Senate Bill 43
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Adopted in Lieu of original; takes status of original
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DISPLAY OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING PUBLIC AWARENESS SIGNS.
This Act adds additional State facilities and categories of establishments to § 787 of Title 11 which would be required to display public awareness signs about human trafficking. The additional State facilities and categories are as follows: (1) State service centers. (2) Wellness centers. (3) Residential child care facilities. (4) Transitional and independent living service providers for youth aging out of foster care. (5) Shelters for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault or individuals experiencing homelessness or food insecurity. (6) Hotels. (7) Convenience stores along a major highway. (8) Gas stations along a major highway. (9) Casinos. (10) Restaurants with liquor licenses. (11) Poultry processing plants. (12) Bus or train stations. (13) Bars. (14) Massage establishments. (15) Shopping malls. This Act provides definitions of some of the existing State facilities and categories of establishments where public awareness signs are required to be displayed, as well as some of the new State facilities and categories added by this Act. This Act repeals the requirement to display public awareness signs at “emergency care providers” and “adult entertainment facilities” in favor of using the terms “wellness center” and “adult entertainment establishment”, which are defined in this Act. This Act also includes specific locations on the premises where establishments that are hotels, casinos, restaurants with liquor licenses, poultry processing plants, massage establishments, and shopping malls must display a public awareness sign. This Act adjusts the process by which the Delaware Anti-Trafficking Action Council (Council) may designate establishments required to display public awareness signs. This Act allows the Council to promulgate regulations to do all of the following: (1) Designate other categories of establishments that must display public awareness signs in addition to the categories required under § 787 and this Act. (2) Designate a specific location on the premises for a category of establishments where a public awareness sign must be displayed. (3) Change requirements for what must be included in a “public awareness sign”, as defined in this Act. The Act requires that the Council shall annually publish a list of categories of establishments that must display a public awareness sign and any specific location requirements for the purposes of providing notice. This Act makes the following clarifications: (1) The Department of Labor currently enforces the public awareness sign display requirement under § 787 through issuance of a fine. This Act clarifies that the fine is a civil penalty. (2) This Act distinguishes between the responsibilities of the Council and establishments, as well as rewrites the responsibilities to clarify the current law regarding the display of public awareness signs. This Act also establishes an enforcement process, including the requirement that establishments will receive a warning before any civil penalties are assessed. If an establishment does not correct the noncompliance identified in its warning, the establishment owner is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500. On a second or subsequent failure by an establishment to correct the same or a substantially similar noncompliance, the establishment owner is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,500. The current fine under § 787 is $300 per violation. Additionally, in the event that the Council changes what must be in a public awareness sign through the promulgation of regulations, this Act creates a safe harbor so a change in the rules does not immediately result in an establishment being in noncompliance. The Department of Labor may promulgate regulations. This Act also requires the Department of Labor to submit an annual report about enforcement to the Council and the General Assembly. To make compliance with and enforcement of this Act feasible, a fiscal note is attached to this bill to finance the creation of the public awareness signs, which will be provided free to State of Delaware facilities and establishments that request them. Additionally, the fiscal note will fund positions within the Department of Labor to enforce the human trafficking public awareness sign display requirements. This Act takes effect immediately and is to be implemented 1 year from the date of this Act’s enactment to allow for the promulgation of regulations by the Department of Labor and the Council, as well as to ensure public awareness signs will be ready for distribution before implementation. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law