Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 43
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DISPLAY OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING PUBLIC AWARENESS SIGNS.
This Act is a substitute for Senate Bill No. 43. Both this Act and SB 43 add 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 is also the same as SB 43 in that it: (1) 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 SB 43 (and retained by this Act). (2) 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. (3) Adjusts the process by which the Delaware Anti-Trafficking Action Council (Council) may designate establishments required to display public awareness signs. SB 43 and this Act allow the Council to promulgate regulations to designate other categories of establishments that must display public awareness signs in addition to the categories required under § 787 and this Act; designate a specific location on the premises for a category of establishments where a public awareness sign must be displayed; and change requirements for what must be included in a "public awareness sign", as defined in this Act. (4) Requires the Council to 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. (5) Clarifies that enforcement fines are civil penalties. (6) 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. (7) Establishes an enforcement process, including the requirement that establishments will receive a warning before any civil penalties are assessed. The Department of Labor may promulgate regulations. (8) Requires the Department of Labor to submit an annual report about enforcement to the Council and the General Assembly. (9) 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. (10) This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Act differs from Senate Bill No. 43 by: (1) Removing the mandate that the Department of Labor (Department) conduct enforcement. The Department still has enforcement authority but may exercise its discretion in whether to pursue enforcement. (2) Changing enforcement to a complaint-based system whereby the Department may inspect an establishment about which it receives a compliant. While the complaint-based system may be the main way that the Department will receive notice of possible noncompliance with public awareness sign requirements, the Department may still initiate inspections independent of a report from the Delaware Anti-Trafficking Action Council or a complaint. (3) Changing the enforcement process and timeframes as follows: When the Department conducts enforcement, it shall provide public awareness signs, if needed, to an establishment to immediately enable compliance with the public awareness sign display requirements. If, within 3 years, the Department determines the establishment is exhibiting the same, or a substantially similar, noncompliance identified in the warning notice, then the Department shall assess a civil penalty against the noncompliant establishment. (4) Removing the safe harbor provision since all establishments will now receive copies of the proper signage during inspection, if new signs are needed. (5) Updating the civil penalty to conform to the changes made in the enforcement process and timeframes. The civil penalty is as follows: if an establishment does not correct the same, or a substantially similar, noncompliance identified in the warning notice, 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 identified in the warning notice, the establishment owner is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,500. The current fine under § 787 is $300 per violation. (6) Naming this Act the "Signs of Hope Act". This name reflects the purpose that the human trafficking public awareness signs serve: a way to reach, give hope, and save victims of human trafficking. (7) Removing repetitive language and correcting a grammatical error. 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 and to fund a Department of Labor enforcement position.
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