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May 2, 2006     Cape Gazette
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May 2, 2006
 

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a \\; Delaware legislators return to work May 2 Collective bargaining, deer among most contentious issues By Bridin Reynolds Special to the Cape Gazette Math will be on the minds of every state legislator as the lawmakers return to work Tuesday, May 2. With seven weeks left in session and more than 400 bills in play, time is short - and with 52 legislators up for reelection, politics are implicit. While there is no exact science to poli- tics, local legislators have priorities they bring to the drawing board - bills they con- sider essential and others they perceive as ill-conceived. The most contentious issues include transportation department funding, deer population control, revising concealed weapons laws, proposed collective bargain- ing powers for state employees and antidis- crimination legislation. Most eyes are on the House chamber where much action is generated. Rep. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, said the state transportation funding shortage is the most pressing concern. "For too many years the state robbed this fund to offset runaway spending. If you continue to pick at both pockets, you end up with two empty pockets," said Hocker. The stalling of improvements to Routes 26 and 54 are the most problematic as the Department of Transportation works through a stubborn deficit issue, he said. In keeping with his conservative spend- ing stance, Hocker said the bill he questions most is an act to empower state employees with collective bargaining through an amendment to the Public Employment Relations Act. "The state just cannot afford that right now," Hocker said Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, agrees the collective bargaining bill may be among the most contentious. As a member of the Joint Finance Committee, Schwartzkopf is working on budget appro- priations with the 12-member committee, which begins budget markups in two weeks. "It is a difficult call. As a state trooper, I saw the benefits of collective bar- Continued on page 13 Pataki revs up Delaware Republicans By Kevin Spence Cape Gazette staff New York's Republican Gov. George Pataki gave an energetic boost to local Republicans, in a state led by a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators. Pataki, considered by many as a 2008 presidential hopeful, was the keynote speaker Saturday, April 29, at the Delaware Republican State Convention at Ruddertowne in Dewey Beach. Pataki revved up local Republicans with a message of hands-off government and tough-on-crime policies before endorsing newcomer Ferris Wharton, who was nomi- nated as the GOP's choice for attorney general. Jan C. Ting, William "Bill" Swain Lee and Rep. Mike Castle, who progressed from a state representative in the late 1960s to a two-term Delaware governor ann eook photo ending in 1993, were also applauded by Bases loaded as local Little Leagues open season Pataki. Pataki greeted roughly 500 Republican The Lewes Little League Phillies tip their hats to a new season, marching in the annual opening day parade on Dclawareans - among them 346 voting Saturday, April29. HundredsfyungbasebaandsftbalpayerstoktcaledsthatdayasLewesRehbth delegates, who for the first time in 14 Beach and Milton kicked off their respective Little League seasons. See more photos on page 39. Continued on page 10 Brittingham, Meade debate school district issues By Jim Westhoff members should be accessible. They dif- Because Meade is a party to the lawsuit, each question. Cape Gazette staff fered about new initiatives the district is that subject was not discussed at the forum. The brawl at Beacon it was not. considering and on a proposal to allow cor- The election for an at-large school board Taking on a powerhouse A_ two-hour debate between Cape poral punishment in schools, seat will beTuesday, May 9. Brittingham, who served for a year in Henlopen School Board challenger Spencer Perhaps their most significant difference The parent boosters of Cape Henlopen Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army Brittingham and incumbent Robert Meade went undiscussed. High School and the parent-teacher organi- Reserve, said he isrunning because he feels shows 'the two not only agree on issues; Brittingham has offered financial support zation of Beacon Middle School hosted the that no election should be uncontested. "We they also seem to enjoy each other's com- to a taxpayers' group that is suing the debate in a question-and-answer format go to war so other countries can have a pany. school district to overturn a referendum to with parent volunteer Eve Aldred asking choice," he said. "It's not that our views are Both candidates said schools and parents finance a new high school, while Meade led questions submitted by audience members, so different. I don't think we should have a must communicate better and that board the campaign in favor of the referendum. Each candidate had three minutes to answer Continued on page 14 a \\; Delaware legislators return to work May 2 Collective bargaining, deer among most contentious issues By Bridin Reynolds Special to the Cape Gazette Math will be on the minds of every state legislator as the lawmakers return to work Tuesday, May 2. With seven weeks left in session and more than 400 bills in play, time is short - and with 52 legislators up for reelection, politics are implicit. While there is no exact science to poli- tics, local legislators have priorities they bring to the drawing board - bills they con- sider essential and others they perceive as ill-conceived. The most contentious issues include transportation department funding, deer population control, revising concealed weapons laws, proposed collective bargain- ing powers for state employees and antidis- crimination legislation. Most eyes are on the House chamber where much action is generated. Rep. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, said the state transportation funding shortage is the most pressing concern. "For too many years the state robbed this fund to offset runaway spending. If you continue to pick at both pockets, you end up with two empty pockets," said Hocker. The stalling of improvements to Routes 26 and 54 are the most problematic as the Department of Transportation works through a stubborn deficit issue, he said. In keeping with his conservative spend- ing stance, Hocker said the bill he questions most is an act to empower state employees with collective bargaining through an amendment to the Public Employment Relations Act. "The state just cannot afford that right now," Hocker said Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, agrees the collective bargaining bill may be among the most contentious. As a member of the Joint Finance Committee, Schwartzkopf is working on budget appro- priations with the 12-member committee, which begins budget markups in two weeks. "It is a difficult call. As a state trooper, I saw the benefits of collective bar- Continued on page 13 Pataki revs up Delaware Republicans By Kevin Spence Cape Gazette staff New York's Republican Gov. George Pataki gave an energetic boost to local Republicans, in a state led by a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators. Pataki, considered by many as a 2008 presidential hopeful, was the keynote speaker Saturday, April 29, at the Delaware Republican State Convention at Ruddertowne in Dewey Beach. Pataki revved up local Republicans with a message of hands-off government and tough-on-crime policies before endorsing newcomer Ferris Wharton, who was nomi- nated as the GOP's choice for attorney general. Jan C. Ting, William "Bill" Swain Lee and Rep. Mike Castle, who progressed from a state representative in the late 1960s to a two-term Delaware governor ann eook photo ending in 1993, were also applauded by Bases loaded as local Little Leagues open season Pataki. Pataki greeted roughly 500 Republican The Lewes Little League Phillies tip their hats to a new season, marching in the annual opening day parade on Dclawareans - among them 346 voting Saturday, April29. HundredsfyungbasebaandsftbalpayerstoktcaledsthatdayasLewesRehbth delegates, who for the first time in 14 Beach and Milton kicked off their respective Little League seasons. See more photos on page 39. Continued on page 10 Brittingham, Meade debate school district issues By Jim Westhoff members should be accessible. They dif- Because Meade is a party to the lawsuit, each question. Cape Gazette staff fered about new initiatives the district is that subject was not discussed at the forum. The brawl at Beacon it was not. considering and on a proposal to allow cor- The election for an at-large school board Taking on a powerhouse A_ two-hour debate between Cape poral punishment in schools, seat will beTuesday, May 9. Brittingham, who served for a year in Henlopen School Board challenger Spencer Perhaps their most significant difference The parent boosters of Cape Henlopen Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army Brittingham and incumbent Robert Meade went undiscussed. High School and the parent-teacher organi- Reserve, said he isrunning because he feels shows 'the two not only agree on issues; Brittingham has offered financial support zation of Beacon Middle School hosted the that no election should be uncontested. "We they also seem to enjoy each other's com- to a taxpayers' group that is suing the debate in a question-and-answer format go to war so other countries can have a pany. school district to overturn a referendum to with parent volunteer Eve Aldred asking choice," he said. "It's not that our views are Both candidates said schools and parents finance a new high school, while Meade led questions submitted by audience members, so different. I don't think we should have a must communicate better and that board the campaign in favor of the referendum. Each candidate had three minutes to answer Continued on page 14