Bill Signing: Streamlining DMV Operations

If you've been to the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles in recent years, then you already know that #Delaware is doing great work at reducing wait times and improving customer service.These two new bills that Governor John Carney signed will help continue that trend, streamlining processes and making life easier for busy residents. They might be small changes, but they will have a big impact.

Posted by Ed Osienski on Saturday, September 23, 2017

The perception about the DMV being a hassle for residents simply doesn’t apply in Delaware. Our Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles does an excellent job at customer service and looking for new, innovative ways to better accommodate a busy public.

On September 21, Governor John Carney signed two bills that will continue that effort, removing the requirement for signatures to be in pen and ink for driver license, identification card, or registration application processes, and increasing the exemption from inspection from 5 years to 7 years for all new vehicles those purchased from 2012 onward.

By using technology to make people’s lives easier and reducing the number of vehicles going through inspection lines, we are shortening the wait times at the DMV and streamlining the processes. These might be small changes, but they will have a big impact on residents’ experiences at the DMV.

 

 

Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Update: DNREC Contamination and Remediation Report

DNREC has published its baseline report on the contamination and remediation status at each of the 14 heavy industry use sites. This was something that was required in the Delaware Coastal Zone Act update we passed this year.

Under the law, this baseline will be followed by a reassessment of environmental conditions every two years on economic development made possible by the CZA update.

You can read he full report here: http://bit.ly/2f0lkXT.

Serving on Governor Carney’s Advisory Council on Autonomous Vehicles

I am looking forward to serving on Governor John Carney’s advisory council on autonomous vehicles, which he established in an executive order on September 5.

This emerging transportation technology could be the future for the motoring public, and with self-driving cars already on the roads, it’s important that Delaware gets out in front of this issue.

We’ll be evaluating the technology’s impact on public safety, cyber security, and the design of Delaware’s transportation network. We have a reporting date of September 2018.

New School Year Means Breakfast After the Bell Law Is Now In Effect

The start of the 2017-18 school year also means that my Breakfast After The Bell bill (House Bill 408, passed in 2016) is now in effect. This means that all Delaware school children will have the opportunity to start their day with a healthy breakfast.

We’ve seen how successful school breakfast programs can be when schools and policymakers think outside the box, and we want that success in our state. With this program, schools have the flexibility to offer breakfast through different services such as “Breakfast in the Classroom” and “Second Chance Breakfast,” and “Grab and Go Breakfast.”

This Delawareonline article describes the new program really well: http://delonline.us/2vvP40Z.

Thanks to Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware State Education Association for their advocacy and support with this law. I’m grateful for their help, as are the countless students who will start their school day with a full stomach and ready to learn.

Governor Carney Signs HB 190– The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act

I strongly believe the 46-year-old Coastal Zone Act was – and still is – a landmark piece of legislation. It has limited heavy industry activity to only 14 sites, comprising less than 2% of our total Coastal Zone. HB 190, signed by Governor John Carney signed on August 2, will not change that.

This new law establishes a conversion permitting process that allows for remediation and redevelopment of a limited number of abandoned heavy industry sites along Delaware’s coastline for industrial use.

I’m grateful to Rep. Debra Heffernan, Sen. Bryan Townsend and all the staff at DNREC who worked to make this legislation a reality. Our hope is that responsible companies are able to clean these abandoned brownfields and turn them into active industries, these sites could employ hundreds, even thousands, of Delawareans, offering good-paying jobs that could become careers for many. The process of remediating and building up an industry would mean more environmental cleaning and construction jobs.

Delaware Budget Watch 2017: Prevailing Wage Hurts Working Families

June 29– As a retired business agent for the Sprinkler Fitters Local 669, I understand how removing prevailing wage rates only hurts working families.

Middle class families depend on those wages, eliminating them entirely is not helpful. Democrats have suggested, multiple times, to look at the prevailing wage survey process to find ways to better determine rates and make it a fair process, but that has been met with crickets from the other side of the aisle.

Republicans make statements that prevailing wage adds 30 percent to state projects, but that’s just not accurate. Here are some of the facts about prevailing wage in this video:

Removing Prevailing Wage Hurts Families

As a retired business agent for the Sprinkler Fitters Local 669, I understand how removing prevailing wage rates only hurts #WorkingFamilies.Middle class families depend on those wages, eliminating them entirely is not helpful. Democrats have suggested, multiple times, to look at the prevailing wage survey process to find ways to better determine rates and make it a fair process, but that has been met with crickets from the other side of the aisle.Republicans make statements that prevailing wage adds 30 percent to state projects, but that's just not accurate. Here are some of the facts about #PrevailingWage in this video:#workers #jobs #netDE #FixTheProblem

Posted by Ed Osienski on Thursday, June 29, 2017

House Passes HB 190– The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act

On June 20, the House passed my bill to establish a conversion permitting process that would allow for remediation and redevelopment of a limited number of abandoned heavy industry sites in Delaware’s coastal zone.

Only 14 specific sites — most of which are in northern NCCo — would be eligible for a conversion permit. Currently, nine of those sites are still in use, so they would not be suited for redevelopment. The potential sites comprise about 2% of the entire coastal zone.

After multiple conversations with several environmental advocates during the past month, we added several amendments to HB 190 to better clarify the process and ensure the preservation of Delaware’s pristine coastline while creating the opportunity for more good-paying jobs.

Under HB 190, an interested industry would need to clean the brownfield, following the Delaware Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act and removing pollution from the site. A new operator also would have to show that it has the financial backing and available funds to complete any future remedial action.

A company applying for a conversion permit would also have to submit a sea-level rise plan. Additionally, there would be restrictions on what types of industries could operate along the coast. Refineries processing crude oil, basic cellulose pulp paper mills, and incinerators would continue to be forbidden, as they have been since the Coastal Zone Act was enacted in 1971.

Read more about the original bill: http://bit.ly/2rA7qwL.

June 20: The Food Bank of Delaware is Honored at Legislative Hall

Food Bank of Delaware Honored

The Food Bank of Delaware plays such an integral role in our community, from helping kids have healthy meals after schools to guiding adults learning new culinary skills. All in all the organization helps about 17 percent of the state.I had a great time visiting with the staff and culinary students at Legislative Hall today and honoring the group on the House Floor.Want to learn more about the Food Bank? Check out this short video that features Patricia Beebe, president and CEO. #nutrition #healthDE #netDE

Posted by Ed Osienski on Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Food Bank of Delaware plays such an integral role in our community, from helping kids have healthy meals after schools to guiding adults learning new culinary skills. All in all the organization helps about 17 percent of the state.

On June 20, the staff and culinary students visited Legislative and I had a great time honoring the group on the House Floor.

Want to learn more about the Food Bank? Check out this short video that features Patricia Beebe, president and CEO.

HB 190, the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, Is Released from the House Natural Resources Committee

Earlier this week, the House Natural Resources Committee released a bill I have been working on for three years to create a conversion permitting process for a limited number of sites in #Delaware's coastal zone. I spent a considerable amount of time researching and discussing this issue, trying to take into consideration the concerns that interested parties on all sides might have.I welcome input. I plan on continuing to meet and listen to groups and individuals in an inclusive, equitable and based on fact conversations throughout the legislative process. I welcome input from legislators and other interested persons and groups.This is not a slam dunk that companies will line up and open up plants. It creates a more viable opportunity for responsible companies to remediate and redevelop some of these unused brownfields and turn them into potential economic engines for our state, while still recognizing the importance of protecting our natural resources.#economy #jobs #innovation #environment

Posted by Ed Osienski on Friday, June 9, 2017

On June 7, the House Natural Resources Committee released a bill I have been working on for three years to create a conversion permitting process for a limited number of sites in Delaware‘s coastal zone. I spent a considerable amount of time researching and discussing this issue, trying to take into consideration the concerns that interested parties on all sides might have.

I welcome input. I plan on continuing to meet and listen to groups and individuals in an inclusive, equitable and based on fact conversations throughout the legislative process. I welcome input from legislators and other interested persons and groups.

This is not a slam dunk that companies will line up and open up plants. It creates a more viable opportunity for responsible companies to remediate and redevelop some of these unused brownfields and turn them into potential economic engines for our state, while still recognizing the importance of protecting our natural resources.

House Bill 190, the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, Is Introduced

On May 18, Sen. Bryan Townsend and I introduced legislation that would create a conversion permitting process to allow for remediation and redevelopment of a limited number of abandoned heavy industry sites along Delaware’s coastline for industrial use.

Our proposal would set a high bar for planning, remediation, and regulatory control. New industries could employ hundreds, even thousands, of residents and broaden our tax base.

At the same time, our bill includes a lot of environmental protections. An interested industry would need to clean the brownfield, following the Delaware HSCA law and removing pollution from the site. A new operator also would have to show that it has the financial backing and available funds to complete any future remedial action.

A company applying for a conversion permit would also have to submit a sea-level rise plan. Additionally, refineries processing crude oil, basic cellulose pulp paper mills, and incinerators would continue to be forbidden, as they have been since the Coastal Zone Act was enacted in 1971.

I realize our proposal will evoke strong opinions, and we know that this is a complex initiative that will require significant discussions in legislative hearings.

I would ask everyone to read our release for more information (http://bit.ly/2rA7qwL), read the bill (http://bit.ly/2rA9qoX) and please contact me with ideas you have. We have met and talked with numerous groups, and I intend to have an open dialogue with anyone willing to have conversations about this legislation.