House panel releases port privatization bill

By Randall Chase, The Associated Pr 12:06am, January 24, 2013
A Senate bill giving the General Assembly veto power over privatizing operations at the Port of Wilmington has cleared a House committee.

Member of the economic development committee voted unanimously Wednesday to release the bill for consideration by the full House.

The legislation, opposed by Gov. Markell's administration, prevents the state-controlled Diamond State Port Corporation from agreeing to privatize or lease the port without approval from both chambers of the Legislature.

Delaware economic development director Alan Levin, who chairs the port corporation, has urged lawmakers to delay action on the bill, saying it could upset negotiations with Houston-based energy company Kinder Morgan.

Levin is even more troubled by an amendment that would prohibit Kinder Morgan from assigning any privatization agreement to a third party without legislative consent.

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