Daily Report for 7/31/2019

Governor's Actions

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 143SignedBushSection 1 of this Act clarifies the definition of the term “policy” for purposes of §§ 3903-3907 of Title 18 of the Delaware Code to apply only to personal automobile insurance policies and not commercial or other types of policies. Section 2 of this Act extends the amount of notice that an insurer must provide to a private passenger policyholder before cancelling an automobile policy for nonpayment of premium from 10 to 15 days. Section 3 of this Act sets standards for cancellation and nonrenewal notice requirements for commercial automobile policies. Section 4 of this Act is a housekeeping item and adds cross reference in Title 21 to the newly-created section 3920 for commercial policies. This Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 18 AND 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE POLICIES.

New Legislation Introduced

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
SB 174CommitteeEnnisThis Act allows special investigators with the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to make arrests and render assistance to other police officers. 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 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATEWIDE AUTHORITY OF POLICE OFFICERS.
SB 40CommitteeMcDowellDelaware’s existing Criminal Code was adopted in 1973 and was based on the Model Penal Code. Since that time, the Criminal Code has quadrupled in size and expanded to other parts of the Code without consideration to the general effects of the change on the Criminal Code’s overall structure, its terminology, or its application, creating numerous inconsistencies, redundancies, ambiguities and contradictions. This Act is one of two bills that seek to bring back proportionality, clarity, and consistency to the Criminal Code. Passage of this Act is contingent on the passage of the other bill that revises Title 11, Part I, and that would take effect 20 months after its passage.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30 AND 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES.
SB 52CommitteeMcDowellDelaware’s existing Criminal Code was adopted in 1973 and was based on the Model Penal Code. Since that time, the Criminal Code has quadrupled in size and provisions related to crimes expanded to other parts of the Code without consideration to the general effects of the change on the Criminal Code’s overall structure, its terminology, or its application, creating numerous inconsistencies, redundancies, ambiguities and contradictions. In 2014, the General Assembly established the Criminal Justice Improvement Committee to review opportunities for efficiencies in the Delaware Criminal Code, including identifying: “disproportionate, redundant, outdated, duplicative, or inefficient statutes” and “crimes that should or should not constitute potential jail time.” The Criminal Justice Improvement Committee Working Group was created to accomplish the Criminal Justice Improvement Committee’s stated goals and has worked diligently for the last three years, in concert with other criminal justice stakeholders, to restore the criminal code to a clear, readable, and proportional code. The recommendations found in their Final Report are the bases for this Act and its companion bill. This Act is one of two bills that seek to bring back clarity and consistency to the Criminal Code. This Act repeals and replaces Title 11, Part I, Chapters 1 through 15 of the Delaware Criminal Code and replaces those provisions with an improved code that is easy to understand, consolidates offenses and introduces rational and proportional sentencing structures. This Act, and its companion bill, will take effect 20 months from the date of enactment, to allow for a smooth integration of the improved code into existing structures, give public and private criminal justice stakeholders an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the improved code, and provide an opportunity to develop for the first time model jury instructions and sentencing guidelines. A Commentary, which explains how the current criminal code relates to the improved code, will be publicly available during this transition period. The 20 months will also give time to introduce technical corrections bills that will make changes to the Code necessitated by the improved code (e.g., update cross references to Title 11, Part I, found in other Titles), as well as incorporate legislative decisions passed by the 148th and 149th General Assembly that were not captured by the improved code.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE CRIMINAL CODE.
SB 177CommitteeMcBrideThis amendment brings into conformity the provisions of Title 21 with those of Title 14 relating to the revocation of a student’s driving privileges when he or she is expelled from a public school. Prior amendments to Title 14, Section 4130 and Title 21, Section 2707 removed the requirement that the Secretary of the Department of Motor Vehicles revoke a student’s driving privileges upon notice from the superintendent of a public school that the student had been expelled. This amendment accomplishes the intent of those prior amendments by removing surplus language in the parallel section of Title 21. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 RELATING TO SUSPENSION OF DRIVER'S LICENSES FOR SCHOOL EXPULSION.
SB 179CommitteeHansenTitle 9, Chapter 21 of the Delaware Code provides, upon the petition of a majority of property owners of any unincorporated community or village in New Castle County, that New Castle County Council may enter into a contract with any electric, gas, or other lighting company to light the streets or highways running through, bounding, and within the community or village. Communities have requested, and this Act would provide, a narrow expansion of Title 9 to provide for other lighting, including lighting for neighborhood entrance signs. This Act also makes technical corrections to the statutes involved to conform to the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STREET LIGHTS AND OTHER LIGHTS.
SB 176CommitteeLopezThis Act clarifies the circumstances in which it is appropriate to grant a person a driver education learner’s permit and what is required for a person to obtain a driver education learner’s permit. Specifically, this Act clarifies that a driver education learner’s permit is intended to be issued to those individuals who have met all of the requirements for a level 1 learner’s permit, but have not yet successfully completed a road skills test. This permit allows the individual to gain additional supervised driving experience needed to successfully complete the road skills test. This Act also establishes a clear connection between § 4125 of Title 14 and the requirements to obtain a driver education learner’s permit or a level 1 learner’s permit. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DRIVER’S LICENSES.
SB 182CommitteeDelcolloThis Act makes the following changes related to traffic control devices erected on order of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (“Secretary”) limiting the size and weight of vehicles and loads permitted on a specific highway: (1) Requires the Secretary to submit the order to the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Register of Regulations and publish the order on the Department’s website. (2) Clarifies that violation of a traffic control device erected by order of the Secretary is a specific offense. (3) Increases the monetary penalty for a violation of a traffic control device erected by order of the Secretary over the existing penalty in § 4508 of Title 21. (4) Makes a subsequent violation of a traffic control device erected by order of the Secretary a moving violation, which results in the Department assessing points on an individual’s license based on the violation.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES FOR SIZE AND WEIGHT OF VEHICLES AND LOADS.
SS 1 for SB 181CommitteeMcDowellThis Substitute Act modifies the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act to do all of the following: (1) Adds a solar water heater to the list of eligible energy resources. (2) Defines “solar technology” to include both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy technologies. (3) Continues increasing the required minimum percentage of electrical energy sales to Delaware end-use customers from renewable energy sources through 2035. (4) Places the Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Climate, Coastal, and Energy, and the Division itself, in charge of certain administrative aspects of the renewable energy portfolio standards program, replacing the State Energy Coordinator and the Delaware Energy Office. (5) Grants retail electricity suppliers and municipal electric companies a credit for installing eligible energy resources on a certified brownfield. (6) Makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Substitute Act differs from the Act by: (1) Lowering the minimum cumulative percentage for solar technology by .25% beginning in 2030. (2) Removing provisions that permitted a freeze of the minimum cumulative percentage from eligible energy resources and of the minimum cumulative percentage from solar technology under certain circumstances.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS.
SA 1 to SB 176PWBLopezThis Amendment clarifies that a student must have successfully completed the minimum number of classroom hours of instruction of the driver education course to be eligible for a driver’s education learner’s permit, known colloquially as a “white certificate”. 
SB 184CommitteeHansenThis Act clarifies Delaware’s driving under the influence (“DUI”) law related to intensive inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment for felony DUI offenders. The current law has resulted in differing interpretations regarding treatment; specifically, whether treatment must be completed while incarcerated (Level V) or at home confinement (Level IV), rather than at community supervision (Level III or Level II). This has resulted in extending incarceration for some offenders or requiring out-of-state offenders to reside in Delaware to complete the mandated drug and alcohol abstinence program and drug and alcohol treatment program under § 4177(d)(9) of Title 21. Specifically, this Act permits the Superior Court to sentence felony DUI offenders to commence intensive treatment at any level of supervision, including community supervision. This Act also requires offenders to complete treatment within 9 months of the date of sentence or the date of release from Level V or Level IV, unless the Superior Court has granted the offender an extension for good cause. If an offender does not complete the treatment as required, the Superior Court must impose the portion of the minimum sentence suspended by the Court for the offender’s participation in the program.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DRIVING A VEHICLE WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
SB 152CommitteeTownsendThis Act amends Delaware’s laws regarding release of persons accused of crimes (Chapter 21 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code) as required in conjunction with the adoption of Senate Bill No. 151, which proposes a constitutional amendment to permit preventive detention of certain persons accused of crimes. This Act both protects defendants’ due process rights and public safety by expanding the list of circumstances for which defendants may be detained pretrial without the opportunity for release and providing adequate due process protections for detention-eligible defendants. This Act protects public safety by permitting courts to detain defendants who are charged with an enumerated offense, or to whom certain enumerated circumstances apply, and who present unmitigated risks of non-appearance in court or danger to public safety. This Act also protects defendants’ rights by doing the following: (1) Requiring the Attorney General to establish by proof positive or presumption great that the defendant committed the detention-eligible offense and by clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure the defendants appearance in court or the safety of a witness, a victim, or the community. (2) Ensuring detention-eligible defendants are represented by counsel at the initial detention and subsequent hearings. (3) Requiring courts to hold a full detention hearing within 10 days of the defendant’s arrest where defendants have the right to testify, to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses against them. (4) Requiring expedited review of the detention order by Superior Court. (5) Providing speedy trial protections for any defendant who is detained prior to adjudication. This Act also does the following: (1) Improves procedural fairness by permitting courts to make transparent decisions about who to detain and who to release pretrial. (2) Strengthens the strong presumption of pretrial release upon least restrictive conditions for those defendants who can safely be released in the community. (3) Requires data collection and annual reporting of pretrial outcomes that will be available for public dissemination. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RELEASE OF PERSONS ACCUSED OF CRIMES.
SB 151CommitteeTownsendThis Act is the first leg of a constitutional amendment that modernizes the Delaware Constitution’s bail provision and clarifies the power of the General Assembly and the Courts to define certain felony offenses for which, or circumstances under which, pretrial release on bail may not be available. Upon enactment of the second leg of this constitutional amendment, Article I, § 12 of the Delaware Constitution proposed will do all of the following: (1) Retain the express declaration of a general right to have bail set in a criminal case. (2) Provide that the only crimes for which bail must be withheld are capital murder, where the evidentiary proof is positive and presumption of the accusation great, and other felony offenses determined by and under procedures prescribed by law where the evidentiary proof is clear and convincing. (3) Ensure that one condition precedent to bail being withheld in non-capital cases is a finding that no bail condition or combination of bail conditions other than detention will assure the safety of another person or the community, that the person will appear for future proceedings, or that the detention is necessary to prevent the person from obstructing justice. The proposed change to permit a person charged with a non-capital crime to be held without bail will not take effect until the General Assembly revises Chapter 21 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code to prescribe by law the circumstances and procedures under which detention without bail may occur. With this change, though, Delaware can move forward toward the type of modern bail system that has been increasingly adopted by our sister states, through amendment of their state constitutions, when needed, and the development of statutory procedures that provide, in extreme cases, pretrial detention without bail. Under current Delaware law, the only circumstance in which a person might be detained without bail is when the person is charged with capital murder. This Act would have no effect on bail procedures and standards in capital cases. The fact that bail can be withheld only in capital cases, however, is inconsistent with the evidence-based and informed decision-making that the General Assembly looked to adopt through the Justice Reinvestment Act and the findings and ongoing work of our Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission. At present, a Delaware state court judge cannot order pre-conviction detention in any non-capital case. Instead the judge can only attempt to set the bail so high that a defendant cannot make it, which can result in dangerous defendants with wealth being able to obtain release even if they pose a risk of harm to the public or a specific person, such as a witness or victim. This Act is one step toward completing a pretrial release-detention continuum that requires specific evidence-based release-detention decisions. Any legislation subsequently enacted or court procedures adopted under this Act requires a court’s individualized, fact-governed decision-making regarding detention in order to pass muster under the United States and Delaware State Constitutions. And, under this Act, any statute defining offenses for which, or circumstances under which, a person can be subjected to pretrial detention without bail must be enacted by an act of the General Assembly that is separate from an act that creates or amends the offense or circumstances and receives the concurrence of a two-thirds majority of each House of the General Assembly.AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE I, § 12 OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION RELATING TO CRIMINAL PROCEDURES.
SB 185CommitteeTownsendThis Act clarifies the rules for driving on Delaware roadways. It mandates the general rule that drivers operate vehicles in the right-most lane subject to some exceptions. It also mandates that, on the limited access portions of Route 1 only (currently from I-95 to south of Dover), trucks over 10,000 pounds of registered gross weight must drive in the right-hand land subject to some exceptions. Finally, it creates civil penalties for drivers on the limited access portions of Route 1 (currently from I-95 to south of Dover) who do not abide by the requirements of this Act. This bill addresses the problem of operators of vehicles driving below the designated speed limit in in the left-hand lane of State Route 1 and causing congestion thereon.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DRIVING IN THE RIGHT LANE OF A ROADWAY.
SB 186CommitteeParadeeThis Act clarifies that the immunity provided for furnishing information about suspected fraud applies even if no investigation, action, or penalty results from the information furnished. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO IMMUNITY.

Legislation Passed By Senate

No Legislation Passed By Senate

Legislation Passed By House of Representatives

No Legislation Passed By House

Senate Committee Assignments

Committee
Banking, Business & Insurance
Energy
Executive
Judicial
Transportation

House Committee Assignments

No House Committee Assignments

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