John Kowalko (D)

State Representative District 25

If elected, what would be your top three legislative initiatives?

  • Making government and publicly funded agencies open and transparent.
  • Restoring funding cuts that have been made to public education at the same time ensuring equal access for all families to public education facilities; crafting a reformulation of how public education is funded in Delaware; cutting positions in DOE that are leftover from the RTTT and other failed education reform efforts; eliminating the punitive and unproven “smarter balanced assessment” and other education corporatization efforts being forced upon knowledgeable professional educators and education administrators.
  • Revisiting the unnecessary corporate tax cuts and stemming the flow of taxpayer dollars to the wealthiest corporations instead directing it toward local medium to small size Delaware businesses to ensure their survival and success.

If elected, what would be the one piece of legislation that you would repeal from this past session?
The corporate tax cuts which have ensured another deficit foisted on the shoulders of the average taxpayer and small businessman and HB 165 (Charter School Reform).

WORKFORCE/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Do you support…

Right to Work legislation, including Enterprise Zones, and if elected, will you work to get the law enacted in Delaware?
No.

Strengthening federal, state and private investment to build an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem?
Yes.

EDUCATION

Do you support…

Reducing centralized State control over education and giving more autonomy and control over the operation of the education system to local county boards of education?
Yes.

In favor of consolidating Delaware’s 19 school districts to a smaller number?
No.

The City of Wilmington forming its own school district?
No. The tax base in Wilmington cannot support its own school district. Fleshing out the WEIC plan would be a better and more logical idea.

The adoption of measures that would redirect per capita state and local Board of Education administrative costs into the classroom, knowing that Delaware is near the top of the nation in per capita central administration expenditures?
No. I would certainly redirect taxpayer funds from the Department of Education, but that is not the same as “central administration” in local districts.

Expanded education choice such as charter schools, education savings accounts, vouchers and homeschooling options?
No.

The moratorium on new charter schools?
Yes.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Do you support…

An increase on the Motor Fuel Tax in order to support capacity expansion?
Yes, if it is lock-boxed (earmarked for capital infrastructure projects).

The development of additional natural gas capacity and pipelines to Kent and Sussex counties?
I would have to see the proposal to evaluated need and benefits.

The creation of incentives and the easing of hurdles to foster accelerated growth of broadband service Sussex County?
Yes.

The state of Delaware continuing to force taxpayers to fund beach infrastructure in the face of rising sea levels that threaten continued use of existing beachfront?
We must first prohibit construction in those vulnerable areas and have those residents held responsible if they insist on developing there. We must also stop the promulgation of fossil-fuel generation capacities that contribute to global warming and sea-level rise.

A statewide reassessment of property values?
Yes.

Elimination of a property tax exemption for qualified senior citizens?
No.

LEGAL & REGULATORY REFORM

Do you support…

Mandatory and regular across-the-board legislative audits and performance review of all spending units in state government?
Yes.

Granting broader statutory powers to the Office of the Attorney General to assist the legislative auditor in audit and investigatory programs for all spending units of state government?
Yes. An independent office of Inspector General would be nice.

A move toward ensuring that State employee benefits are commensurate with the private sector?
No. Certainly not by lowering state employee benefits; the private sector should raise their benefit level commensurate with state employees.

The redevelopment of industrial sites that have lost their grandfathered status under the Coastal Zone Act?
I support the redevelopment of “brownfield sites” within the constraints of the Coastal Zone Act and with a fully-funded (by the potential developer) cleanup of the sites.

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