Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SB 234 Passes the House

Senate Bill 234, which will make curbside recycling a reality for every household in Delaware, passed the House last night by a vote of 26 to 12.
House Republicans offered seven "friendly" amendments. A friendly amendment is one offered by a bill's supporters. By that definition, only one amendment, offered by Tom Kovach, could be considered friendly. The authors of the other amendments, Dick Cathcart, Greg Lavelle, Bill Oberle and Daniel Short, did not vote for the bill. Bill sponsor Mike Mulrooney politely but firmly described each amendment in turn as unfriendly.

Six amendments were defeated and a seventh, to require a 3/4 vote instead of a 3/5 vote was laid on the speaker's table after a ruling from Speaker Bob Gilligan rendered it moot. Amendment sponsor Bill Orberle warned of a court challenge to the bill.
At one point former Delaware Solid Waste Authority CEO N.C. Vasuki took the floor to speak to speak in favor of an amendment that would have eliminated the fee and the program's funding entirely. In a way his appearance signified the changing of the guard on solid waste policy in Delaware; the DSWA has been solidly behind the bill.
DNREC secretary Collin O'Mara spoke more about the economics of recycling than about the environmental benefits. In response to Vasuki's comments, O'Mara described the cost of not acting to expand recycling, citing hundreds of millions being invested in landfills over the last twenty years.
SB 234 now goes to Governor Jack Markell for his signature.
By the way, Jason at Delaware Liberal has posted a podcast with me on this subject recorded last night.

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