House Bill 411
151st General Assembly (Present)
Out of Committee 5/18/22
Reported from Committee; to list ready for consideration (Ready List)
AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE II OF THE DELAWARE CONSTITUTION RELATING TO LIMITATIONS ON THE TIME AND FREQUENCY OF LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS.
This Act is the first leg of a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the regular session of the General Assembly from extending beyond 5:00 p.m. on the last day of June, unless the session is recalled by the Governor or the presiding officers of both Houses. This changes the time beyond which a regular session of the General Assembly may not extend from midnight on June 30 to 5:00 p.m., which changes the time at which the presiding officers of both Houses must act to recall the General Assembly into special session. This means the General Assembly no longer has to remain in session until midnight to recall itself into special session. This Act does not change the date of or process for “final adjournment,” as defined in Opinion of the Justices, 175 A.2d 543, 545 (Del. 1961) (“‘[F]inal adjournment’ . . . means the adjournment sine die of the second regular session, or, in the absence of such adjournment, the extinguishment of the particular General Assembly by reason of expiration of the terms of office of the members.”). In addition, this Act contemplates that each House will continue its traditional practice of recessing to the call of the chair. 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.
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.