Daily Report for 3/22/2018

Governor's Actions

No legislation is Signed by Governor Today

New Legislation Introduced

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
SB 163CommitteeTownsendThis Act prohibits the manufacture, sale, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession, or transport of assault weapons in Delaware, subject to certain exceptions. One exception relevant to individuals is that the Act does not prohibit the possession and transport of firearms that were lawfully possessed or fully applied for before the effective date of this Act; although for these firearms there are certain restrictions relating to their possession and transport after the effective date of this Act. This Act is based on the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (“FSA”) passed in Maryland in the wake of the tragic slaughtering of children on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The FSA’s assault weapons ban was upheld as constitutional on February 21, 2017, by the full membership of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in the case of Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2017). The names Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Parkland, among others, have become synonymous with tragic killing of innocent, unsuspecting Americans of all ages and backgrounds, amidst a framework of federal and state laws that have permitted the purchase of weapons designed for the battlefield — not for our schools, our theaters, our places of worship, or our homes. Safety — both for the general public, as well as members of Delaware's law-enforcement community — is the objective of this Act, as it was for the FSA. And, as with the FSA, a primary goal of this Act is to reduce the availability of assault weapons so that when a criminal acts, he or she does so with a less dangerous weapon and less severe consequences. Relying on United States Supreme Court precedent from District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), as well as the holdings of its sister circuits, the full Fourth Circuit concluded that the assault weapons banned by the FSA are not protected by the Second Amendment. The Fourth Circuit was convinced that the banned assault weapons are among those arms that are “like” “M-16 rifles” — “weapons that are most useful in military service” — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach. The Fourth Circuit concluded that Maryland had presented extensive uncontroverted evidence demonstrating that the assault weapons outlawed by the FSA are exceptionally lethal weapons of war. The Fourth Circuit also concluded that the evidence showed the difference between the fully automatic and semiautomatic versions of military-style weapons is slight. Further evidence considered by the Fourth Circuit that motivates this Act is as follows: (1) Like their fully automatic counterparts, the banned assault weapons are firearms designed for the battlefield, for the soldier to be able to shoot a large number of rounds across a battlefield at a high rate of speed, and that their design results in a capability for lethality — more wounds, more serious, in more victims — far beyond that of other firearms in general, including other semiautomatic guns. (2) The banned assault weapons have been used disproportionately to their ownership in mass shootings and the murders of law-enforcement officers. (3) The banned assault weapons further pose a heightened risk to civilians in that rounds from assault weapons have the ability to easily penetrate most materials used in standard home construction, car doors, and similar materials, and that criminals armed with the banned assault weapons possess a “military-style advantage” in firefights with law-enforcement officers, as such weapons allow criminals to effectively engage law-enforcement officers from great distances and their rounds easily pass through the soft body armor worn by most law-enforcement officers. (4) Although self-defense is a conceivable use of the banned assault weapons, most individuals choose to keep other firearms for that purpose. (5) Prohibitions against assault weapons will promote public safety by reducing the availability of those armaments to mass shooters and other criminals, by diminishing their especial threat to law-enforcement officers, and by hindering their unintentional misuse by civilians. (6) In many situations, the semiautomatic fire of an assault weapon is more accurate and lethal than the automatic fire. Finding this evidence and these conclusions by the Fourth Circuit to be strongly persuasive of the applicable framework of constitutional rights, and firmly believing that promoting the safety of the Delaware public and Delaware law-enforcement is a paramount function of the Delaware General Assembly, Delaware legislators file this Act in the name of public safety and with adherence to core constitutional principles.AN ACT TO AMEND THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS.
SCR 48PassedSokolaThis Senate Concurrent Resolution observes the month of March, 2018 as “Athletic Training Month” in the State of Delaware and honors the Delaware Association of Athletic Trainers for its outstanding efforts to increase the health and safety of Delaware athletes.OBSERVING THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2018, AS “ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH” IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND COMMENDING THE DELAWARE ASSOCIATION OF ATHLETIC TRAINERS FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING EFFORTS TO INCREASE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF DELAWARE ATHLETES.

Legislation Passed By Senate

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 144 w/ HA 2SignedOsienskiThis bill serves to better define and limit what real property rights the Department of Transportation may acquire. It also corrects a technical error that if left unchanged, will jeopardize the use of federal funds on transportation projects due to non-conformance with the National Environmental Policy Act and federal highway regulations.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 17 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ACQUISITION OF REAL PROPERTY.
HB 243 w/ HA 1SignedD. ShortThis bill is the direct result of the Delaware Financial Review of Volunteer Fire Companies Task Force Report of February 2017, created by House Concurrent Resolution 95 of the 148th General Assembly. The revised subsection (b) established in this Bill will provide the State Fire Prevention Commission with the authority to make sure that volunteer fire and ambulance companies properly complete their audit requirements and maintain fiscal responsibility. If a company fails to comply with audit requirements, the State Fire Prevention Commission can have the State Treasurer withhold Grant-in-Aid funds from the offending company. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO VOLUNTEER FIRE AND AMBULANCE COMPANIES.
SB 147 w/ SA 1SignedDelcolloImmunity from liability for individuals rendering emergency care is addressed in many sections of the Delaware Code. There are several separate statutes providing immunity for specific professions and even for lay individuals providing specific types of assistance. Section 6715 of Title 16 provided immunity to “Firemen, policemen or volunteer ambulance or rescue squad members rendering emergency care” until it was transferred to § 6801 of Title 16 in 1971. Section 3001G of Title 16 provides immunity to peace officers who administer naloxone to an individual whom the officer believes is undergoing an opioid-related drug overdose. Currently, 1 statute, § 6801 of Title 16, addresses 3 topics: (1) lay person, Good Samaritan, immunity for rendering emergency care; (2) emergency responder immunity for rendering emergency care; and (3) the establishment of the Advanced Life Support Standards Committee. The current statute does not clearly identify the emergency responders that are provided immunity and, because of changes in how emergency services are funded, could be interpreted to exclude any person receiving compensation for their work, including firefighters and police officers. This Act amends § 3001G of Title 16 to include all public safety personnel and to reference the general immunity statute for public safety personnel, which provides the exact same level of immunity, to avoid potential conflicts between the immunity statutes and provide consistent immunity protection public safety personnel. Section 3001G of Title 16 does not need to specifically provide immunity to lay individuals who administer naloxone under the Community-Based Naloxone Access Program because lay individuals have immunity for administering naloxone under the general Good Samaritan statute, § 6801 of Title 16. This Act clarifies § 6801 of Title 16 by breaking it into 3 different statutes, 1 statute for each topic, but does not substantively change the law because this Act: (1) Clarifies the individuals covered by the statute without conflicting with the other immunity statutes across the Delaware Code. (2) Does not change the acts for which individuals have immunity and thus continues to provide immunity for acts such as administering CPR or naloxone. (3) Does not change who is intended to be covered by the current language § 6801 of Title 16. (4) Does not change the standard for immunity. As in the current law, the individual only has immunity if the individual did not cause the injuries or death wilfully, wantonly, or recklessly or by gross negligence. (5) Clarifies that lay individuals have immunity when rendering emergency care. (6) Clarifies that public safety personnel rendering emergency care have immunity if the individual has current, relevant training or certification. Specifically, this Act: (1) Amends § 3001G of Title 16 to include all public safety personnel and to reference the general immunity statute for public safety personnel and makes technical corrections to § 3001G of Title 16 to conform to the standards of the Legislative Drafting Manual. (2) Revises § 6801 of Title 16 so that it continues to provides immunity to lay individuals, also known as Good Samaritans, who render emergency care. It uses the same immunity standard as in the current § 6801 of Title 16. (3) Moves the immunity for emergency responders to Chapter 97 of Title 16, the Emergency Medical Services Systems Chapter. This allows the definitions in Chapter 97, Title 16 to apply to the immunity provision so it is consistent and clear that public safety personnel mean law-enforcement officers, lifeguards, park rangers, firefighters, ambulance and rescue personnel, communications and dispatch specialists, and other public employees and emergency service providers charged with maintaining the public safety. It uses the same immunity standard as in the current § 6801 of Title 16. (4) Continues to use a general statement of emergency care or rescue assistance rather than list specific acts. This allows the law to cover any situation, whether or not the specific nature of the assistance is anticipated by the General Assembly, and allows for the law to cover new medical treatment or forms of assistance. (5) Provides a definition for the term law-enforcement officers in Chapter 97 of Title 16, where the term is used but not defined. (6) Removes language from the current statute that excludes care provided on the premises of a hospital or clinic because that distinction is not necessary after the statute is separated to clearly define who receives immunity under this statute. In addition, other sections of the Delaware Code provide immunity for physicians, nurses, and physician assistants who provide emergency care, so those individuals no longer need to be included in this section for when they provide assistance outside of their places of employment. (7) Does not require lay individuals to have training to have immunity but does require that public safety personnel have any current training that is required and relevant to the assistance provided to have immunity. This is because public safety personnel acting in their official capacity often receive some form of compensation for the assistance. (8) Moves the Advanced Life Support Standards Committee to Chapter 97 of Title 16 and makes technical corrections to the language in the current § 6801 of Title 16 to conform to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual and to accurately refer to the Division of Public Health, but does not make any substantive changes. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM LIABILITY FOR INDIVIDUALS RENDERING EMERGENCY CARE.
SA 1 to SB 147PassedDelcolloThis Amendment retains the current immunity language in § 3001G(b) to make clear that the immunity standard is not being changed. This Amendment updates the current language in § 3001G(b) to be consistent with the terminology changes in Senate Bill No. 147, specifically by adding "recklessly" and changing "peace officer" to "public safety personnel." 
HCR 64PassedBoldenThis House Concurrent Resolution recognizes March 22, 2018, as “AKA Day at the Capitol" in Delaware.RECOGNIZING MARCH 22, 2018, AS "AKA DAY AT THE CAPITOL” IN DELAWARE.

Legislation Passed By House of Representatives

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 312SignedMitchellThis Act includes “emergency medical technicians” within the definition of employee under the County/Municipal Police/Firefighter Pension Plan. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL POLICE/FIREFIGHTER PENSION PLAN.
HB 318SignedB. ShortThis Act updates the Delaware Insurance Guaranty Association (DIGA) Act to more closely align it with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds (NCIGF) Model Acts. DIGA in a non-profit association, established under Chapter 42, Title 18 of the Delaware Code as a safety net to protect residents of this state when a covered property and casualty claim arises from an insolvency of a member insurance company. DIGA is fully funded by assessments levied on member insurance companies and remaining assets from insolvent insurance companies. Section 1 clarifies the types of insurance that do not fall under this chapter. Section 2 clarifies the definition of what is excluded from the definition of a “covered claim” and adds “ocean maritime insurance” to this chapter. Section 3 provides for an increase in the maximum amount of covered claims from $300,000 to $500,000 (workers compensation coverage remains unlimited) and specifies when the Association would be relieved of any obligation to defend an insured on a covered claim. Section 3 permits procedures to be established for DIGA to retrieve net worth information from an insured, with consequences if the information is not provided in a timely basis. Section 3 also provides DIGA with the ability to bring an action against any third-party administrator or other party who refuses to release information related to an insolvent company interfering with DIGA’s ability to carry out its duties. Section 3 also provides DIGA with the authority, subject to approval by the Commissioner, to provide claims-handling services to any “run-off insurer” provided the Association expenses related thereto are fully reimbursed. Section 4 renames § 4212 (formerly non-duplication of recovery) and clarifies that all other insurance coverage (excluding Medicare) is primary to DIGA coverage. Section 5 removes unecessary language regarding the Board of Director’s functions in relation to making recommendations on the status of member insurers. Section 6 provides the Board of Directors the right to request financial and other information from the liquidator, receiver, or statutory successor of an insolvent insurer covered by this chapter.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE INSURANCE GUARANTY ASSOCIATION ACT.
HB 327 w/ HA 1SignedMitchellThis Act is designed to address underage gambling offenses under § 4810 of Title 29 in a more efficient way. Section 1 of this Act requires mandatory counseling for underage individuals who gamble in violation of § 4810(a) of Title 29 and provides for original jurisdiction for these violations in the Justice of Peace Courts for those who are 18 years of age or older and for original jurisdiction for these violations in the Family Court for those who are 17 years of age or younger. Section 2 of this Act gives Superior Court jurisdiction over other violations of the underage gambling law. Section 3 makes violations of § 4810(a) of Title 29 eligible for probation before judgment. Section 4 of the Act makes violations of § 4810(a) of Title 29 a warrantless crime, which would permit violators to be processed through the use of a criminal summons. Finally, this Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNDERAGE GAMBLING.
HB 333SignedB. ShortIn 2017, HB 114 raised the minimum bodily injury and property damage liability limits set forth at 21 Del. C. § 2902(b)(2) from $15,000/$30,000/$5,000 to $25,000/$50,000/$10,000. However, HB 114 did not address the issue of combined single limits, and did not change the definition of “proof of financial responsibility” in the definitions section of Title 21. The purpose of this bill is to resolve the statutory conflict that was created when HB 114 was passed in 2017.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES.
SCR 47PassedPettyjohnCommemorating the week of March 18 through 24, 2018 as Delaware Ag Week and urging all Delaweareans to celebrate and to learn more about Delaware's modern agricultural industry, and to pay tribute to the farmers, the agricultural community, and the educators who provide the research and the education so vital to sustaining our agricultural industry.RECOGNIZING THE WEEK OF MARCH 18 THROUGH 24 AS DELAWARE AG WEEK
HA 1 to HB 327PassedMitchellThis Amendment adds a two-thirds supermajority vote parenthetical to the Act as the grant of jurisdiction to the Justice of the Peace Court requires such a vote under Article IV, § 28 of the Delaware Constitution.  

Senate Committee Assignments

Banking, Business & Insurance
Judicial & Community Affairs

House Committee Assignments

Health & Human Development
Natural Resources
Transportation/Land Use and Infrastructure

Senate Committee Report

No Senate Committee Report

House Committee Report

No House Committee Report

Senate Defeated Legislation

No Senate Defeated Legislation

House Defeated Legislation

No House Defeated Legislation

Nominations Enacted upon by the Senate

No Records