Huxtable scorns Delaware small business

September 12, 2023

With the end of the legislative session now well in the rear-view mirror, a clear-eyed assessment of Sen. Russ Huxtable’s voting record is not only reasonable, but also to be expected. 

Upon examination of some of the most important legislative bills of the year, Huxtable comes out time and time again not only on the wrong side of the roll call pertaining to supporting small business, but also on the wrong side of his own party. Who would have thought a public official with hundreds of small businesses in his district would be so dismissive to the challenges of employers and working people?  

Take House Bill 104, a bill championed by Gov. Carney and passing unanimously in the House of Representatives before passing overwhelmingly in the Senate. The bill reduces the time and costs associated with obtaining permits, which can take up to 24 months.  From neighborhood HOAs waiting years for approval for a kayak launch to schools and medical centers seeking to open new facilities for enhanced care, the bill includes new language to streamline and eliminate redundancies but does not eliminate or change any regulation or environmental requirements. With all local legislators, including Democrats Stell Parker Selby and Pete Schwartzkopf, voting yes, Huxtable cast a dubious no vote on one of the most bipartisan pieces of legislation to pass through the General Assembly and one of the first to have been signed by Carney into law. Support for the bill from nonpartisan civic groups such as the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee and the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce went disregarded by Huxtable. 

In an even more disappointing example of Huxtable’s lack of concern, particularly for working people who depend on tips as servers, is House Bill 235, of which Huxtable himself was a sponsor, didn’t even get a final vote. The bill, which seeks to change by just one hour the time of day a holder of a liquor license can sell alcohol for on premises was left untouched on a list of bills ready for a vote prior to adjournment. HB 235 passed unanimously in the House and cleared a Senate committee only to be left in a desk drawer without a vote. Not only did Huxtable let down employees, many who are constituents who could have taken home more in tips and wages and also turned around and spent those dollars locally, he also let neighboring states like Maryland and Pennsylvania continue to keep ahead of Delaware by having more business-friendly laws. 

As these examples demonstrate, Huxtable looks down condescendingly on local businesses that serve as the economic backbone of the Cape Region and, instead, tailors his favoritism to progressive causes such as marijuana legalization, which he championed and now the very towns in his Senate district don’t want. Hopefully the people of the 6th District of all political parties’ demand answers from Huxtable as he spends the next five months on recess before the General Assembly reconvenes in January.    

D. Micheal Robertson
Rehoboth Beach


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