Today, the House passed a resolution recognizing this week as national Sunshine Week and today as the five-year anniversary of our chamber passing FOIA. The bill became law in June 2009, and we have been operating under those rules since then. Five years ago today, the House passed long-overdue legislation placing the General Assembly under the state’s Freedom of Information Act as a public body.

I'm writing to remind you of Monday's rail safety meeting. The meeting will take place at Delaware City Fire Hall this Monday, March 10, at 6 p.m.

By Rep. Debra Heffernan

Today marks the sixth annual Spread the Word to End the Word day. This youth-led movement to encourage the use of respectful language to refer to people with disabilities and end the use of the “R” word was started in 2009 by two young people, Timbo Shriver, son of Tim Shriver, and Soren Palumbo at a Special Olympics Global Youth Summit. It has spread throughout the United States and even internationally. This year’s theme is “Be The Change You Want to See in the World” and respect.

Hi Neighbor,

I hope you’ve been well during this cold weather lately.

Though the doctrine of “right to work” is presented as a pro-jobs, pro-worker concept, the term itself is misleading. In fact, “right to work” has almost nothing to do with the rights of workers, and everything to do with a certain partisan, anti-union message presented on behalf of big business.

On February 22, Conrad students and families volunteered at the Food Bank of Delaware. The goal was to pack 5 tons of food in three hours. We successfully packed 5 tons in just 90 minutes! If you are looking to volunteer your time, please contact the Food Bank of Delaware at (302) 292-1305 or visit their website at  

To make a difference, we need to intervene earlier with young people, helping them overcome any barriers to their success and guiding them to a more positive future.

For college-bound students, finding scholarships can be a difficult process. Below are several scholarships with fast-approaching application deadlines.

This week's edition of the Leg Hall Insider includes items about Newark Rep. John Kowalko celebrating a former constituent's 105th birthday, manufactured housing legislation spearheaded by Rep. Paul Baumbach and the results of a Route 1 Pedestrian Safety Task Force chaired by House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf.

I’m excited to be working together and creating solutions to the challenges facing our state. Several bills have already passed, including legislation to raise Delaware’s minimum wage. Various new bills also have been introduced, including several I’ve sponsored, mentioned below.

This month's newsletter contains some important reminders about upcoming events in the 2nd District, as well as information about a college scholarship program.

The General Assembly session for Tuesday, January 21, is cancelled due to the snowstorm hitting Delaware today. We will keep you informed if there are any updates for Wednesday.

The legislative Blue Collar Jobs Task Force issued its report on Monday...

Legislation giving ex-offenders an opportunity to gain employment after their release from prison cleared a House committee Wednesday.

This month's newsletter includes information about an exciting parental involvement initiative from the Christina School District, as well as a special community meeting on public safety sponsored by New Castle County Government.

We often tell our children that a job is a source of pride and independence. Having gainful employment empowers people to take control of their lives. This is especially true for the tens of thousands of Delawareans who have run afoul of the law, paid their debt to society and are looking to put their lives back on track.

For too many years now, the job market and the overall economy in the Millsboro area and Sussex County at large have been stuck in a rut, held back by factors largely outside the control of anyone who lives or works here.

But now, we have the chance to support something in our community that will provide jobs for hundreds of families and touch off a ripple of economic activity that will positively impact hundreds more.

This is such a special time of year for gathering with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.

Seasons Greetings! I hope you and your family have a safe and cheerful holiday season.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have questions or concerns about anything in the 19th District. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness through the New Year,

The House passed a bill to keep firearms out of the hands of those determined to be a danger to themselves or others by a bipartisan 40-1 vote... Even the National Rifle Association, which vehemently opposed every other “gun control” bill introduced this session, withdrew any opposition and conceded that House Bill 88 would not infringe upon the rights of gun owners.

Constituent service is a top priority for me and I’m happy to attend the many civic association meetings throughout our district. I'm also glad to have the support of my legislative assistant, Rylene Harper, who helps me to address any issues and concerns you may have. Rylene can be contacted by phone in Wilmington at 302-577-5312, or via email at

Over the past six months, I have thought about this issue a lot. I have talked with constituents in my district, and it is clear to me that raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do. I intend to support any efforts to release the bill from committee when we return to session next month and pass it into law.

On Monday, I attended a Kenton Town Council meeting where the proposed watch-repair school for disabled veterans was discussed. I have received several calls and emails from constituents who are concerned about the fate of the Kenton school building and property.

From the beginning, I have been supportive of this project and am a co-sponsor of the legislation that would allow it to proceed, Senate Bill 153. However, I also share some of the concerns of the community and am working hard on a solution that will move the project forward.

In this newsletter I’ve included details about upcoming community events that will be taking place over the next couple of weeks.

As always, if there are any questions I can answer for you in the meantime, please let me know.

I'd also like to wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. 

For the past two years, legislation to increase Delaware’s minimum wage – set since 2009 at the federal level of $7.25 per hour – to $8.25 per hour has been introduced, heard in a House committee I chair and failed to receive enough support from committee members to be released to the full House for consideration.

I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving. There are a number of events going on in our community this holiday season, including the Delaware City Holiday Parade , the Reedy Point Players performance of “The Best Christmas Pagent Ever," and the Tuba Christmas concert presented by the St. Georges Historical Society.

 Each year, the drafting of Delaware’s operating budget is the top priority for the General Assembly. It is a complicated, arduous project defined by competing interests and shifting priorities balanced against limited resources. Every budget cycle, a bipartisan group of 12 legislators meets for months to craft our budget.

Dear Neighbor,

This is my first e-newsletter, one of many I hope to send over the coming months. Inside, you will find updates on community events, legislative happenings, current issues, and more. I hope you find this a useful resource. Please let me know if any of your neighbors want to be added to the distribution list.


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