As the state’s Joint Finance Committee began the governor’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget mark-up Tuesday, issues such as court security improvements and analyzing the funding of a gun buy-back system were at the forefront of discussion.
A revenue adjustment by the
Hospital Board and Treatment, coupled with a favorable revenue forecast
that was unveiled Monday at the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory
Council, has given JFC committee members an extra $21.9 million to work
The state’s Office of Management and Budget introduced
the DEFAC update and revealed new budget pressures for the committee to
consider during mark-up. Those pressures include finding funding for
court security, increasing prevention and behavioral health services and
wrestling with impact of federal budget cuts via the sequestration.
amped-up security plans were recommended in the wake of the fatal
shooting at the New Castle County Courthouse Feb. 11 in downtown
“This was the priority for us at this time,Full color streetlight printing
and manufacturing services.” said Ann S. Visalli, director of OMB. “We
are aware of thaFrom black tungsten wedding rings for men to diamond ultrasonicsensor.t, including schools and the movement we’ve been taking toward school safety as well.”
committee approved funding for the plan, which is a collaboration
between both the state’s Judiciary and Department of Homeland Safety and
Of the 14 separated costs, top priorities include 16
Capitol Police officers funded through the General Fund at $1,044,000;
eight court security officers for the Justice of Peace Courts through
$392,000 of the Appropriated Special Fund (ASF); and one seasonal court
security officer in the Supreme Court, allotted with $30,000 of ASF
Some security changes would be funded through capital
improvements allocated through the Bond Bill Committee, such as parking
lot and elevator security.
While she acknowledged the court
security changes would be beneficial, Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton,
said the state should look to increasing the security for the Carvel
State Office Building, which houses offices for the governor and
lieutenant governor as well as judges in downtown Wilmington.
included in the FY2014 mark-up budget is $200,000 for a gun buy-back
program through the State Police. In 2013, money was allocated for a gun
buy-back program, but legislation to start the program never passed the
General Assembly. As a result, Ms. Visalli said the money was used to
cover a lease for one of the department’s buildings on Starlifter Avenue
Sen. David G. Lawson, R-Marydel, said he does not
support the $200,000 in this year’s budget, especially since last year
the money wasn’t used for the program. He said the law enforcement
officers he’s spoken with do not support the measure, nor does the
program actually work to deter crime on the streets.
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less than 35 percent of Chicago locations accept mobile passes,
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than 1 million people have used ParkWhiz’s web and mobile apps, which
allows users to book the perfect daily, monthly and event parking spot
by comparing price, location and amenities. ParkWhiz can now take care
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I was on the phone with the environmental hazard person for that
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contact the people on scene and let them know what the hazards were," he
When E-Plan ends, Helms and others will have to go back
to a paper filing system. That means someone would have to be at the
office during an emergency, find a specific company's file and relay
that information to crews at the scene. It's much slower, and puts
people at risk, Helms said.
Channel 9 contacted the Department
of Homeland Security to ask about the plan to ax the program. The
federal agency had not responded as of late Tuesday.
emergency officials are also concerned about efforts to keep E-Plan
going by passing the cost on to the businesses that use it. Howell feels
that if that happens, many will choose not to report at all, leaving
first responders without vital information they may need on an emergency