What’s New
A Better Delaware is a non-partisan public policy and political advocacy organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and greater transparency and accountability in state government.
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What’s New

Gov. Carney announces new Downtown Development District designations

From Delaware Business Times

Clayton, Delaware City, Middletown and New Castle on Monday were designated Downtown Development Districts, joining Dover, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Milford, Seaford, Smyrna and Wilmington.

Private construction projects within these districts can receive rebates of up to 20 percent of their capital construction costs,from this year’s $8.5 million pool of state funding.

“The workforce of the future wants interesting places to live in and cool things to do,” Gov. John Carney said at a Aug 19 announcement ceremony in Delaware City, also calling the state program “one of the most successful” that he has known in his nearly 30 years in state and local government.

Read more:

https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/downtown-development-districts-auguest-2019/

Viewpoint: Why Delaware’s economy will remain constrained

From Delaware Business Times

Editor’s Note: The authors participated in our first Delaware Dialogue, published in the July 23 issue, and offered to write the following on the state of Delaware’s economy.

Over the past 10 years, using the standard measures — e.g., output, employment, personal income, annual wages and median household income — the Delaware economy has been performing poorly. Even Delaware’s low unemployment rate, the 11th-lowest among the states, is due primarily to slow growth in the state’s labor force.

Will these slow times pass? After all, the Delaware economy has been hit with some major blows: the closing of two automobile plants, the downsizing of DuPont and AstraZeneca, and the impact of the 2008 Recession on the financial services industry.

Read more:

https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/economycaesarrodneyview/

First State begins looking at sugary drink tax

From Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is in the early stages of examining the possible effects of a statewide tax on sugary beverages.

Cities like Philadelphia, Seattle and Berkeley, California have passed soda taxes. Chicago passed and then repealed one.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association earlier this year issued a joint statement supporting a tax on sugary beverages, limiting marketing to children and financial incentives for choosing healthier options.

Read more:

https://www.delawarepublic.org/post/first-state-begins-looking-sugary-drink-tax

Proposed Dover lodging tax takes big step forward

From Delaware State News

DOVER — Dover Councilman Tanner Polce called it a “call to action and a full-court press.”

That’s after he learned the General Assembly had authorized legislation to allow Kent Levy Court to establish a tax on hotels and similar establishments — and to then direct that revenue to the DE Turf sports complex.

That bill, which passed on June 30, enables Kent County to place a tax of up to 3 percent on hotels, motels and tourist homes — including those in the city of Dover — with the proceeds designated for the Frederica-area sports complex.

Read more:

https://delawarestatenews.net/news/proposed-dover-lodging-tax-takes-big-step-forward/

Study: Delaware ranked 7th worst state to start a business

From Delaware Business Times

Is Delaware among the 10 worst states to start a business?

A new study from WalletHub ranked Delaware as the 7th worst state to launch a new enterprise. The personal finance website, which generates a near constant stream of economic rankings, compared 26 indicators across 50 states to determine the best place to launch and grow a business in the U.S.

Read more:

https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/delaware-ranked-7th-worst-state-to-launch-a-business/

Delaware’s 2019 legislative session is over. Here’s where some of the top bills stand.

From The News Journal

Delaware lawmakers finished out the legislative year shortly after 1 a.m. on Monday.

They passed several new laws near the final stretch, including changes to medical marijuana policy and criminal justice reform.

But plenty of big-ticket items, such as full recreational use of marijuana and gun control, are left on the table for at least another year.

Read more:

https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/27/heres-how-close-delaware-bills-becoming-law/1561656001/

Bill aims to hike minimum wage for waitstaff who are now paid $2.23 an hour plus tips

From Delaware Business Now

Waitstaff and workers who rely on tips and gratuities could see their first hourly wage increase in more than 35 years under legislation unveiled Thursday.

Sponsored by Rep. Kim Williams, House Bill 252 would replace the current floor for tipped employees from $2.23 per hour with a requirement they not be paid less than 65 percent of Delaware’s minimum wage. Under the current $8.75 per hour wage, that would be $5.69. When the minimum wage increases to $9.25 per hour on October 1, the tipped wage minimum wage would increase to $6.01 per hour.

Delaware has among the lowest minimum wages for tipped workers. Many states have higher wages, with a few requiring the employer to pay the state’s minimum wage.

Read more:

https://delawarebusinessnow.com/2019/06/bill-aims-to-hike-minimum-wage-for-waitstaff-who-are-now-paid-2-23-an-hour-plus-tips/