Chris Weeks attacks Schwartzkopf in the 14th

Uses recycling bill to lambast House leader

Republican candidate for the 14th Representative District Chris Weeks is attacking popular and long-standing Democratic House Majority Leader Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach. Weeks criticized the incumbent lawmaker’s support of recently passed legislation that establishes statewide, curbside recycling.

Chris Weeks

Senate Bill 234 requires trash haulers to offer recycling pickup at single-family homes by 2011, followed by a rollout plan to offer recycling to multi-family developments and commercial businesses in subsequent years. Another provision of the bill establishes a 4-cent recycling fee on bottles. Those funds would be diverted to municipalities and private haulers to help fund the curbside program. The bill passed the Senate 17-3, April 29, and on Tuesday, May 11, the measure passed the House, 26-12.

But any bill that requires new fees and allocates the funds must pass by a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

While SB 234
received that majority in the Senate, it failed in the House. Still, the measure’s on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Pete Schwartzkopf

Republicans, including Weeks, are already questioning the bill’s constitutionality. Weeks, on Thursday, May 13, said he’s concerned about the “fast-track mentality” of passing measures and the constitutionality of the so-called bottle bill. He also said that state officials are slipping down a slippery slope with new ways to create revenue in Delaware. Weeks also attacked Schwartzkopf for raising taxes because Schwartzkopf supported SB 234.

State officials say the measure would help reduce costs in the long run by reducing materials headed to landfills. Democrats have also come forward insisting the 4-cent allocation is not a new tax. It is diversion of an existing fee to the curbside program, say bill supporters.

Keep in mind, the state already has a 5-cent deposit on bottles already in place.

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3 Responses to “Chris Weeks attacks Schwartzkopf in the 14th”

  1. Michael Says:

    Is the new 4 cent allocation in addition to the existing 5 cent deposit? My six back is going to cost more if so!

  2. Meyer Persow Says:

    What you fail to mention is that the 5=cent deposit is being abolished and is being replace by a LOWER 4-cent fee. Currently, over 90% of people who pay the 5-cent deposit do not redeem their bottles and the merchant pockets the money; they do not turn it over to the state. HB 234 ends that practice.

    Also, 3/5 in the House is 25 – HB 234 received 26 votes.

    This is not a tax, no matter how Weeks or Bodenweiser want to paint it.

  3. Rob Burton Says:

    As a republican, I am embarrassed by this blatent play of politics. Trying to say this is a new tax is just wrong. We have always had a 5 cent bottle tax. Some people liked to call it a “deposit” since you could technically get it back if you spent more money in gas returning the bottles. I bet less than 5% of the bottles were ever returned. If you think it is just a deposit, try leaving the store without paying it and see how far you get! If you really look at this logically, you would quickly realize that this represents a 20% reduction in the bottle “tax”. I gladly pay $60 per year now to volutarilly recycle because we need to protect our resources and get the most use out of all of them. Find something real to complain about Chris! Pete has done more for Sussex County and Delaware as a whole than you give him credit for. I saw him out in the snowstorm helping stranded motorists and monitoring the progress of the snowplows……all while some accused him of being on a beach in Florida! I also find it discusting that you and some others in the republican party have tried to discredit and impune Pete’s career service as a Delaware State Policeman by using attack ads referring to “when pigs fly”!! Not funny, not effective, and not acceptable!!

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