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from the desk of Michele Forzley, SCRWC Legislation and Research Committee Chair

Our House and Senate Caucuses are on the MOVE!
You can help support winning tickets at state and local levels.

 
April 27, 2024

We need to hold our positions in the House and Senate and add new members to both bodies, especially in the Senate. 

Here’s why: 

Election integrity:

Voting is a matter of the Delaware Constitution. To change it, requires a 2/3 vote in both the House and Senate. And voting two years in a row on the change.

Here is where we stand:

House: 15 Republicans and 26 Democrats: two thirds = 27

Senate: 6 Republicans 15 Democrats: two thirds = 13

On all other legislation, the Democrats can rule the roost- just look at the numbers. So bad laws get passed and many important matters never reach the floor. Remember don’t let the Dems get away with bad bills! Take Action – the SCRWC website has all the information you need to take action.

We need to work together and that’s where your contributions make the difference.

House PAC

Senate PAC

Make checks payable to:

 

GOP House Leadership PAC

 

Mail checks to:

211 Nathan Ct

Newark DE 19711

Make checks payable to:

 

SEN-R PAC

 

Mail checks to: 

38489 Hickman Rd.

Ocean View, DE 19970

Hold these dates! Fund raisers! Mark your Calendars~!
Volunteers welcome! See Michele

Eric Hansen 5/29 and Kim Hoey Stevenson 6/20

March 22, 2024
Remember don’t let the Dems get away with bad bills!
Take Action

– the SCRWC website has all the information you need to take action.
Pending Amendments to the Constitution:
1st a note on Constitutional Amendments in DE:
Amending the Delaware Constitution requires not only the passing of the changes proposed in one year, but also passage of the same changes after the next general election by the next General Assembly. Section § 1 of Article XVI of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to amend the Delaware Constitution. For the Senate that means 13 votes and 27 for the House. 
SB 3 removes all the Constitutional grounds for absentee voting such as public/military service, business obligations, illness, disability, vacation, or religious observance, leaving the grounds and process for absentee ballots to the legislature to establish. The only caveat is that the persons seeking to vote absentee must take an oath or affirm the qualified voter’s vote is free from improper influence. The Bill passed in the Senate 15-5-1 ands now on the House Ready List. 

HB 237 seeks to expand the Delaware Supreme Court to 7 Justices by requiring at least 2 justices from each county and a seventh appointed.


SB 242 imposes a filing deadline for the introduction of new bills. The purpose of this Act is to prevent the last-minute introduction of legislation that is apt to circumvent the deliberative process required by § 911 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code and the Senate and House Rules. Specifically, this Act prohibits a bill from being introduced after the second Friday in June unless one of the exceptions apply: (1) The bill is the annual budget act, one-time supplemental appropriations act, bond and capital improvement act, or grants-in-aid act. (2) The bill is introduced in a special session. (3) The bill is authorized to be introduced in the House of origin by a motion or resolution of the other House passed with the concurrence of three-fourths of all the members elected to the other House.
Other Bills of importance!

SB 230 clarifies that elected officials may not be prevented from engaging in constituent relations and that candidates for public office or staff or volunteers may not be prevented from engaging in election-related or similar activities in residential communities. 

HB 344 confronts ballot position bias! Even California, “the Delaware Assembly’s Legislative Guru,” has changed its law so as to randomize the listing of candidates on its ballots. HB 344 seeks to make this same change to DE law. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states have enacted reforms to deal with ballot position bias. Delaware law currently mandates that one political party always appears in the first column on the machine ballots or on the first line of absentee ballots. 

Let us get the government out of your real estate sales! HB 343 seeks to reduce the state’s realty transfer tax rate by .25% per year for 4 years, for residential property conveyances having a property value less than $500,000, and for commercial property convenances having a property value less than $1,000,000, starting January 1, 2025. After January 1, 2028, the State's realty transfer tax rate will be the same rate as it was prior to August 1, 2017, for these conveyances. 

Dear to my heart and professional work in public health is HB245 which addresses the Governor’s unrestricted use of emergency powers by giving the Legislature a power of review and consent. 
Some Good News! 

HB123 was passed 21-20 in a hard-fought legislative battle and now moves to the Senate. It requires DNREC to obtain consent before promulgating regulations restricting sale of internal combustion powered vehicles. 
On Education- 
  • On a School Performance Card SB 66 requires accessible performance reports on the Dept of Ed website for all schools, including proficiency rates. This bill passed the House 39-0, on Senate Ready List.
  • Also, on the Senate Ready list is HB192 “Action of Single Digit Proficiency” that requires action in coordination with the Dept. of Education for short-term plan to address performance in the 25 schools across the state that have Language Arts or Math scores below 10% proficiency. Passed House 39-0. 
  • On the House Ready list is HS1 for HB203 that requires a ½ credit financial literacy course beginning for students who enter 9th grade in 2025-26. 

BILLS TO WATCH
House and Senate Bills you may wish to follow. 
January 30, 2024 As of March 22, 2024

Senate Bill 242
Introduced on: 3/15/24 

Primary Sponsor: Buckson 
Additional Sponsor(s): Rep. Ramone Co-Sponsor(s): Reps. Gray, Hilovsky 


AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO § 9, ARTICLE II OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION RELATING TO THE RULES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF EACH HOUSE

This Act is the first leg of a constitutional amendment that imposes a filing deadline for the introduction of new bills. Specifically, this Act prohibits a bill from being introduced after the second Friday in June unless one of the following apply: (1) The bill is the annual budget act, one-time supplemental appropriations act, bond and capital improvement act, or grants-in-aid act. (2) The bill is introduced in a special session. (3) The bill is authorized to be introduced in the House of origin by a motion or resolution of the other House passed with the concurrence of three-fourths of all the members elected to the other House. The purpose of this Act is to prevent the last-minute introduction of legislation that is apt to circumvent the deliberative process required by § 911 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code and the Senate and House Rules. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 1 of Article XVI of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each House of the General Assembly to amend the Delaware Constitution. Amending the Delaware Constitution requires not only the passing of the changes in this Act, but also passage of the same changes after the next general election by the next General Assembly. A First Leg amendment must be approved by the next General Assembly to become part of the Constitution. A Second Leg amendment becomes part of the Constitution upon passage of both Chambers of the subsequent General Assembly.

Senate Bill 255
Introduced on: 3/21/24 

Primary Sponsor: Walsh 
Additional Sponsor(s): Sen. Townsend Reps. Osienski, K. Williams 
Co-Sponsor(s): Sen. Lockman, Sokola Rep. Morrison 


AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LABOR. 

This Act does the following: (1) Provides that a prime general contractor is jointly and severally liable for a violation of the Wage Payment and Collection Act that is committed by a subcontractor, regardless of whether the subcontractor is in a direct contractual relationship with the prime general contractor. (2) Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action to collect wages under the Wage Payment and Collection Act. (3) Provides that a prime general contractor is jointly or severally liable for a violation of the Delaware Contractor Registration Act by a subcontractor.

Senate Bill 248
Introduced on: 3/21/24 

Primary Sponsor: S. McBride 
Additional Sponsor(s): Rep. Harris Co-Sponsor(s): Sen. Sokola Reps. Baumbach, Neal, Osienski 


AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE PROGRAM

This Act clarifies that for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, where an employee is co-employed by an employee leasing company or a professional employment organization, "employer" refers to the employer client of the employee leasing company or professional employment organization, and not to the employee leasing company or professional employment organization. This Act also defines "collective bargaining agreement" for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program and excludes from the definition of "employee" individuals who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement as a member of a labor organization, who receive employment benefits through the labor organization, and who, due to the nature of the industry in which they work, may never qualify as a covered individual under the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.

Senate Bill 256
Introduced on: 3/21/24 

Primary Sponsor:  Gay 
Additional Sponsor(s):  Rep. Griffith Co-Sponsor(s): Sen. Lockman, Sokola, Wilson 
Reps. Baumbach, Heffernan, Osienski 


AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 6 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONSUMER PROTECTION. 

This Act clarifies the Attorney General’s existing authority to enforce the State’s consumer protection laws, specifically the Attorney General’s ability to pursue non-penalty civil remedies, such as damages and restitution, without having to show that a person’s violation of a law or regulation enforced by the Department of Justice’s Division of Consumer Protection was wilful. This Act does not change the requirement that the Attorney General show that such a violation was wilful in order to obtain civil penalties from a court or hearing officer. Every other state that has a similar state of mind requirement in their consumer fraud law does not impose that state of mind requirement for non-penalty civil remedies. By harmonizing the language in the Consumer Fraud Act (Subchapter II, Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Code) and the Division of Consumer Protection’s enabling statute (Subchapter II, Chapter 25, Title 29 of the Code), this Act clarifies that Delaware is line with the other states. This Act also strikes outdated language in the Consumer Fraud Act requiring cases to be filed in specific counties, as the Superior Court and the Court of Chancery have both eliminated their historical county filing requirement. Additionally, this Act fixes inconsistencies with the Summary Cease and Desist Order process, by clarifying that an alleged violator must request a hearing in order to trigger the Division of Consumer Protection’s obligation to hold a hearing. This Act further clarifies the Summary Cease and Desist Order process, such as by making explicit the alleged violator’s right to postpone a hearing and final order, changing the various 10 day requirements to 15 business days, and removing the requirement for a complaint to accompany the original summary cease and desist order.

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