State Rep. Charles Postles Coffee Recap

Posted on 06-18-2022

JUNE 16, 2022 — State Rep. Charles Postles met with constituents this morning for his regularly scheduled coffee event. Here are some of the highlights: 

• Dredging the Murderkill River: Rep. Postles said he is continuing to advocate for dredging the Murderkill River channel to give boats using facilities at Bowers access to the Delaware Bay. The channel is suffering from severe shoaling, preventing all but the smallest boats from using the port. Rep. Postles said environmental officials at the state and federal levels have been dragging their feet on granting the necessary permitting. He said he had initially been hopeful the dredging could be done under an emergency authorization to save the 2022 fishing season. “Now, I am not sure what will happen,” he told the group. 

• Improving Background Checks: Rep. Postles discussed House Bill 423, a measure that passed the House unanimously earlier in the week. Background checks needed to purchase firearms are currently performed by federal officials, but that system has proven to be lacking. House Bill 423 seeks to reestablish the state-based background check system Delaware had previously, but which was discontinued in a cost-cutting move. The state system would not only include the federal database but other databases, including those impacted by state-issued lethal violence protective orders. The result should be faster and more thorough background checks. The bipartisan bill now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to be approved. 

• School Bus Issues: One of the citizens attending the coffee meeting said school bus drivers are getting increasingly difficult to recruit and retain and that many contractors and school districts are finding it challenging to meet their transportation needs. Legislative budget writers have taken note and have included in the upcoming FY 2023 operating budget an additional $12.1 million to raise driver pay to $21 an hour, increase the administrative per-mile reimbursement, and increase the maintenance allowance. Adjustments were also made for higher fuel costs. While systemic issues remain, it’s believed the additional funding will help improve the situation. 

Rep. Postles typically holds his coffee meetings in the Milford Diner on the third Thursday of each month starting at 7:30 a.m.