Mike Houghton Appointed Chair of DEFAC

Firm News

Wilmington, DE (April 7, 2017) - Michael Houghton, a partner with the Wilmington, Delaware law firm of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, has been appointed as Chair of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (“DEFAC”) by Governor John Carney.

Established by Executive Order in 1977 by Governor Pete du Pont and continued and used by all subsequent Delaware Governors, DEFAC members are appointed by the Governor and membership represents both the public and private sectors of the Delaware economy. DEFAC is charged with providing advice to the Governor and the Secretary of Finance on the State’s overall financial conditions, current and projected economic conditions and trends, tax policy and current and projected trends in the national and local economies which may affect Delaware. The Council is also charged with providing non-partisan and objective revenue and expenditure estimates to the Governor and General Assembly. Because both the Governor and General Assembly accept DEFAC’s revenue projections as “the estimate” to be employed in constructing the State budget, DEFAC is recognized as a model for eliminating politics from revenue and expenditure estimates.

Commenting on Mr. Houghton’s appointment, Governor Carney said:

“Mike is an ideal choice to lead the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council -- an independent thinker who has a deep understanding of how state government works. DEFAC provides independent forecasts of Delaware’s financial picture, which is an especially important role as we continue to confront our budget challenges. I’m confident that Mike is the right person to lead the Council.”

Regarding the appointment Mr. Houghton stated:

“I appreciate Governor Carney’s confidence in me and I look forward to working with all the members of DEFAC and with the Administration in continuing this non-partisan process that has served Delaware well for the past 40 years. But these are especially challenging times and I’d like to see the Council, over time, do more. That could include regularly advising on structural revenue reform, undertaking more analysis of the impact that financial and tax policy, and economic trends, have on Delaware residents and businesses and serving as a more consistent financial policy resource for the State.”

Mr. Houghton has served in numerous leadership roles with both Delaware and national business and professional organizations. He has served as President of the Uniform Law Commission, a bi-partisan organization which drafts and enacts uniform and model legislation for all of the states on a variety of topics affecting individuals and businesses and he is also a Trustee of the Uniform Law Foundation. He is President-Elect of the Delaware State Bar Association and member of the board of the Delaware Bar Foundation. Mr. Houghton also serves as a member of the Boards of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware Public Policy Institute, the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and the Rockefeller Trust Company of Delaware. In his legal practice, he represents state entities and agencies - such as the Diamond State Port Corporation, the Delaware River & Bay Authority and the Delaware Department of Insurance - as well as utilities, banks and various other entities in state and local regulatory matters, including Artesian Water Company, Comcast and Delmarva Power and Light Company.

About Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP

Morris Nichols combines a broad national practice of corporate, intellectual property, business reorganization and restructuring, commercial law and litigation with a general business, tax, estate planning and real estate practice within the State of Delaware. The firm is regularly involved as lead counsel or co-counsel in matters of national and international significance, as well as those affecting its immediate community. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.


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