|HB 292||Signed||Jaques||This Act implements the recommendations of the March 2105 Autism Educational Task Force report regarding § 1332 of Title 14, the Program for Children with Autism and its Special Staff. Enacted nearly three decades ago, this law established a network of educational programs initially within a separate school structure known as The Delaware Autism Program (DAP). Today, this network continues as a combination of both separate school programs and within local school district support services.
However, the current model does not reflect current practices in special education, especially regarding inclusive education, and parents’ desire to have their children educated in their local communities. In addition, the increase in students with an educational classification of autism spectrum disorder (“ASD”) has made it difficult for the Statewide Director to provide the level of services and support that once was offered.
This Act establishes the qualifications and duties of the Statewide Director and enhances the current mandatory committee structure to include a Parent Advisory Committee, in addition to the Peer Review Committee and Statewide Monitoring Review Board, to increase family input, monitoring, and protections.
This Act creates a 3 year pilot program that revises the concept of DAP toward a system in which the statewide Director will work in collaboration with a team of experts to provide technical assistance and training to districts and educational entities. It allows for and provides adequate resources for all students with ASD in Delaware by eliminating the distinction between DAP-approved programs and other in-district options and by providing in-state experts at a lower cost than out-of-state residential treatment and consultants. The pilot program created under this Act makes changes that recognize and support the need for specialized technical assistance and training staff to be available to build capacity for teachers in all districts and other programs educating students with ASD. These changes expand available supports so that excellent, evidence-based training and technical assistance can be made available to all Delaware schools and the students who attend them. The pilot program created under this Act establishes a technical assistance team of educational autism specialists numbering a ratio of 1 for every 100 students (currently estimated at 15 positions).
The fiscal mechanism to support the pilot program will be accomplished through mandated district participation that is consistent with the current needs-based funding system in Delaware and by redirecting state spending towards lower cost, community-based supports from out-of-state residential placements. The number of training specialists will be phased in over several years or until the pilot program ends.
Finally, this Act is known as "The Alex Eldreth Autism Education Law" in memory Alex Eldreth, who passed away unexpectedly on November 24, 2017, and his dedication to this work.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.|
|HB 348 w/ HA 1||Signed||Mulrooney||This Act redefines “resident” to mean one who is legally domiciled in the State for 10 years immediately preceding October of the pretax year. This change means that one must be domiciled in the State for 10 years before one who is over the age of 65 can receive the exemption from real estate taxes provided by Subchapter II, Chapter 81, Title 9 of the Delaware Code.
This change is consistent with a similar change made to the residency requirements of those who are over the age of 65 and claiming a tax credit against school taxes (See House Bill No. 99, as amended, from the 149th General Assembly; Chapter 71, Volume 81 of the Laws of Delaware).
This Act also corrects language in the definition of “income.” This language operates to reference income information that is a year old at the time provided. Removing this language will mean income information for the most recent federal and state income tax years is provided.
Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COUNTY TAXES.|
|SB 200||Signed||Lopez||This Act prohibits drilling for oil or natural gas in Delaware’s coastal zone and territorial waters and precludes DNREC from issuing any permits in connection with the development of offshore drilling infrastructure, whether proposed for Delaware territorial waters or waters outside of the State.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OFFSHORE DRILLING AND THE COASTAL ZONE.|
|SB 224 w/ SA 1||Signed||Henry||Section 1 of this Act increases the aggregate amount of Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credits that can be approved in any 1 fiscal year from $500,000 to $1 million.
Section 1 of this Act also makes a technical correction to use “persons,” which is a defined term for purposes of the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit, instead of “firms,” which is not defined, and to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
Section 2 of this Act provides the Delaware State Housing Authority with funds to administer the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit program. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSISTANCE TAX CREDIT.|
|SB 225 w/ SA 1, SA 2||Signed||Hansen||This Act encourages prescribers and patients to use proven non-opioid methods of treating back pain by doing the following:
1. Prohibits numerical limits on physical therapy and chiropractic care, which might deter prescribers or patients from using those treatments rather than opioids.
2. Adds continuing education requirements for prescribers relating to risks of opioids and alternatives to opioids.
3. Creates a pilot program within the state employee health care plan that allows the use of massage therapy, acupuncture, and yoga for the treatment of back pain.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16, TITLE 24, TITLE 29, AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR THE TREATMENT OF BACK PAIN.|
|SB 226||Out of Committee||Poore||The Public Service Commission’s (“PSC”) authority over public utilities has been changed by recent decisions by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) and legislation enacted in Delaware. This Act changes the statutory requirements for PSC public utilities to remove requirements that are no longer consistent with the FCC decisions and revised State laws but impose unnecessary burdens and costs on utilities and administrative costs to the PSC. This Act also removes an unnecessary administrative requirement regarding motor vehicle dealers.
The specific changes are as follows:
Section 1. Removes the requirement in § 4915 of Title 6 that an annual assessment be sent to motor vehicle dealers so that the PSC has the flexibility to send an annual assessment and notification to motor vehicle dealers only when the annual assessment is necessary to cover actual administrative costs. Current law requires that the annual assessment be sent even when the actual cost of administering this chapter is zero or de minimis. The PSC has had only 2 cases in the past 6 years and both were settled without significant cost.
Section 2. Revises an internal reference to reflect a subsection redesignated by this Act.
Section 3, Section 5, Sections 6 through 8. Amend §§ 215, 704, 705, 706, and 707 of Title 26 so that PSC approval is not needed for telecommunication filings for mergers, transfers of control, securities issuance, and financings. The telecommunications industry has continued to evolve and provide competitive services in Delaware. The FCC exercises regulatory authority over telecommunication service providers and recent statutory changes eliminated the PSC’s authority to regulate telecommunication customer service. Thus, applications for merger or transfer of control are typically permitted after there has been no PSC action within the required 30 day period. This section eliminates an unnecessary regulatory requirement and loses little oversight of competitive telecommunication service providers.
Section 4. Eliminates PSC authority to regulate “rates changed” for basic cable services. On September 9, 2015, the FCC issued new rules declaring basic cable service to be competitive in all areas because fiber and satellite services offer a competitive alternative. To retain rate regulatory authority, states must petition the FCC showing a lack of competitive alternatives with their boundaries and Delaware has not filed a petition to do so. This change codifies the impact of that FCC ruling on PSC authority.
Section 8. Amends § 707 of Title 26 to eliminate the annual rate filing by telecommunication providers. In 2013, HB 96 redefined basic service in Delaware to include an individual access line and residential local usage at a location where there is no alternative provider of telephone service available and switched access services. This revised definition eliminated all basic service in Delaware and the need for a telecommunication provider to file applications for rate changes, which had been calculated using the Gross Domestic Product Price Inflation Index. Under federal law, carriers are prohibited from increasing intrastate switched access rates, so there is no need for a State filing regarding a calculation related to switched access services. Thus, this change eliminates unnecessary regulatory filings.
This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 AND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND THE REGULATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE DEALERS AND PUBLIC UTILITIES.|
|HB 443 w/ HA 1||Signed||Brady||This Act permits the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to renew or extend the term of a construction permit under certain circumstances. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PERMITS.|
|SA 1 to SB 224||Passed||Henry||This Amendment provides the Delaware State Housing Authority with the authority to use up to $50,000 of the interest income from the Housing Development Fund for the support of administrative functions associated with administering the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit program. || |
|SB 243 w/ SA 1||Signed||Henry||Since 1973, § 9605(b) of Title 9 of the Delaware Code (“§ 9605”) has prohibited the recordation of instruments that restrict the sale, gift, transfer, assignment, conveyance, ownership, lease, rental, use, or occupancy of real property to or by any person because of the person’s race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or ancestry.
This Act provides a mechanism for owners of real property subject to an instrument that contains a provision that restricts property rights based on the list of characteristics included in § 9605, including the governing documents of a common interest community, to redact and strike the unlawful restrictive covenant language from instruments recorded with a county recorder of deeds before the original enactment of § 9605 or in violation of § 9605.
This Act also amends the list of characteristics included in § 9605 that may not be used to discriminate in the sale, gift, transfer, assignment, conveyance, ownership, lease, rental, use, or occupancy of real property to make it consistent with Delaware’s fair housing laws. However, this Act makes clear that provisions that are permitted by the exceptions to the Delaware Fair Housing Act are not prohibited from being recorded by a recorder of deeds.
Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNLAWFUL RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS.|
|HB 457 w/ HA 1||Signed||Q. Johnson||This bill provides for a residential electrician license. A residential electrician license allows for a person to conduct residential electrical work without having to be under the direct onsite supervision of a licensed master electrician, master electrician special, limited electrician, limited electrician special or journeyperson electrician. Electricians with a residential electrician license are permitted to perform electric work performed on or within a residential dwelling or building prior to the dwelling or building being connected to the electric grid, or work to or beyond the breaker panel or fuse box in a residential dwelling or building, or residential low voltage electric work.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ELECTRICIANS.|
|SB 244 w/ SA 1||Signed||Walsh||This bill provides technical changes and also creates the Committee on Employment and Social Services consolidating the work conducted by the Welfare Employment Committee and Social Service Advisory Council created by Executive Order Six-Eight signed by then Governor Michael N. Castle. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WELFARE.|
|SA 1 to SB 225||Passed||Hansen||This Amendment removes the pilot program from this Act.|| |
|SB 247||Signed||Ennis||This Act, consistent with longstanding practice throughout the State expressly recognized in the existing statute, clarifies the manner in which criminal justice agencies may inform the public of information related to arrests. In addition, this Act provides the State Bureau of Identification the ability to share information with the Federal government to maintain on-going monitoring of individuals who have already undergone background checks. Finally, it provides that fingerprints and similar information collected will be retained for future comparison purposes.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE BUREAU OF IDENTIFICATION.|
|SS 1 for SB 207 w/ SA 1||Signed||Hansen||This Substitute Act does all of the following:
(1) Expresses the General Assembly's and Governor's opposition to the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program ("Draft Proposed Program").
(2) Requests the Department of Justice review the Draft Proposed Program, and any other actions taken by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior targeted at approving an oil and gas leasing program, and take any appropriate legal steps to prevent the sale of oil and gas leases off the coast of the State of Delaware.
(3) Directs the Department and the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board to enforce compliance with the Coastal Zone Act.
(4) Directs the Department to review Delaware law to ensure these laws properly reflect Delaware's environmental policy objectives for purposes of their use in the consistency review process under the Coastal Zone Management Act.
(5) Directs the Department to report to the Chair of the Senate Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee and the Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee any legislative changes that are identified as necessary.
This Substitute Act differs from the original Act in that it replaces Section 2 and 3 of the original Act with a new Section 2 that provides the Department of Justice with more flexibility to prevent the sale of oil and gas leases off Delaware’s coast.||AN ACT OPPOSING DRILLING OFF DELAWARE'S COAST AND DIRECTING CERTAIN STATE OFFICIALS AND STATE AGENCIES TO ENFORCE DELAWARE'S RIGHTS RELATING TO OFFSHORE DRILLING UNDER FEDERAL AND STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.|
|SS 1 for SB 255||Out of Committee||Pettyjohn|| This Act prohibits the use and dissemination of information obtained from the machine readable zone of a driver's license or identification card issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles, with limited exceptions. This Act seeks to protect members of the public at large from having their personal information used for purposes other than those enumerated in this act. Various states have taken similar action to protect the personal information of citizens. This Act is modeled after legislation that was passed in Virginia.
The Act is substituted for Senate Bill No. 255 and differs from Senate Bill No. 255 by (1) moving the legislation to Subchapter I (General Provisions) of Chapter 25 (Prohibited Trade Practices) of Title 6 of the Delaware Code; (2) providing a definition for the term “merchant”; (3) correcting the name of the Division of Motor Vehicles; (4) clarifying the existence of both a private cause of action and enforcement authority by the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit; (5) changing the term “criminal activity” to “unlawful activity” wherever it appears; (6) clarifying the Act’s language relating to check services companies; and (7) making technical corrections to conform the Act to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SCANNING INFORMATION FROM DRIVER'S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD.|
|SB 263||Out of Committee||McDowell||This Act amends the Delaware Governmental Accountability Act to make the annual budget process part of a performance management system of strategic planning, performance metrics and performance budgeting, dedicated to continuous process improvement that makes government more efficient, reduces costs and eliminates waste in the process and operations that deliver goods and services to taxpayers, customers and employees of State government.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE GOVERNMENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT.|
|SA 2 to SB 225||Passed||Hansen||This Amendment makes Section 4 and Section 5 of this Act, which cover the state employee plan and Medicaid, effective when funds are appropriated to implement it.|| |
|SA 1 to SB 244||Passed||Walsh||This amendment makes a technical correction, clarifies the role of the Committee on Employment and Social Services in facilitating employment of TANF recipients, and adds fraud and waste to the topics to be covered in the Committee's Annual Report. || |
|HCR 95||Passed||Schwartzkopf||This concurrent resolution recognizes and honors the young women of Delaware participating in the 2018 session of Delaware Girls State.||HONORING THE YOUNG WOMEN FROM ACROSS THE STATE OF DELAWARE PARTICIPATING IN THE 2018 SESSION OF DELAWARE GIRLS STATE.|
|SA 1 to SB 254||Passed||Bonini||This amendment provides that the civil penalties and other revenue collected will be retained by the General Fund of the State. || |
|SA 1 to SB 243||Passed||Henry||This Amendment does all of the following:
(1) Makes technical changes to renumber § 9628(b), as contained in the Act.
(2) Exempts the county attorney from completing the review of the request to redact an unlawful restrictive covenant within 90 days if there are extradordinary circumstances that prevent completing the review in that time.
(3) Authorizes the county attorney to compile a list of phrases identified as unlawful restrictive covenants in violation of § 9605(b) of Title 9 and authorizes the recorder to use this list to grant a request to redact an unlawful restrictive covenant without further review by the county attorney.
(4) Clarifies in which circumstances a recorder must publicly disclose a redacted version of an instrument and in which circumstances a recorder must publicly disclose an unredacted version of an instrument.|| |
|SA 1 to SS 1 for SB 207||Passed||Hansen||This Amendment clarifies that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control shall review the Delaware Coastal Management Program’s policies and enforceable mechanisms as they relate to offshore drilling to ensure they reflect Delaware’s current environmental laws and regulations for purposes of their use in the consistency review process under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act.|| |