State Representatives Harvey Kenton and Harold “Jack” Peterman just finished their first legislative year in the Delaware House of Representatives. Both men were elected in November of 2010 to represent the 36th and 33rd State District, respectively, and become part of the 147th General Assembly of Delaware in January 2011. Each will serve in office for two years as put forth by the Constitution of the State of Delaware.
Their first year in the State House of Representatives was a busy session where members of the legislature were faced with controversial issues including redistricting, gambling, medical marijuana, and the fiscal budget for 2011.
Mr. Kenton enjoyed his first year representing the Milford, Milton, Slaughter Beach, Lincoln, Ellendale areas and was very pleased to see the legislative process in the House move forward so amicably.
“The only regret I have from the first year is not being able to do this sooner,” state Representative Kenton. “Being involved in politics in some fashion all my life, I knew how much work the job would require. A 60-week was normal for me but I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Representative Peterman described his first year in office as a learning experience for the new members. “As a new member of the House of Representative you must quickly learn the procedures needed to gather information on bills and the process of getting them out of committee,” commented Representative Peterman. As a former member of the Kent County Levy Court Peterman had been used to a committee of a whole where all issues facing the representative body were presented to all legislative members. In the Delaware House of Representatives each legislator has several committees they attend but do not have a chance to follow each individual bill completely.
During his first year Representative Kenton was a member of the committees for Agriculture, Education, Veteran’s Affairs, Natural Resources and Energy. Representative Peterman was a member of the Agriculture, Natural Resources, Economic Development, Housing and Community Affairs, Revenue and Finance and Veteran’s Affairs Committees.
Both Representative Kenton and Peterman voted against the 2011 State Budget claiming it was fiscally irresponsible to pass. They both supported lowering the personal income tax which is included in the final budget signed by Governor Markell on the morning of Friday, June 1.
“[The budget] was 9% above what the budget was last year,” commented Kenton.
“We need to pay off our bills and let the government get out of the way of small businesses so they can create jobs,” commented Peterman.
Although both Kenton and Peterman have only finished their first legislative year their districts will be changed due to the state-wide redistricting that is required every ten years. The 33rd District, which is represented by Peterman, will look a lot like his former Levy Court District by including Houston and areas North East of Canterbury Road. The 33rd District will be dropping the Northern part of Magnolia and Milford.
Representative Kenton’s current district, 36th Representative District, has the largest population in the state of Delaware by almost 5,000 people. This district will lose the areas of Milton and Harbeson while gaining parts of Milford including Old Shawnee Road and Abbott’s Mill.
With one year left to represent their districts, Kenton and Peterman are looking forward to working with their constituents. Kenton is proud of his work with the Agricultural Committee which was able to acquire $20 Million for farm preservation and his stand against gambling. Peterman looks forward to once again working to eliminate the death tax. Both men stated that it has been “an honor and privilege to serve” their constituents.