|SB 7 w/ HA 1||Signed||McDowell||This Act provides county and municipal police and firefighters with the same pension burial benefit that is provided to state employees effective July 1, 2016. This Act is named for Wilmington Firefighters Captain Christopher M. Leach, Lieutenant Jerry W. Fickes, and Lieutenant Ardythe D. Hope, who lost their lives fighting a house fire on September 24, 2016.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL POLICE/FIREFIGHTER PENSION PLAN.|
|SB 11 w/ HA 1||Signed||McDowell||This Act relates to police and fire pension funds created under Title 18 of the Delaware Code. The General Assembly created a special fund in the hopes of ensuring adequate pensions for affected police officers and firefighters, and their surviving spouses. This has not come to pass with regard to all pensions, however. By way of example only, the average surviving spouse in the Wilmington Police and Fire retirement plan receives a pension of only $10,080, which is $1,090 dollars below the 2012 poverty level. Moreover, there have been only five disbursements under the special fund in its 48 year history. To address this, the Act would allow for an additional manner of providing distributions from the related special fund established for Police and Fire pensions. Specifically, disbursements from the fund to be made under this Act would be biennial and structured in 3 categories. The 3 categories are based upon length of retirement and whether the eligible individual is a surviving spouse or receiving a disability pension.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SPECIAL FUNDS.|
|HB 184||Signed||Q. Johnson||This bill adds to the requirements for licensure as a River Pilot Apprentice that an applicant not have been convicted of a crime substantially related to the practice of river piloting. This bill empowers the Board of Pilot Commissioners to waive such a disqualifier to licensure if it finds that the applicant is otherwise capable of practicing in a safe and competent manner, and the granting of a waiver will not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. This language tracks that which is already included in most Title 24 boards’ statutes. This bill also empowers the Board of River Pilot Commissioners to discipline any licensee who is convicted of a crime substantially related to the practice of river piloting after obtaining licensure, and to discipline any licensee who has a river pilot license disciplined by another jurisdiction. This language also tracks that which is already included in most Title 24 boards’ statutes.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 23 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE BOARD OF PILOT COMMISSIONERS.|
|HB 399 w/ HA 1 + SA 4||Passed||Longhurst||This is the first leg of an amendment to the Delaware Constitution to provide equal rights on the basis of sex. There is no Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. While Congress passed the Amendment in 1972, it was not ratified by the requisite number of states by the 1982 deadline. Delaware, however, was one of the first states to ratify the Amendment. About half of the states across the country have passed Equal Rights Amendments to their state constitutions in order to provide protection against discrimination based on sex. Without an Equal Rights amendment, women's rights and protections are limited. This Amendment is necessary to correct a constitutional shortcoming, reduce sex-based disparities and to codify our State's value of equality.||AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE I OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION RELATING TO EQUAL RIGHTS.|
|SB 178 w/ SA 1||Signed||Poore||This Act makes the following changes to the Charter of the City of New Castle:
1. Changes the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer to appointed offices rather than elected offices. This change is consistent with many other Delaware municipalities and supported by the lack of citizen interest in holding these offices with very few contested elections for these positions in the past 20 years.
2. Requires a super majority of Council to remove an appointed City Clerk or City Treasurer to help assure the independence of these offices and insulate them from removal on purely political grounds.
3. Authorizes the creation of other appointive offices by ordinance or resolution.
4. Adopts a "resign to run" provision whereby elected City officials desiring to run for a different City office must resign their current position.
5. Adopts an oath of office which an elected official must take before assuming office.
6. Declares a particular Councilperson's or the Mayor's office vacant due to the failure of an office holder to attend 3 or more consecutive regular monthly meetings of Council, or more than one-third of Council's regular monthly meetings in any consecutive 12 month period.
7. Requires a special election to fill vacancies in elective positions if the next scheduled general election in the City is more than 6 months away instead of having Council fill the vacancy by appointment.
8. Removes the ability of a Councilperson to participate in Council meetings via teleconference.
9. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF NEW CASTLE.|
|SB 229||Signed||Lopez||This Act acknowledges that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has been collecting natural resource data for years without the consent of the respective property owners. From the date of this Act forward, the Department must obtain written consent prior to physically entering onto private property for the purpose of collecting Natural Resource Data.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO IMPOSE A REQUIRMENT THAT INFORMED CONSENT BE OBTAINED PRIOR TO THE COLLECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCE DATA ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.|
|SA 4 to HB 399||Passed||Hansen||This Amendment adds a new Section 1 to the Act. The new Section 1 makes clear the General Assembly’s intent in proposing this amendment to the Delaware Constitution.|| |
|SA 1 to SB 178||Passed||Poore||This Amendment does all of the following:
Eliminates the change to the oath of office for elected officials so that the use of the State oath of office is retained.
Eliminates the change in how the failure to attend Council meetings is handled to retain discretion and the requirement of a vote before removing the elected official from office.
Applies the meeting attendance requirements to the Mayor, in addition to the President of Council and Council members.
Makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.|| |