Governor’s Weekly Message: Building on Our Efforts: 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

(Wilmington, DE) – In his weekly message, Governor Markell recognizes the 25th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act by sharing efforts both in Delaware and across the country to create a more inclusive society.

 

“Educational and government programs, building access, transportation and adaptive technology have all helped many individuals with disabilities achieve a far greater quality of life,” said Governor Markell. “Over the past twenty-five years, we have made great strides in fostering an environment that is welcoming and supportive of individuals with disabilities. By building on our efforts to create a more inclusive society we will keep Delaware and our country moving forward.”

Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

 

YouTube: https://youtu.be/R8WmNpmkbfw

Delaware.Gov: http://governor.delaware.gov/podcast_video.shtml

By email: Please contact our press team to subscribe to our press list

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/governormarkell

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/governormarkell

Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Building on Our Efforts: 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act


Delaware’s Department of Elections continues a tradition of participating in a staple of Delaware summer life, the Delaware State Fair.

stateseal1Wilmington – Delaware’s Department of Elections continues a tradition of participating in a staple of Delaware summer life, the Delaware State Fair. The Department returns to this year’s Fair with a fun and engaging presence in the air-conditioned Exhibit Hall. Stop by to learn about Delaware’s elections system, register to vote, update your voter registration, or learn some “fun facts” about Delaware’s government and elections system — and maybe win some prizes, including a Kindle®!

“We look forward to participating in the Fair each year as a key piece of our outreach to Delaware’s voters,” said Delaware State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove. “We hope that many voters will stop by to learn more about the services available for them. We are particularly proud of our iVote portal, a ‘one-stop shop’ where Delaware’s voters can take care of just about anything elections-related, securely and at their convenience.”

State Fair hours are: 12 Noon to 10 p.m. on July 23rd, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from July 24th through August 1st. Find more information about the fair at the Fair’s web site. Visit the Department of Elections web site for information about elections, voting and the iVote portal.


State Attorneys General Call on Phone Carriers to Offer Call-Blocking Technology to Customers

Attorney General Matt Denn Wednesday joined 44 other state attorneys general calling on five major phone companies to offer call-blocking technology to their customers. In a joint letter to the chief executives of the carriers, the attorneys general said a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule clarification allows telecommunication service providers to offer customers the ability to block unwanted calls, and confirms that federal law does not prohibit offering the services.

In the letter to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink, the attorneys general stated, “Every year, our offices are flooded with consumer complaints pleading for a solution to stop intrusive robocalls. Your companies are now poised to offer your customers the help they need. We urge you to act without delay.”

Phone carriers had previously claimed they could not offer such services.

“The FCC has made it clear that phone companies can give their customers what they have been asking for – a way to stop these calls before they ever come through,” Attorney General Denn said.

Call-blocking options already exist for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service and Android cell phones, and the phone carriers should move quickly to implement and inform their consumers of these options, the letter said.

In September 2014, 39 attorneys general, led by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, called on the FCC to allow phone companies to utilize call-blocking technologies. The FCC chairman endorsed the request in late May and the FCC voted to pass the rule clarification on June 18.

The letter to the phone companies can be found HERE.


Governor Signs 3 Bills to Reduce Burden of Regulations Upon Small Businesses

Photos from the event

SB 113, SB 120 and HB 147 unanimously passed both chambers earlier this year

Wilmington, DE – Following through on a commitment made in his State of the State address to further reduce the red tape and spur business growth in the First State, Governor Markell today signed three regulatory reform bills into law. House Bill 147 requires Executive Branch agencies to review the regulations on their books every 4 years, while Senate Bill 113 and Senate Bill 120 require agencies to consider the impact of new regulations and examine ways to reduce their burdens upon small businesses.

“Together, these 3 bills will improve transparency, increase accountability, and make life easier for small businesses. Today, as evidenced by the unanimous passage of this legislation, my Administration and members of the General Assembly are speaking with a unified voice in support of these goals,” said Governor Markell. “Although regulations are sometimes necessary, we must strive to ensure that they do not place unnecessary burdens upon individuals and businesses. This package of legislation, which includes good ideas from legislators on both sides of the aisle, builds upon our previous successful efforts to reduce red tape and improve Delaware’s business climate. I thank the members of the General Assembly for their support of these important measures.”

The bills signed into law today include:

House Bill 147 –– sponsored by Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Danny Short, Sen. Brian Bushweller, and Sen. Greg Lavelle, and others – requires each Executive Branch agency to review the regulations on its books every 4 years, with a view toward modifying or eliminating those regulations that are no longer needed.  As promised in the Governor’s State of the State address, HB 147 makes Executive Order No. 36 – which in 2013 resulted in the elimination or modification of more than 100 agency regulations – a permanent part of state law.  Under HB 147, the first regulatory review process must begin no later than January 1, 2016.

“We took a big first step with Executive Order 36 in 2012 and built a great deal of goodwill with Delaware businesses who were pleased that state government was committed to streamlining and cleaning up its regulatory books,” said HB 147 sponsor Rep. Bryon Short (D-Brandywine Hundred). “By making that commitment permanent, we are showing our small business community that we understand the challenges they face on a daily basis and that we want to work cooperatively to help them contribute to our economy and our communities.”

Senate Bill 113 – sponsored by Sen. Gerald Hocker, Sen. Bobby Marshall, Rep. Bryon Short, Rep. Quinn Johnson, and others –  is one of two bills that comprise the Regulatory Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 (“RTAA”). SB 113 requires each agency to submit a “regulatory impact statement” whenever it proposes regulations that would place additional burdens upon small businesses. Among other things, each regulatory impact statement must include (1) a description of the regulation’s purpose, as well as the individuals and small businesses that would be subject to it; (2) the estimated costs of compliance; and (3) a description of less burdensome methods of achieving the regulation’s purpose. In addition, SB 113 requires the Registrar of Regulations to submit regulatory impact statements to the appropriate committee of the General Assembly.

“I’m proud to be a part of this bipartisan legislation,” said Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View), owner of five Sussex County businesses. “Since my wife, Emily, and I opened our first grocery story 44 years ago, it’s been increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to start a business in Delaware and for existing businesses to grow. But these three pieces of legislation will help change that by eliminating some of the unnecessary costs that have become such a tremendous burden for our small businesses.”

Senate Bill 120 – sponsored by Sen. Bobby Marshall, Sen. Gerald Hocker, Rep. Q. Johnson, Rep. B. Short, and others – is the second bill that is part of the RTAA. Under SB 120, whenever an agency proposes a regulation that would place additional burdens upon small businesses, it must submit a “regulatory flexibility analysis” that examines ways to lessen the impact of the regulation.  In a regulatory flexibility analysis, agencies generally must consider (1) establishing less stringent deadlines; (2) using performance standards instead of design standards; (3) exempting individuals or small businesses from the regulation; and (4) other ways to accomplish the regulation’s purpose while minimizing the impact upon individuals and small businesses. In addition, SB 120 provides that if an agency does not submit the required information to the Registrar, the proposed regulation may not be published in the Register of Regulations.

“This legislation calls on each agency to perform a thorough analysis of new regulations to ensure they don’t impose unreasonable burdens on our business community,” said Sen. Marshall (D-Wilmington), who chairs the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee and was the prime sponsor of SB 120. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and this bill will ensure that Delaware remains a place where they can grow and prosper.”

“As a small businessman, I know firsthand that our state’s regulatory structure sometimes can be more difficult to navigate than it should be, but I also know that our state agencies want to work with entrepreneurs and see our businesses grow,” added Rep. Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown), a co-sponsor of the bills. “With this legislation, our state agencies will now have the ability to work together with Delaware businesses to help them accomplish their goals, while still fulfilling their missions on behalf of the public.”

Both SB 113 and SB 120 become effective for all new or amended regulations submitted to the Registrar of Regulations on or after January 1, 2016.

###


DNREC now accepting grant proposals for wastewater and surface water project planning

Proposals due by August 26

DOVER – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship and the office of Environmental Finance are now accepting project proposals from state, county and municipal governments and governmental subdivisions for matching grants for wastewater and surface water project planning. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. August 26, 2015.

Eligible projects include planning, preliminary engineering, and feasibility analysis of: wastewater projects; stormwater retrofits; green technology practices; stream and wetland restoration projects; small watershed studies; master surface water and drainage plans; and other source water pollution control projects.

Grant applications of up to $50,000 will be considered with a 1:1 cash match requirement. Up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. There is an annual cumulative grant award cap of $100,000 per successful applicant per fiscal year.

The Wastewater and Surface Water Matching Planning Grant programs are set-asides in the State’s Clean Water Revolving Fund. Projects will be recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council through a competitive grant process. New for this grant cycle are insurance requirements of the grant recipient.

For a Wastewater Matching Planning Grant, the project guidelines and the application can be found online by clicking Wastewater Matching Planning Grant. Proposals must be submitted by email (less than 10 MB) to Greg.Pope@delaware.gov.

For a Surface Water Matching Planning Grant, the project guidelines and the application can be found online at Surface Water Matching Planning Grant. Proposals must be submitted by email (less than 10 MB) to James.Sullivan@delaware.gov.

For more information, contact Greg Pope, Environmental Finance at 302-739-9941 or Jim Sullivan, Division of Watershed Stewardship at 302-739-9921.

Media Contact: Melanie H. Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 45, No. 236