches another
League members can take justifiable pride in the                  person, within eight feet of the person, unless such
success of HB1‟s passage. In the previous year, the               person consents, for the purpose of protest, education
Delaware LWV waged a spirited campaign to raise the               or counseling of such other person in the public way or
public consciousness of the importance of transparency            area within a radius of one hundred feet from the
in government. The League conducted public FOIA                   exterior perimeter of the health care facility.‖ The bill
Forums in all three counties. Op ED articles, Letters to          passed the Senate June 29 and was assigned to the
the Editor and member‘s direct urging of their State              Judiciary committee in the House. LWVDE supports.
legislators all contributed to a rising crescendo of              Joann Hasse
voices demanding more openness in government
agencies.
                                                                       The VOTER is published 3-4 times a year by the
Their still remains another major obstacle to                          League of Women Voters of Delaware. Subscription is
fundamental openness. The Attorney General‘s                           free with a membership in the LWVDE. President:
Constitutional mandate to serve as the attorney for                    Sandra Spence, LWVDE Home page:
                                                                       www.de.lwv.org and e-mail: lwvde@voicenet.com
State agencies prevents him/her from investigating FOI                 Editor: Letty Diswood
citizen complaints of State agency violations. No such
conflict exists for FOI complaints against local

                                                              4
                                                  HEALTH CARE

 ―Several bills addressing insurance and access issues          HB 38 (Rep. Cathcart, Sen. Hall-Long) requires mental
have been introduced in the General Assembly this               hospitals and residential centers covered by the Mental
session and we will follow and likely support them.             Health Patients‘ Bill of Rights Act to report deaths and
However, unless the state‘s fiscal situation improves           critical incidents to the State Protection and Advocacy
dramatically, if they have a fiscal note in order to            Agency (CLASI) which is authorized by federal law to
implement them, their passage is extremely unlikely.‖           investigate such occurrences.
The above is from my annual report in the spring
Voter. As you know, the fiscal situation did not                HB 39 (Rep. Cathcart, Sen. Hall-Long) applies the
improve but there are some victories to report.                 anti-retaliation and protective provisions which
                                                                previously applied only to the licensed long term care
SS1 for SB 35 (Sen. Blevins), a version of which we             beds at the Delaware Psychiatric Center (only part of
have supported for several years, finally passed and has        the DPC beds are licensed as LTC beds) to all patients
been signed.        It gives the Delaware Insurance             and employees at DPC facilities.
Department the authority to review and approve health
insurance rates ―in a manner consistent with other              DPC Passed House; awaiting Senate action:
insurers‖. Previously a health insurer‘s rate filing            HB 37 (Rep. Cathcart, Sen. Hall-Long) adds various
could only be disapproved if it was inadequate. Now             protections to the Mental Health Patients‘ Bill of
the Commissioner has the authority to determine that            Rights Act, including safeguards in administration of
the rates are fair and not excessive.                           restraint and requirement of an enhanced patient
                                                                grievance system for DPC patients.
HB 139 (Rep. Schooley, Sen. Blevins) is a small step
forward in increasing coverage for children by                  HB 163 w/HA 1 (Rep. Cathcart, Sen. Hall-Long)
allowing families with incomes over 200% of the FPL             creates a committee to assess deaths of individuals
to buy into CHIP and get reduced cost health insurance          receiving residential services through the DHSS or
if they meet certain criteria. The bill, which awaits the       DHSS-funded private providers. The purpose of the
Governor‘s signature, specifies there will be no cost to        committee is to assess causation; promote
the state unless funds are specifically appropriated            improvements in policies, practice and the service
                                                                delivery system; and reduce prospects for preventable
Delaware Psychiatric Center                                     deaths. The amendment allows the Sec. of DHSS to
Three of the bills in the ―DPC package‖ which resulted          create a committee to potentially eliminate reviews of
from the House committee‘s investigation last year of           expected deaths (e.g. patients with terminal illnesses).
the problems at the Delaware Psychiatric Center passed
in the final days of the session and are awaiting the           Affecting Health Insurance
Governor‘s signature. Two others were assigned to the           Supported by LWVDE
Senate Executive committee and were delayed by the              HB 85 w/HA1 (Reps. B. Short, D. Short, Sen. Blevins)
illness and death of Senator Thurman Adams. Another             implements recommendations of the DE Health Care
two have large fiscal notes and did not progress beyond         Commission and its Small Business Health Insurance
a House committee hearing. All were/are on our                  committee to reform rating rules for the small
―Monitor‖ list.                                                 employer group. The bill compresses rate variations
                                                                between high risk and low risk groups, reduces rating
DPC Awaiting Governor‟s signature:                              factors from seven to three, limits annual increases and
HB 36 (Rep. Cathcart) clarifies the role of the                 decreases due to changes in health status to 15 per cent,
Community Legal Aid Society (CLASI), which has                  and prohibits the sale of ‗stop-loss‘ coverage in the
been designated for the past 30 years as Delaware‘s             small group market. Passed House; awaiting Senate
Protection and Advocacy Agency pursuant to federal              action.
law, in protecting patients and residents in nursing and
similar facilities.     Complementing the existing              HB 137 (Reps. B. Short, D. Short, Sen. Blevins)
protective system operated by the Dept. of Health and           requires the Insurance Commissioner to arrange for
Social Services, CLASI is authorized to solicit and             random audits of small employer health insurance
investigate reports of abuse, neglect, mistreatment and         carriers doing business in Delaware. It was released
financial exploitation in covered facilities. The bill          from committee in House.
also deters interference and retaliation against persons        Joann Hasse
cooperating with such investigations.
                                                            5
                                                JUSTICE SYSTEM

The LWVDE works closely with SURJ (Stand Up                        JUSTICE ISSUES FOCUSING ON THE
for What Is Right and Just) This article is taken                           MENTALLY ILL
from its update to supporters.
                                                                Chief Justices‟ Criminal Justice/Mental Health
                                                                             Leadership Initiative
HB 168 Update                                                 This year Delaware was one of only four states
                                                              selected by the Council of State Governments (CSG)
                                                              Justice Center to participate in the Chief
 Thanks to many of you who took the time to call or           Justices‘Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership
 email Representatives on the House Judiciary                 Initiative, a national project in its second year, to
 Committee. HB 168, which would repeal                        address the critical issues of the increasing numbers of
 mandatory minimum drug sentences, was released               mentally ill entering and within the criminal justice
 from Committee in June. However, with a                      system. As one of the states selected, Delaware will
 controversial budget bill dominating much of the             receive funding and technical assistance from the CSG
 legislature's time and focus, many important bills,          Justice Center and National GAINS Center.
 including HB 168, ultimately did not receive a floor
 hearing.                                                     Delaware Chief Justice Myron T. Steele has designated
                                                              Delaware Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont
 House Speaker Bob Gilligan said:                             Ridgely as the chair of the project due to his extensive
                                                              experience with criminal justice and mental health
 "As in previous sessions, H.B. 168 is likely to be           issues.
 debated at length on the House floor. With just
 hours left in this year's legislative session, we have       Justice Ridgely at the first meeting in fall of 2008
 numerous issues, including the state's budget, that          stated, ―Delaware has already initiated substantial
 need to be resolved. Since the Senate does not               efforts to divert those with mental illnesses from the
 intend to take up this bill today, I feel the best           criminal justice system, including the establishment of
 course is to wait until next year to give H.B. 168 the       pilot mental health courts in New Castle County.
 attention it deserves."                                      Through the Delaware Supreme Court‘s Criminal
                                                              Justice and Mental Health Task Force, we look forward
 National research continues to point to mandatory            to the opportunity to support and expand these
 minimum drug sentencing as a contributing factor             initiatives, and to explore new ways to improve the
 to uncontrollable prison growth. A new report by             treatment of the mentally ill within Delaware‘s
 The Sentencing Project indicates that more                   criminal justice system. The Task force has the joint
 prisoners today are serving life terms than ever             goals of improving the quality of life for those with
 before - 140,610 out of 2.3 million. Inmates are             mental illnesses in Delaware, increasing public safety,
 being held in jails and prisons across the                   and ensuring that state funds directed towards mental
 country due to tough mandatory minimum-                      health issues are being used most cost-effectively.‖
 sentencing laws and the declining use of parole.
                                                              Some of the topics that have been discussed thus far
 SURJ will continue to advocate for the repeal of             include expansion of the Mental Health Courts; the
 unjust, ineffective, and expensive mandatory                 timely availability of Medicaid for inmates
 minimum drug sentencing laws. When the session               approaching release; the establishment of a truancy
 resumes in January 2010, SURJ will continue to               court in Family Court; the expansion of the formulary
 rally for this important bill to get a fair hearing on       for mental health medications in the prison system and
 the floor of the House of Representatives. Our               the development of mental health services for those
 efforts have been delayed, but we are not defeated!          about to reenter the community.

                                                              The Task Force is made up of a number of
                                                              representatives from the Court System, elected
                                                              officials, the Correction System, the Department of
                                                              Children, Youth and Their Families, the Department of
                                                                              (Continued on page 7 Justice System)
                                                          6
(Continued from page 6 Justice System)                        etc., and sell for prices in the $200,000s. The
                                                              developments already accepted for workforce housing
Health and Social Service, service providers and              in New Castle County are in areas zoned S, or
community groups. Three League of Women Voters                ―Suburban.‖ Originally zoned for 1.3 dwelling units
members are active on this Task Force- Representative         per acre these developments are eligible for building at
Deborah Hudson, Janet Kramer, MD FACP CCHP                    2.6 dwelling units per acre. H.B. 30, sponsored by
invited to serve on the Task Force in May 2009 and            Earl Jaques of southern New Castle County, has
Stephanie Symons, Esq., past Executive Director of            support from both advocates and detractors of
SURJ, staffs the Task Force in the Administrative             workforce housing. ―This bill increases the Voluntary
Office of the Courts.                                         School Assessment fee paid by developers to more
Janet Kramer                                                  accurately reflect current school construction costs.‖
                                                              An amendment is less universally favored. It limits the
                                                              fee raise to residents of the Appoquinimink School
                                                              District.
  LWV of Delaware, The Medical Society of
Delaware and Christiana Care Join July 15 for                 H.B. 82 and H.B.173, sponsored by Rep. Richard
     Live Satellite/Internet Broadcast-                       Cathcart of Middletown, both require written
                                                              disclosure regarding the impact of workforce housing
                                                              on purchasers of workforce and non-workforce
        THE MENTALLY ILL IN JAIL
                                                              housing, in communities which have two or more units
                                                              of Workforce Housing.
Twenty      League     members,     Department      of        Peggy Schultz
Justice/Correction    professionals    and    medical
professionals attended the three hour broadcast in the
Conference Center of the Wilmington Hospital. The
program was sponsored by the National Institute of
Corrections and the American Jail Association.                      STUDY COMMITTEE UPDATE:
Afterward, the group spent another 45 minutes                      PROPERTY TAX REASSESSMENT
discussing issues pertinent to Delaware. Wendy L.
Gainor, Senior Director, Professional Services,               New Castle County has not reassessed property since
Medical Society of Delaware and LWVNCC member                 1983. Kent County hasn't had a reassessment since
of the Urban Health and Justice Committee,                    1986, and Sussex County values are stuck in 1974.1
coordinated the successful program.
Janet Kramer                                                  Delaware's counties haven't reassessed in so long
                                                              because there is little incentive to do so. Reassessments
                                                              are expensive and time-consuming, and state law
                                                              prevents counties from reaping a windfall. If counties
    TRANSPORTATION AND LAND USE                               reassess, they must roll back the tax rate so the total
                                                              amount of revenue raised is the same as the previous
In June your Transportation/Land Use Portfolio                year's revenue. Counties are allowed to capture 15
Director sent a letter to House and Senate legislators        percent more money than the previous year, and that
involved in the Bond Bill, urging their support of a          money must be used to cover the cost of the
continuing source of revenue for investments in open          reassessment.2
space and farmland preservation.
                                                              To keep assessments more in line with market values,
We have also been following several bills that                most states have periodic or rolling reassessments. In
originated in the House and have not gone beyond the          Maryland, for example, there is a three-year rolling
House during the current legislative session. All this        assessment, which means one-third of all properties are
proposed legislation is related to workforce housing, a       reassessed every year. In California, every sale of a
particularly hot topic in New Castle County.                  house or building triggers an assessment update.3
―Workforce housing‖ is a density bonus provided to
builders who purchase density rights from land in rural       A study committee for property tax reassessment was
areas for the construction of additional homes in             established at the 2009 State Convention. The purpose
growth zones. A few of these extra homes are then
reserved for people who are teachers, policepersons,          (Continued on page 8 Property Tax Reassessment)
                                                          7
(Continued from page 7 Property Tax Reassessment)               recommendations for a fair and equitable reassessment
                                                                system for the State.
of the study is to give fact-based information about the
impact of Delaware‘s counties‘ failure to reassess and          Upcoming activities include contacting interested
to develop facts that could provide a basis for elected         individuals to serve on the study committee and
officials to support reassessment.                              establishing a list of meeting dates and times for the
                                                                months of September through December. If you would
To date, assessment practices in selcted states are being       like to be involved as a member of the study committee
explored so that the committee can review that                  or as a reviewer and commentator please contact Ann
material. In addition, Dr. Edward Ratledge, Director            C. Case, Study Committee Chair at
for the Center of Applied Demography and Survey at              CaseAC45@aol.com or by phone at (302) 227-2416.
the University of Delaware has agreed to be of
assistance. Dr. Ratledge was the primary investigator           News Journal, Feb. 4, 2009; News Journal, Feb. 4,
for the report prepared last year in response to a              2009 Ibid
General       Assembly       resolution       requesting        Ann C. Case


                                     LWVDE CONVENTION 2009 WRAP-UP

                                                                committee (Action will continue to be taken under
                                                                LWVDE current position.)

                                                                The study is worded intentionally broad so that the
                                                                study committee can start where its sees the most
                                                                effective effort and timeliness.
                                                                Healthcare: Continuing Study - A study of the
                                                                financing and delivery of health care in Delaware with
                                                                emphasis on following the work of the Delaware
                                                                Health Care Commission and related committees.
Rashmi Rangan, outgoing president, receiving a thank
you gift certificate for an outstanding job, presented by        Natural Resources: Energy - Continuing Study:
Carole Walsh, secretary.                                        To Study an Energy Plan for Delaware minimizing
                                                                climate change including changes in land use patterns
Delegates adopted lean budgets for 2009-11; amended             and transportation issues. Rewording proposed by the
the bylaws to change the fiscal year June 30 to July 1;         LWVDE/NCC Energy Committee.
elected a dynamic new board which is listed at end of
this Voter; and voted for the current program that
                                                                The following Biographies were not included in
included the following continuing and new studies.
                                                                the Winter Voter which included the LWVDE
< State Government: New Study - Study of the                    Convention 2009 and the slate of nominations
proposed reorganization of state government by                  with biographies.
creating the Office of General Counsel and transferring
some of the powers of the Department of Justice to the          ROBERTA S. RAY (DIRECTOR)
Office of General Counsel. Proposed by LWVDE
Action committee                                                League membership and activities:
                                                                Joined the League following retirement in 2007.
< Property Assessment: New Study - Study of                     League membership was a retirement gift from an
property assessment for tax purposes in Delaware and            active League member—a wonderful membership
the three counties. Proposed by LWVSC                           recruitment idea.
Social Policy: Justice System: Continuing Study - A             ° Participated in voter registration activities.
re-evaluation of Delaware‘s criminal justice system             ° Joined the Urban Health/Justice study group.
and the impact of the current policies and practices on         ° In concert with Joann Hasse, Janet Kramer, Letty
society. Proposed by the LWVDE/NCC Urban Health                     Diswood and community partners, planned and
                                                                                (Continued on page 9 Biographies)

                                                            8
                                                                   providing training in child mental health issues for
(Continued from page8 Biographies)                                 foster parents and working with the Delaware
                                                                   Emergency Management Agency to develop
implemented the 2009 League Day in Dover on Access                 emergency shelters for children separated from
   to Mental Health Services in Delaware                           family members during disasters.
° Board of Directors, LWVNCC, 2008-2009; chair
   of budget committee; currently Secretary,
   LWVNCC Board                                                 CHAD TOLMAN (Nominating Committee)
° Board of Directors, LWVDE, 2008-2009,
   attending as designated representative of Jane
                                                                Chad is a PhD physical chemist who came to
   Dilley, President, LWVNCC; appointed to
                                                                Wilmington to work for DuPont. Since retiring, he has
   committee on e-Voter; currently nominee for
                                                                taught at Del Tech, UD Chemistry, and the Academy
   LWVDE Board
                                                                of Lifelong Learning, and worked in Washington at the
Some background:
                                                                National Science Foundation and the National
° Native of Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Washington)
                                                                Research Council. He joined the League in 2006 and
   who grew up looking out the living room windows
                                                                presented a workshop on energy and climate change at
   to check on Mount Rainier each morning before
                                                                the national convention in Minneapolis. Chad now
   going off to school.
                                                                serves as a moderator for the [lwv-climatechange]
° Prior to moving to Delaware, also lived in Oregon,
                                                                listserv, and as a member of the League‘s Climate
   Wisconsin and Colorado while pursuing
                                                                Change Task Force, where he has participated in
   undergraduate and graduate education, and doing
                                                                writing a number of information and position papers.
   research and teaching at Oregon Research Institute,
                                                                (See:
   University of Wisconsin-Madison and University
                                                                http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Globa
   of Denver. Active in professional organizations
                                                                l_Climate_Change)
   and in local advocacy groups.
° Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with specialization in
                                                                Chad leads an interdenominational group of DE
   Child Clinical; teaching, research and publication
                                                                churches, the Coalition for Climate Change Study and
   primarily in areas of child/family therapy,
                                                                Action, and writes a monthly electronic newsletter,
   assessment methods, child psychopathology
                                                                Climate Change News (on the web at
   (attention deficit disorder, aggression).
                                                                http://uuministryforearth.org/res_warming.htm. Look
° Interest in development and evaluation of public
                                                                for Climate Change News from Chad Tolman. He
   sector mental health services led to move to
                                                                serves on the Energy Committee of LWVNCC, the
   Delaware in 1988 to assume position as Deputy
                                                                Advocacy Committee of the Delaware Nature Society,
   Director, Division of Child Mental Health Services
                                                                and is the Energy Chair of the Delaware Chapter of the
   in the Department of Services for Children, Youth
                                                                Sierra Club. He recently served on the Footprint
   and Their Families. After 18+ years, retired from
                                                                Workgroup of the DE Governor‘s Energy Advisory
   the Department as Director of Clinical
                                                                Council. He has three children and five grandchildren.
   Accountability Services.
° Two of the most interesting and involving
   activities during the last years in this position were

             THANKS TO OUR ADVERTISERS – WE NEED MORE - CALL 302-571-8948




                                                                          Delaware Council on
   Your Fair Lending Advocate in Delaware
                                                                        Gambling Problems, Inc.
   Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc.
   601 North Church Street, Wilmington, DE 19801                               www .dcgp.org
                                                                             888-850-8888
   302-654-5024 or 877-825-0750 x 100 Fax 302-654-5046
                 www.dcrac.org
            Many programs NAA approved


                                                            9
                                                       ACTION TAKEN

July 14, 2009
To: Members of the Public Service Commission
From: Sandra Spence, President, Brian Kramer, Co-chair, Energy Study

                         COMMENTS ON DELMARVA‟S REVISED IRP OF NOVEMBER 3, 2008

The League of Women Voters of Delaware appreciates this opportunity for additional comment on Delmarva Power‘s November
3, 2008 update of its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Although, as we previously stated, this revision is a significant improvement
over the original version of December 1, 2006, rapid changes that we feel are in the best interests of the citizens of Delaware are
rendering the IRP increasingly deficient. These changes include, among others, the increased focus of our Federal and State
Governments on renewable energy and energy efficiency, pending Federal legislation on a cap and trade system for carbon dioxide
emissions, enactment of Energy Efficiency Resource Standard legislation in Delaware and likely changes to the Renewable Energy
Portfolio Standard (RPS).
Our major concerns with the IRP include:
     1. External health and environmental costs of pollution resulting from the continued use of fossil fuels, especially coal, have
         not been taken into account, thereby rendering cost comparisons of alternative sources of energy invalid. This flaw has
         been pointed out repeatedly by various groups and individuals, to little effect.
     2. Potential costs of climate change policies over the time span of the IRP appear to have been underestimated, again calling
         into question comparisons between various energy sources.
     3. There is insufficient analysis of the potential for including additional renewable energy sources, especially off shore wind
         power. The emphasis seems to be on meeting RPS requirements rather than on what is best for Delaware.
     4. The potential impact of energy conservation and distributed renewable energy programs appears to be underestimated.
The League fully appreciates the difficulties that Delmarva faces in developing a long range plan in the face of a rapidly changing
environment. However, it must be noted that each of the deficiencies we cite works to the detriment of renewable energy and
energy conservation relative to conventional fossil fuel based power. In the League‘s view the IRP seems to be more wedded to the
past rather than a solid plan for the future, a future that requires decreased use of fossil fuels and that will increasingly depend on
renewable energy and energy conservation. An IRP that does not realistically take all factors into account is not in the best interest
of Delmarva Power or the citizens of Delaware.


                                                            HOUSING

SB 5 Bond Bill (part of Gov‟s Budget) The Governor‘s budget includes $2.5 m. for preservation of existing low-
income housing that could otherwise be closed for failing to meet HUD standards, leaving residents with no home and
losing federal subsidies for their current housing. We monitored this closely and were pleased it was adopted with no
cuts. In addition, the bill provided $250,000 for the small DE Mortgage Assistance Act that provides bridge loans to
families facing foreclosure as a result of temporary issues such as medical problems or loss of employment.

After Rashmi Rangan testified last year on Manufactured Housing legislation, we also monitored bills introduced this
year. Most notably, HB 107 was enacted. It prohibits landowners from requiring annual land rents be paid in a lump
sum up front, which many homeowners cannot afford.

As a result of legislation supported by the LWVDE last year, homeowners in Minquadale Village in New Castle made
history as the first manufactured home community in DE to purchase the land in their community, ensuring its
continuing affordability. This was achieved on a ―right of first offer‖ authorized in 2008. The Community Legal Aid
Society played a key role in making the transaction possible. Manufactured homes represent about 15% of the housing
stock in DE -- the largest block of affordable housing not requiring public subsidy.
Sandy Spence and Christine Stillson



We thank our League members who made a financial contribution to the DE LWV Education Fund since
May 2009: Katherine Flaherty, Harriett Aibinder, Margaret Slocomb, Mary Torsh, Edith Herron



                                                                  10
                   EQUAL RIGHTS                                         Senate, is now in House Administration Committee. League
                                                                        supports. HB 4 requires all cash campaign contributions of
                                                                        $20.00 or more to be fully disclosed in campaign finance
After almost ten years of attempts in the Delaware
                                                                        reports. Passed House and is now in the Senate Executive
legislature, a non-discrimination bill was passed in the 145th
                                                                        Committee. The League monitored this bill.
Assembly and signed by the Governor on July 2, 2009.
                                                                        HB 17 w/ HA 1 is the first leg of a Constitutional
SB121 changes the language in several titles of Delaware
                                                                        Amendment which eliminates the existing five-year waiting
Code to add sexual orientation to the State‘s prohibited
                                                                        period before eligible felons who have fully discharged their
discrimination laws pertaining to employment, housing,
                                                                        sentences may have their voting rights restored. The League
equal accommodations, and insurance. Starting as HB 5,
                                                                        is working to restore voting rights to felons and testified in
sponsored by Rep. Schwartzkopf, the Bill passed the House.
                                                                        support of this bill.
On the Senate side, however, HB 5 was assigned to the
Executive Committee presided over by Sen. Adams. Despite
                                                                        HB 117 provides that school board elections take place on
dozens of people, including LWV-DE v.p. Lisa Pertzoff,
                                                                        the date of the general election. Currently, school board
testifying in support of the Bill, it died in committee.
                                                                        elections are held on the second Tuesday of May and can
                                                                        occur in any year. The bill also aligns the terms of school
Sen. Sokola then reintroduced the identical non-
                                                                        board members so their terms expire during a general
discrimination bill in the Senate as SB121. Following
                                                                        election year; provides that only registered voters can vote in
rejection of several amendments added by Sen. Venables,
                                                                        school board elections; places school board member on the
the Bill was referred to the Senate Insurance Committee ,
                                                                        ballot during the general election; and provides that
chaired by Sen. Blevins, where it received a favorable vote.
                                                                        campaign finance laws apply to school board election. The
Having then to pass the House, SB 121 was approved and
                                                                        bill passed the House and is assigned to Senate Executive
went to Governor Markell for signature.
                                                                        Committee.
While SB 121 relates specifically to sexual orientation and
                                                                        The League has not supported this bill because in the past
non-discrimination, a couple of other bills, which expanded
                                                                        we supported retaining non-partisan nature of school board
certain rights to the public at large (and were signed by Gov.
                                                                        elections and are working to preserve the right to vote for
Markell), are also of particular concern to the equal rights of
                                                                        people not registered but meeting other requirements, such
the GLBT minority community:
                                                                        as convicted felons, and anyone who is not registered for the
                                                                        general elections. It follows that the League will take no
HB 112 amends Title 16 of the Delaware Code to permit
                                                                        action on SB 127 which requires that all who vote in school
hospitalized patients or nursing home or long-term care
                                                                        board elections, school tax elections & school bond elections
residents to receive any visitors of their choice. The Bill also
                                                                        be registered voters. Assigned to Senate Administrative
explicitly directs hospitals, nursing home or long-term care
                                                                        Services/Elections Committee.
facilities in Delaware to honor and adhere to Advance
Health-Care Directives and Powers of Attorney of patients
                                                                        HB 132 would permit military and overseas citizens the
or residents in these situations.
                                                                        ability to receive and send absentee ballots applications,
                                                                        absentee ballots and related forms by electronic
HB 84, which amends Title 13 of Delaware Code, adds de
                                                                        transmission. This is part of a goal to make voting easier for
facto parent status to the law and allows the Family Court in
                                                                        citizens overseas. Passed and signed..
Delaware to consider whether a person‘s assumption of
parental responsibilities and relationship with a child
                                                                        HB 74 This Bill limits a candidate to seeking one office at a
establishes de facto parenthood.
                                                                        time. The League has no position on this bill, but is
                                                                        monitoring it.
Because of a fiscal note which assigned the Bill to the
Appropriations Committee, HB 10 was not acted on in this
                                                                        May 14, 2009 Elaine Manlove, Commissioner of Elections,
session of the Assembly. HB 10 would extend to same-sex
                                                                        called the original HAVA Committee together to update the
partners of State employees the same benefits as are
                                                                        group regarding HAVA implementation so far. She asked
provided to the spouses of State employees and pensioners,
                                                                        the group to review the HAVA plan that is on-line and make
employees of State authorities and commissions, and
                                                                        any suggestions in writing to her. A decision will be made
employees of labor unions.
                                                                        to see if the plan needs updating or whether it remains the
Clare Brigidini                                                         way it is and continue implementing the plan. The facilitator
                                                                        John Locksmith, representing the Election Center, praised
            VOTING AND ELECTIONS                                        the plan and said it is one of the best he had seen and
                                                                        recommended to make sure the language remains broad.
SB 9 moves the dates during which a registered voter may                Reasons are that we do not know what kind of technology is
change his or her party designation so that it matches the              coming down the pike, and also any new legislation coming
dates during which a newly registered voter may select a                out of the current administration. The plan should provide
party designation. This provides for more time periods                  flexibility in its implementation.
closer to each election to change party affiliation. Passed             Letty Diswood
                                                                   11
              “SHE IS FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR SUFFRAGETTES”
                                    Left: Dr. Joann fields of Felton, (League member) dressed in
                                                  Colonial attire July 9, 2009 to present her Declaration of
                                                  Independence from commercial health insurance in front of the Allen
                                                  Frear Federal Building in Dover. The primary care doctor led a group
                                                  of approximately 20 in lobbying Rep. Michael Castle and Sens. Tom
                                                  Carper and Red Kaufman to support a national public health plan.
                                                  Fields held an envelope containing more than 250 signed petitions
                                                  that were delivered to a Carper staff member. Lobbying, from left,
                                                  were David Wolfe of Dover, Rosemary and Bob Connelly of Milford,
                                                  Fields, and Shirley Westley of Dover.

                                               (Note – this was an individual action – not organized by LWVDE)
Picture and caption scanned from a newspaper clipping Delaware State News.

                                                  CALENDAR 2009

Aug.    Wednesday 19 Board meting        3:30 pm Sussex County
Aug.    Thursday  20 Board meeting       7 pm    New Castle County          League office              Wilmington
Aug.    Tuesday   25 board meeting       6:30 pm Kent County                St. Paul‘s Episcopal Ch.   Camden

Sept.   Thursday    3    Board meeting 7 pm        New Castle County  League office                    Wilmington
Sept.   Tuesday     15   Voter Registration Training, 5-7 pm          League Office                    Wilmington
Sept.   Wednesday   16   Land Use I: The Process Sussex               Tunnell Center                   Rehoboth Beach
Sept    Wednesday   16   Board meeting 3:30 pm Sussex
Sept.   Wednesday   16   LWVKC Annual Potluck Health Care Reform 6 pm dinner, 7 pm program.
Sept.   Thursday    17   Voter Registration Training 9:30 – 11:30 am  Girl Scout offices               Newark
Sept.   Thursday    17   Board meeting 6 pm        State              Wayside Inn                      Smyrna
Sept.   Sunday      20   Newark Community 9 am-4 pm LWVNCC booth      UD on the Green                  Newark
Sept.   Tuesday     22   LWVKC board meeting 12:15 pm                 St. Paul‘s Episcopal Ch.         Camden

Oct.    Tuesday   6 Gambling Forum                State                     Dover (tentative)
Oct.    Wednesday 14 Open space/farm-
                     land preservation            Sussex                    Georgetown (tentative)
Oct.    Thursday  15 Board meeting     6 pm       State                     Wayside Inn                Smyrna
Oct.    Wednesday 21 Delaware Water Supply        Kent County               Unit Meeting,
Oct.    Wednesday 21 Board meeting 3:30           Kent County
Oct.    Tuesday   27 Board meeting     6:30       LWVKC                     St. Paul‘s Episcopal Ch. Camden

Nov.    Thursday    5    Board meeting    7 pm New Castle County            League office              Wilmington
Nov.    Wednesday   18   Board meeting   3:30 pm Kent County
Nov.    Thursday    19   Board meeting    6 pm State                        Wayside Inn                Smyrna
Nov.    Tuesday     24   Board meeting   2:15 pm Kent County                St. Paul‘s Episcopal Ch.   Camden

Dec.    Thursday    3 Board meeting 7 pm          New Castle County         League office              Wilmington
Dec.    Saturday    12 Bill of Rights Day celebration at Archives           State                      Dover
Dec.    Thursday    16 Joint meeting (tentative) LWVKC & LWVSC



                                                           INDEX
 President‘s Message – p 1                  Investing in the Future/Gambling? – p 2            Legislative Round-up - p 2
 Natural Resources/Energy/Solid Waste–p 3   Freedom of Information – p 4                       Reproductive Rights – p 4
 Prevention of Violence – p 4               Health Care – p 4                                  Justice System – p 5-6
 Transportation/Land Use –7                 Property Tax Reassessment Comm. – 7-8              Convention Wrap- Up–p 8
 Biographies – p 9                          Advertisers – p 9                                  ACTION on IRP – P 10
 Housing – p 10                             Thank you contributors – p 10
                                                              12                               Equal Rights – p 11
 Voting and Election – p 11                                                           Picture/Calendar – p 13-14

				
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