Friday, May 07, 2010

SB 234 Blocked

As the News Journal reports, the House Republican caucus blocked a scheduled vote on Senate Bill 234, which would institute statewide curbside recycling in Delaware. Why? House minority leader Dick Cathcart complained that House Republicans have been left out of the loop:
"We are sick of it," Cathcart said afterward, noting that the partisan blockade of S.B. 234 was intended as a demand for "simple courtesy" and a call for bipartisanship. "We want to be participants in the process. Not spectators."
His complaint rings a little hollow given that three members of his caucus (Thomas Kovach, Joseph Miro and Michael Ramone) are signed on as co-sponsors.
Jack Markell announced his intention to work with all sides on recycling when he vetoed the UnBottle Bill last July. He presented his plan in January, and refined it over the following months. A draft bill was circulated for weeks before being formally introduced last month. SB 234 was the subject of lengthy hearings of the relevant Senate and House committees.
Cathcart says he needs time to have unspecified "third parties" review the bill, which has broad support from the business and environmental communities. Most of Delaware's environmental organizations are behind the bill, though some have expressed understandable reluctance to give up the bottle deposit system. The relevant commercial interests are on board, including retailers, grocery stores, restaurants, beverage distributors, independent trash haulers and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority.
Lobbyist Dave Swayze last week complained that his client, the out of state Glass Bottle Institute, was not given "a seat at the table." The table has been set and all parties invited for months and even years.
Recycling bills have been introduced in every legislative session for years. The Recycling Public Advisory Committee has been meeting with all sides since its inception.
I first produced an economic analysis for the Citizens Solid Waste Task Force in 2006. I first met the leaders of the Maryland-Delaware Solid Waste Association when they attended the first Delaware Environmental Summit in January, 2009. They've been at the table ever since.
The Zero Waste Working Group has been meeting with environmental and industry leaders since last year. The DSWA consulted with all sides in updating its Solid Waste Plan. I have attended informal meetings with environmental and beverage and bottling industry leaders to try to come to terms on the issue. The governor's plan is the product of meetings with business and environmental leaders. Leg Hall is swimming with people who have been at the table, including lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
I don't think that Cathcart can hold his caucus together on blocking the bill for more than a few days. Let's hope last minute efforts to block a vote don't derail the best shot we have ever had at making statewide recycling a reality in Delaware.
Update: I will discuss SB 234 with Allan Loudell of WDEL, 1150 AM, at 5:33 this evening.

3 Comments:

Blogger Cmon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:46 AM, May 07, 2010  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

The previous comment asked, "Why is the non-partisan CRI leading the fight to stop this?"

A fair question.

I deleted the comment due to extreme vulgarity.

8:53 AM, May 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well?

3:17 PM, May 08, 2010  

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