DOL Fox Valley office closed due to water main break

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 18, 2017 

Wilmington – The Delaware Department of Labor’s Fox Valley office in Wilmington will be closed today, July 18, 2017, due to a water main break in the area.

Those members of the public seeking assistance can visit the DOL website at http://dol.delaware.gov for details on location and contact information for our offices in Newark, Dover and Georgetown.

The staff at the Department of Labor appreciate the public’s patience as we address this situation.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

The Delaware Department of Labor connects people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy. The department is made up of four divisions:

Division of Unemployment Insurance

Division of Industrial Affairs

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information

The combined efforts of these divisions and offices support the employment-related needs of nearly 400,000 Delaware workers and more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state.

CONTACT:

Leon Tucker, Director of Communications

Delaware Department of Labor

302.761.8002 office

302.530.5770 Cell

Leon.Tucker@delaware.gov

http://dol.delaware.gov/


Governor Carney Signs Executive Order Reestablishing the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG)

Members will submit recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and Criminal Justice Council by March 2018

Abigail Layton (Deputy Attorney General, Family Division Director), Lisa Minutola (Chief of Legal Services, Office of Defense Services), Judge Robert Coonin (Family Court), Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson (Department of Labor), Secretary Josette Manning (Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families), Michael Arrington (Chair, Juvenile Justice Advisory Group), Christian Kervick (Executive Director, Criminal Justice Council), and James Liguori (Chair, Criminal Justice Council) join Governor Carney for a photo after the Governor signed Executive Order #11.

WILMINGTON, Del. Governor John Carney on Wednesday released the following statement after signing Executive Order #11 to reestablish the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, which will examine ways to prevent youth from entering or re-entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

“We want all Delaware kids to become healthy and productive citizens of our state, and that includes preventing kids from going down the wrong path and coordinating services for those leaving the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice Advisory Group will help us create an environment where all Delaware kids have an opportunity to succeed. This Executive Order will recharge and reenergize the group to find solutions that will work.”

The JJAG will advise the Criminal Justice Council on grant applications, assist in the development of a state plan to monitor the juvenile and criminal justice system, and work to ensure that assistance will be equitably available to disadvantaged youth. The group will submit a report with recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and Criminal Justice Council by March 31, 2018.

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Click here to view the text of Executive Order 11.


Governor Carney Signs Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Plan, Capping General Assembly Session

Session included measures to improve Delaware’s economy, create jobs, reform the Department of Correction, and combat addiction crisis

Highlights of the 2017 legislative session include:

  • Restructuring Economic Development: House Bill 226 restructures the way Delaware attracts good-paying jobs to Delaware and keeps them here, with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and small business development.

    Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Senator Nicole Poore, Representative Stephanie T. Bolden, Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride, Representative Charles Potter, Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Senator Jack Walsh, Senator Greg Lavelle, Senator Anthony Delcollo, Representative Danny Short, Representative Steve Smyk, and Representative Ronald Gray (not pictured) applaud Governor Carney after the bill signing.
  • Modernizing the Coastal Zone Act: House Bill 190 allows the responsible redevelopment of 14 legacy industrial sites along the Delaware coastline, bolstering Delaware’s economy while paving the way for additional environmental clean-up of those sites.
  • Raising Correctional Officer Pay: The Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes a pay increase for Correctional Officers across experience levels – including a 22 percent increase to starting officer pay that will help Delaware recruit and retain officers and eliminate a staffing shortage.
  • Combatting Delaware’s Addiction Crisis: Senate Bill 41, House Bill 91, and House Bill 100 will expand access to substance abuse treatment, and strengthen oversight of opioid prescriptions. Senate Bill 111 and House Bill 220 will form a Behavioral Health Consortium and an Addiction Action Committee to create an integrated plan around the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental health challenges.
  • Creating the Department of Human Resources: House Bill 4 creates a new Department of Human Resources to help confront issues important to state employees. The new agency will promote diversity and inclusion across state government, and help solve a Correctional Officer staffing shortage.
  • Protecting Delawareans from Cybersecurity Threats: House Bill 180 requires additional protections for Delawareans whose personal information may be compromised in a computer breach, including requiring additional notifications and free credit monitoring services.

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney on Sunday night signed a $4.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018, a plan that balances a nearly $400 million budget shortfall through a nearly equal mix of spending reductions and new revenue, while maintaining funding for key public services.

Governor Carney signed the budget in his Legislative Hall office flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. He also signed a $590 million capital spending plan and a $37.2 million grant-in-aid bill.

“Since January, I have talked to thousands of Delawareans who understand the need for a balanced, long-term budget plan for our state,” said Governor Carney. “The budget I signed tonight makes critical investments in education, healthcare, our environment, and in our correctional system. But going forward, we cannot be complacent. We must do more to put Delaware on a sustainable path forward. With this budget, we are committing to studying real spending reforms, and to improving the way we deliver state services. We also should continue discussing new, creative ways to fund those services through a long-term revenue plan. Thank you to the General Assembly for their work on this budget, and I look forward to continuing our work together.”

 

The budget funds a number of key priorities, including:

  • $24.2 million to fully fund new teachers in Delaware’s classrooms to match enrollment growth.
  • $16 million to fund pay increases for Correctional Officers.
  • $7.8 million to fully fund growth in the Medicaid program for low-income Delawareans, Delawareans with disabilities, and seniors in long-term care.
  • $4.7 million to maintain funding for early childhood education.
  • $2.3 million to authorize new Correctional Officer positions.
  • $1 million to add funding for substance abuse treatment programs.

Savings and other reductions include:

  • $11 million reduction to the Educational Sustainment Fund.
  • $5 million savings by eliminating 200 vacant positions across state agencies.
  • $2 million target savings in employee health costs.
  • $1.6 million reduction by modifying double state share for employee health insurance rates.

Revenue increases include:

  • $116 million: Corporate franchise tax increases
  • $11.6 million: Raise taxes on cigarettes 50 cents per pack, and increase taxes on other tobacco products.
  • $5.2 million: Raise taxes on beer, wine and spirits, including by one penny per beer.
  • $44.7 million: 1% increase in the realty transfer tax.
  • $4.5 million: Across-the-board increases to the filing fees associated with Department of Insurance filings.

 

When Governor Carney signed the budget, he capped a legislative session that included significant action to improve Delaware’s economy, create jobs, reform the Department of Correction, and combat Delaware’s addiction crisis.

“Together with lawmakers of both parties, we have acted to create good-paying jobs, and to make sure our economy works for all Delawareans. We have taken steps to reform our prison system and confront our addiction crisis head on,” said Governor Carney. “We’ve also passed common sense reforms to protect Delawareans from cybersecurity threats, and to close a persistent gender pay gap. Votes taken this session will make a real difference for citizens up and down our great state. Thank you to members of the General Assembly for their hard work and partnership on these important issues.”

 

Additional details:

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL PLAN

Budget Reset Community Conversations: Governor Carney met with thousands of Delawareans from Claymont to Delmar about Delaware’s budget challenges. Hosted by members of the General Assembly, the Governor held ten budget town halls before his budget presentation on March 23, and another ten town halls after presenting his budget plan.

Managing Healthcare Costs: House Joint Resolution 7 authorizes DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker to establish a health care budget benchmark with a growth rate tied to the overall economy of the state. It is the first step in evaluating the total cost of care of health care in the state and a major step in transforming Delaware’s health care system to a more outcome-driven system and away from a system that pays for care based solely on the number of room days, visits, procedures and tests.

DEFAC Panel on Budgeting Practices: House Joint Resolution 8 creates a panel of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council to study and develop a report on Delaware’s historic budgeting practices, the need for reasonable restrictions on the use of budget surpluses, and the benefits of a budget stabilization fund.

Making Government More Efficient: Governor Carney signed Executive Order #4, creating the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board (GEAR) and committing to a long-term effort to study cost savings, efficiencies and ways to improve the delivery of services across state government. Governor Carney maintained a commitment to responsible spending in his budget and throughout the year, calling for an equal mix of spending reductions and new revenue to confront Delaware’s budget challenges.

Escheat Reform: Senate Bill 13 comprehensively rewrites Delaware’s unclaimed property laws. In an effort to align Delaware’s laws with other states, the legislation retooled all aspects of unclaimed property examinations, voluntary disclosure agreements (VDAs), and compliance.

 

CREATING JOBS

Restructuring Economic Development: House Bill 226 approved Governor Carney’s plan to fundamentally restructure Delaware’s economic development efforts, with a new focus on supporting Delaware’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, and promoting innovation. Governor Carney’s plan includes creation of a public-private partnership, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, to leverage additional resources to help attract employers to Delaware, keep them here, support innovation and develop Delaware’s workforce. On his first full day in office, Governor Carney signed Executive Order #1 to explore a new economic development strategy. Restructuring the state’s economic development efforts, and partnering strategically with the private sector, was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

Modernizing the Coastal Zone Act: House Bill 190 will allow responsible redevelopment of 14 heavy industrial sites in the Coastal Zone Act. The reform will pave the way for new job creation and additional cleanup of legacy industrial sites along Delaware’s coastline. Governor Carney called for a plan to responsibly modify the Coastal Zone Act during his March address to the General Assembly. Revitalizing abandoned industrial sites was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

Expanding Broadband Access: House Bill 189 will accelerate investments in mobile broadband infrastructure, expanding access to high-speed internet for Delawareans and businesses across the state and encouraging innovation. Expanding broadband access was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

 

REFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION

Correctional Officer Pay Increases: The Fiscal Year 2018 budget funds the agreement with the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware (COAD) to raise salaries for Delaware’s Correctional Officers – including a 22 percent increase in starting officer pay – to help recruit and retain officers across Delaware’s correctional system.

Adding Correctional Officer Positions: The Fiscal Year 2018 Budget authorizes and funds 50 additional Correctional Officers at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and 25 additional officers at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution.

Investing in Equipment and Training: The Fiscal Year 2018 Budget invests $2 million in new cameras at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and $1.3 million in new equipment and training that will help Correctional Officers better prevent and respond to violent incidents.

Special Assistant: Governor Carney appointed Claire DeMatteis – a former senior counsel to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden – as a temporary Special Assistant to the Governor at the Delaware Department of Correction. DeMatteis will focus her efforts on reform of management practices and training, cultural turnaround, and implementation of Governor Carney’s plan following the Independent Review into the causes of the February 1 incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Improving Re-Entry Programs, Reducing Recidivism: Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps hired Jim Elder – the Director of Clinical Services for Re-entry Programming at the Wilmington HOPE Commission – to lead DOC’s efforts to help offenders successfully re-enter their communities, and reduce Delaware’s rate of recidivism. The selection of Elder will place a new emphasis inside the agency on re-entry programming and efforts to reduce recidivism.

 

COMBATTING DELAWARE’S ADDICTION CRISIS

Expanding Treatment, Strengthening Regulation: Senate Bill 41, House Bill 91, and House Bill 100, a bipartisan package of legislation, will expand access to substance abuse treatment, strengthen oversight of opioid prescriptions, and combat Delaware’s addiction crisis. Governor Carney signed the legislation during a ceremony that included remarks from Attorney General Matt Denn, members of the General Assembly, and Delaware advocates for improved access to substance abuse treatment – including families who have lost loved ones to Delaware’s opioid epidemic.

Behavioral Health Consortium: Senate Bill 111 and House Bill 220 will further combat Delaware’s addiction epidemic and improve services for those suffering from mental illness. The legislation will lead to the creation of a Behavioral Health Consortium and an Addiction Action Committee that will form an integrated plan and blueprint for action for the prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use and co-occurring disorders in Delaware. The creation of the consortium and coordinated plan was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

 

STANDING UP FOR DELAWAREANS

Creating the Department of Human Resources: House Bill 4 creates a new Department of Human Resources to help confront issues important to state employees. The new agency will promote diversity and inclusion across state government, and help solve a Correctional Officer staffing shortage. Creating a new Human Resources agency was a recommendation of Governor Carney’s Action Plan For Delaware.

Confronting the Gender Pay Gap: House Bill 1 will prevent employers from requesting the salary history of job applicants and will help close the pay gap between men and women. The bipartisan legislation – which takes effect in December – also explicitly prohibits employers from screening applicants based on previous compensation history.

Protecting Delawareans from Cybersecurity Threats: House Bill 180 requires additional protections for Delawareans whose personal information may be compromised in a computer breach, including additional notifications and free credit monitoring services.

Artificial Island: Senate Joint Resolution 2 urges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to accept either of PJM’s alternative cost allocation methodologies for funding the Artificial Island transmission line project. As currently funded, Delmarva Peninsula ratepayers would fund more than 90 percent of the cost of the project through higher electric bills, while receiving few direct benefits. Under PJM’s alternative methods for cost allocation, Delmarva ratepayers would fund approximately 7-10 percent of the project costs. Governor Carney has consistently worked with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to urge a more fair resolution for Delmarva ratepayers.

Offering Delawareans a Second Chance: Senate Bill 54 allows Delawareans with juvenile records to petition Delaware’s judicial system for expungement, removing barriers to additional education and employment.

Redeveloping Blighted Properties: House Bill 187 and House Bill 188 hold property owners of blighted properties accountable, requiring them to clean up their properties and pay back taxes before bidding on additional properties, and ensuring that taxpayers do not bear costs created by abandonment.

 

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For details on all of the legislation that Governor Carney has signed into law to date, visit the Legislative Advisories page on the Governor’s website.


Governor Carney Announces Family Services Cabinet Council Summer Initiative

The Summer Initiative will coordinate delivery of state services for families in Wilmington

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday announced the Family Services Cabinet Council’s Summer Initiative, an interagency effort to improve the coordination of state services to better meet the needs of families in the city of Wilmington.

The FSCC Summer Initiative will bring together front-line staff from across Delaware’s state agencies to better coordinate state services for Wilmington families – including programs that offer job training, early childhood education, substance abuse treatment, and quality, affordable housing.

“Too many Wilmington children and families deal with the effects of poverty, the trauma of violence in their neighborhoods and the challenges associated with navigating an economy in transition,” said Governor Carney. “These issues permeate homes and classrooms every day, and it’s our duty to stand up for these families. The Family Services Cabinet Council’s Summer Initiative will make sure that government agencies are working together more efficiently and effectively on behalf of families in the city of Wilmington.”

Agency staff gathered for an orientation and training at the Department of Health and Social Services in Wilmington on Thursday. Training will ensure that state employees, especially those serving families in Wilmington, understand and are aware of the wide range of state services available to their clients. Wilmington representatives also attended Thursday’s training to improve coordination of city and state services.

“Sometimes, families in Wilmington who are in need of support have too many people knocking on their doors offering help. Through Governor Carney’s leadership of the Family Services Cabinet Council, we want to change that so those supports are better integrated and better coordinated,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. “Starting this summer, state outreach staff will call families, listen to their needs, and suggest services across state government that can help to meet those needs. Most importantly, they will coordinate with the state agencies so those services are delivered.”

“Children who grow up in positive and healthy environments with nurturing families and mentors are much more likely to develop into caring adults who value their communities,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. “We recognize there are significant societal challenges in Wilmington and the well-being of our families is at stake.  We stand ready with our fellow state agencies and the City to share resources and expertise, develop more creative programming, and work with the community to help prepare our families for a bright future.”

“I am proud to serve on the Council with the other members. We look forward to the opportunity to improve the coordination and delivery of services to those who need it most,” said Robert Coupe, Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

“We must do our part to break this cycle,” said Dr. Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Labor. “Our team at the Delaware Department of Labor is pleased to be a part of this vital initiative and looks forward to coordinating the delivery of these valuable resources to deserving families.”

Governor Carney reestablished the Family Services Cabinet Council as one of his first official acts as Governor, signaling the importance of coordinating crucial public and private services for youth and families in Wilmington and across Delaware.

The Council includes eight members of Governor Carney’s Cabinet – the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families; the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services; the Secretary of the Department of Education; the Secretary of the Department of Labor; the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security; the Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and the Commissioner of the Department of Correction.

Governor Carney tasked the Council with implementing innovative tools and strategies for addressing a series of specific issues, including: breaking the school-to-prison pipeline; improving access to early childhood education; increasing the availability of affordable housing; improving access to substance abuse treatment; reducing recidivism in Delaware’s correctional system; expanding job training opportunities; and reducing violence in Delaware’s neighborhoods.


Funding For Summer and After-School Programs For Teens, Youth Announced

Summer Recreation, Work Readiness, STEM Programs Receive Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund Grants

Attorney General Matt Denn with Pastor Lottie Lee Davis and participants of the Be Ready Community Development Corp.
Attorney General Matt Denn with Pastor Lottie Lee Davis and participants of the Be Ready Community Development Corp.

Summer and after-school programs for teenagers and youth will be up and running around Delaware in the next few months, thanks to more than $900,000 in grants aimed at reducing crime and revitalizing neighborhoods.

Funds for the grants, announced Monday, were allocated to the Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund by the Department of Justice, with the agreement of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee, from settlements with national banks for alleged misconduct in the national financial markets.

“It is not hard to see these days why it is important to provide young men and women with safe and productive activities, which is why I have been committed to get these programs up and running,” said Attorney General Matt Denn, who proposed the allocation plan that included the NBBF. “The groups receiving these grants are part of the effort that we all have to make together to reduce crime and keep kids safe.”

“Too often, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds make progress in school, only to lose ground once school lets out. The Neighborhood Building Blocks Grants will give teens up and down our state safe and secure places to learn and develop after school and during the summer,” Gov. John Carney said at the event held at the H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Clubs, one of the grant recipients. “Thank you to Attorney General Denn, the Joint Finance Committee, and the grant recipients for working to improve outcomes for Delaware teens.”

Among the stated goals for the grants were addressing unmet needs of high crime areas statewide and improving resources and opportunities for at-risk juveniles and adolescents.

“The Neighborhood Building Blocks award has afforded Be Ready Community Development Corporation the opportunity to engage our youth in the important work of beautifying their own neighborhood,” said Lottie Lee Davis of the Be Ready CDC, which received $49,400 to provide stipends for youth who will work at neighborhood beautification and construction projects in the West Center City area of Wilmington. “The ability to change a blighted and unkempt area impacts the spirit and mindset of a community. We are teaching them to be leaders of change, one block at a time!”

The NBBF, which gave priority to smaller dollar requests, awarded grants to:

  • Latin American Community Center – $5000 for a soccer league for 20 at-risk youth age 12-16 in Hilltop area of Wilmington
  • YWCA of Delaware – $17,589 for a Summer Internship Teen Empowerment program to provide exposure for youth with a number of major employers
  • Jewish Family Services of Delaware – $20,592 for Pre-Employment Training Services for at-risk youth in Wilmington
  • FAME Inc. – $25,000 for STEM education for students in grades 3-6 during out-of-school hours in Wilmington
  • Western Family YMCA – $30,470 for after school and community events for teens in Newark
  • New Horizons Community Center – $34,500 for martial arts and work readiness for juveniles and teens in Wilmington
  • Dover YMCA – $42,275 for its Young Men Mentoring Program for 30 boys age 10-15 on healthy lifestyles and employment skills training in Dover
  • Dover Police – $43,903 for basketball, flag football and hockey programs for Dover city youth
  • Central YMCA – $43,025 for a summer activity program for 75 teens in Wilmington
  • Bear YMCA – $45,080 for summer activities for 75 at-risk teens in Route 40 area
  • Walnut Street YMCA – $45,315 for teen engagement for 200 8th and 9th graders in Wilmington
  • Delaware Nature Society – $48,394 for an environmental after-school club for 30 students
  • Be Ready Community Development Corp. – $49,400 to provide stipends to 24 youth to engage in neighborhood beautification and construction projects in West Center City Wilmington
  • Pathways of Delaware – $81,986 for its Youth Health Ambassador Program to prevent youth delinquency
  • Dover Housing Authority – $136,500 to provide exercise equipment at Simon Circle community center staffed by military and police volunteers
  • Boys and Girls Club – $250,000 for summer and after-school activities for approximately 1000 teens in 5 locations: Wilmington (2 sites), Dover, Milford and Seaford

Some of the funded youth programs will be up and running this summer and some will begin in the next school year.

Grant applications were taken in December 2016, after a series of public meetings across the statewide allowing comment on needs that could be met with the NBBF funding. A board — including representatives of the Delaware Economic Development Office, Department of Justice, Delaware State Housing Authority, Office of State Planning, and former Wilmington Mayor James Sills as a public representative — considered the applications and awarded the grants this spring.

NBBF is also in the process of making grants in the areas of neighborhood improvement, including vacant lot projects; lights and façade improvements; public safety and recidivism activities, including programs for released inmates, surveillance cameras, and safety courses; and downtown district planning activities in cities and towns throughout Delaware.