Daily Report for 5/18/2021

Governor's Actions

No legislation is Signed by Governor Today

New Legislation Introduced

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HA 1 to HB 183PWBHensleyThis Amendment makes a technical correction. 
HB 187CommitteeCollinsThis Act specifies the duty of election officers to establish the identity of a voter by requesting explicit forms of identification. Any citizen presenting themselves as a voter at a polling place, but who is unable to provide an acceptable form of identification, or whose eligibility to vote cannot be determined, may cast a provisional ballot. The number of provisional ballots initially available at each polling place is tripled under this Act. Provisional ballots will be processed under existing state law, as modified by this Act, allowing state election officials to determine the validity of the ballot by matching the data provided by the voter against the state’s voter records. This measure will maintain a citizen’s right to vote, while establishing clear procedures for ensuring the integrity of the voting process and facilitating greater public trust in election results. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS AND ADMITTING A PERSON TO VOTE.
HB 188CommitteeVanderwendeThis Act makes fraudulent voting a class G felony level crime, with a fine of not less than $1,000 for a first offense or not less than $2,000 for a subsequent offense. Upon conviction, the person shall forfeit their right of suffrage for 5 years. Fraudulent voting includes voting, or attempting to vote, more than once; falsely impersonating another and voting or attempting to vote in the name of such person; or voting or attempting to vote in the name of another person, whether living or dead.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FRAUDULENT VOTING.
HCR 23CommitteeSmykThis Resolution requires the Department of Elections to review practices in Delaware and other states and make recommendations relating to verifying signatures on absentee ballots.REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS TO REVIEW PRACTICES IN DELAWARE AND OTHER STATES AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS RELATING TO VERIFYING SIGNATURES ON ABSENTEE BALLOTS.
HB 189CommitteeYearickThis Act codifies what valid forms of identification are to be included with the statement an elector must prepare to request an absentee ballot. It also allows for an elector submitting the statement by mail to include a clear photocopy of one of the valid identification forms with the statement. This Act also calls for the Department of Elections to make an additional attempt to verify the elector’s identity if such identification is not included with the statement. If the elector does not provide the verifying information, the Department of Elections will not provide an absentee ballot to the elector. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REQUESTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT.
SCR 36PassedGayThis resolution directs the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware Early Childhood Council to create a state target compensation scale and professional career pathway for early child care educators who teach ages birth through five years and issue a comprehensive written report by December 1, 2021.DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE DELAWARE EARLY CHILDHOOD COUNCIL TO CREATE A STATE TARGET COMPENSATION SCALE AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER PATHWAY FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE EDUCATORS WHO TEACH AGES BIRTH THROUGH FIVE.
SB 140CommitteeParadeeThis Act reduces risks to the environment and public health by doing all of the following: 1. Prohibiting the sale of containers, food service products, or packing material made of expanded polystyrene. 2. Prohibiting food establishments and public schools from providing ready-to-eat food and beverages in expanded polystyrene containers. 3. Limiting the use of single-service plastic items in food establishments. This Act allows restaurants to provide plastic straws at the request of a customer and does not apply to containers where the expanded polystyrene is wholly encased in more durable material. The term “food” includes beverages, under the Delaware Food Code. In addition, this Act encourages food establishments not to use or sell food that is pre-packaged in expanded polystyrene containers. This Act takes effect beginning July 1, 2022, except for public schools, for which it takes effect beginning with the 2022 – 2023 school year.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 AND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE PRODUCTS AND SINGLE-SERVICE PLASTIC ITEMS.
HB 191CommitteeCollinsThis Act's purpose is to spur economic growth in Delaware and create new jobs by giving a portion of the State's revenue surplus back to the taxpayers. Specifically, this Act cuts (i) all personal income tax brackets by 10%, (ii) the corporate tax rate from 8.7% to 6.1%, and (iii) the gross receipts tax by 50% each.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LOWERING CERTAIN TAX RATES.
SA 1 to SB 131PassedSturgeonThis Amendment revises the definition of "premium cigar" by adding additional requirements. 
SA 1 to SB 93PWBPooreThis Amendment redefines "clearly and conspicuously" to allow for the inclusion of audio disclosures, provided that there is an audio recording of the disclosure. It also removes a requirement that automatic renewal provisions be in writing. Finally, it corrects a typographical error in the bill.  
SA 1 to HB 8PassedHansenThis Amendment removes references to a Delaware PFAS Steering Committee and Delaware PFAS Team. 
HB 192CommitteeMatthewsUnder the Governor’s Eleventh Modification of the COVID-19 State of Emergency Declaration, and continuing upon passage of Senate Bill No. 247, remote notarization and witnessing by Delaware attorneys via audio-visual technology has been permitted. This provision is currently set to sunset on June 30, 2021. This Act extends the provision through June 30, 2022.AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 20 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO NOTARIZATION.
HA 1 to HB 157PassedWilson-AntonThis Amendment adds persons who are licensed allied health professionals in addition to those licensed by the Delaware Board of Nursing to the categories of conduct or persons excepted from the prohibition against providing hypodermic syringes or needles to persons under the age of 18 without a prescription and requiring that hypodermic syringes or needles be disposed of in a manner so as to render them unfit for reuse. 

Legislation Passed By Senate

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 26 w/ HA 1Enact w/o SignHeffernanThis Act requires the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families ("DSCYF'') to have exclusive jurisdiction over all aspects of a child’s care, custody and control when a child is convicted of a Superior Court offense. The Act establishes that from a date certain, no more juveniles would be transferred to the custody of the Department of Correction upon their adjudication and Level V sentence in Superior Court. The Act also provides that when a juvenile’s case is transferred to Superior Court, a reverse amenability hearing must be filed within 60, not 30, days of arraignment and that the time period may be enlarged by the Court for good cause.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 10 AND 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PROSECUTION OF JUVENILES.
SB 104SignedTownsend This Act clarifies various aspects of the State’s procedures to operate its unclaimed property program, including promoting and determining holder compliance, processing owner claims, and preventing fraudulent claims. Sections 1, 13, and 15 confirm current examination practice and address recent court decisions that, to determine a holder’s compliance, the State Escheator may request and review records to verify the completeness and accuracy of the holder’s records, even if such records may not identify property reportable to the State, and that the State may initiate an examination to determine compliance for any reason and is under no obligation to provide a detailed or specific reason or justification. Section 2 clarifies that the dormancy period for various types of bonds is 3 years, which confirms current practice to treat these property types similar to securities-related property. This section also clarifies and addresses recent changes made by the SECURE Act that impact the escheatment of Individual Retirement Accounts. This Section takes effect on August 1, 2021, for the next annual reporting period. Section 3 clarifies that holders whose business is described in 30 Del. C. § 2906 (“the business of operating a restaurant, snack bar, soda fountain, take-out food service, catering service, private eating or drinking club, or other eating establishment or service”) do not have to report and remit unredeemed gift card property that had an original issue amount of $5 or less. This Section further clarifies that no report is required from any holder for unredeemed gift cards having an aggregate face value of less than $5000 for the reporting period. Sections 4 and 13 clarify and confirm current practice that owner notification (“due diligence”) letters may be sent at any time during an examination at the holder’s initiative or at the direction of the State Escheator. Section 13 expressly allows the State to mail owner notification letters during an examination. Sections 5 and 24 clarify and confirm current practice that the State Escheator is only required to publish or provide upon request only last known address identifiers, which currently is considered city and state, rather than a property owner’s full address. Section 6 limits the scope of the State’s holder indemnification to property claimed by other jurisdictions and excludes penalties, as defined, imposed by other jurisdictions from the State’s indemnification obligations. Sections 7 and 14 clarify and confirm current practice by aligning the scope (included years and legal entities) of a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (“VDA”) or a subsequent examination, which is to be determined as of the earlier of the following: the date the VDA invitation letter is delivered, the date a holder elects to enter the VDA program, or the date the notice of examination is delivered. Sections 8 and 9 clarify and confirm current practice related to the return of securities-related property to owners. Section 8 makes a technical correction to change the imprecise 18-month time limit to an exact time period of 558 days (31 days multiplied by 18 months), to allow owners the maximum amount of time under the law to file a claim to recover their securities or market value as of the date of the claim, rather than the liquidated cash value. Because an owner’s right may be significantly altered after the expiration of this time period, precise calculation of this time period to the owner’s benefit is necessary. The 558-day period is the current standard applied by the State Escheator to determine the return of securities or market value as of the date of the claim versus liquidated cash value, and codification of the 558-day period avoids additional software development costs. This Section also clarifies that claimants receive any dividends that the State received while it held the security. Sections 8 and 9 clarify that the 558-day time limit begins to run based on the notice provided as required by the statute in effect when the property was delivered to the State and ends based on the claimant’s first documented contact with the State if the claim is made within 60 days of such contact. Section 10 clarifies procedures for the denial of a claim and the investigation of potentially fraudulent claims. Section 11 makes a technical correction to change the imprecise 4-month time limit to an exact time period of 120 days for claimant appeals to the Tax Appeal Board. Section 12 clarifies that the State may send Verified Report and Compliance Review notices to the appropriate legal entity, which may include an agent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the reporting legal entity. Section 14 establishes a permanent expedited examination program for any company whose examination began after February 2, 2017. Companies who complete their examinations within the parameters of the permanent expedited examination program will receive the benefit of a waiver of penalties and interest, except for a nominal, non-waivable 1% interest assessment. Companies who receive a notice of examination after August 1, 2021, and who do not complete an expedited examination are subject to a minimum, non-waivable 20% interest assessment, up to an assessment of full interest and penalties under the statute. Section 16 clarifies that the Secretary of State may send notices inviting holders to participate in the VDA program by any commercially reasonable means that includes evidence of delivery. This Section establishes that holders will have a 90-day period during which holders may enter the VDA program or may request to expedite their examination conducted by the State Escheator. Holders who neither enter the VDA program nor elect to expedite their examination will be referred to the State Escheator for a conventional examination. Section 17 prohibits the use of documents obtained in an examination initiated by Delaware to be used in a multistate examination, unless the holder agrees to such use in writing. This Section applies to examinations initiated after August 1, 2021. Sections 18 and 20 make a technical correction for consistent nomenclature of the “statement of findings” and “request for payment” issued at the conclusion of an examination. Section 19 requires exclusively hourly compensation to be paid to third-party audit firms, except for examinations of accounts or policies of insurance and securities-related property. This Section also requires third-party audit firms to comply with the State’s standard non-disclosure agreement requirements, regardless of whether the holder under examination agrees to such requirements. Finally, this section clarifies which senior unclaimed property positions in the Department of Finance are prohibited from vendor employment for a 2-year period. Sections 21 and 22 simplify and clarify the application and possible waivers of interest and penalties for past-due property. To encourage voluntary annual compliance and participation in the Secretary of State’s VDA program, under this Act, interest and penalties may be waived by the State Escheator, or Secretary of State for VDAs, in all circumstances, except the following: 1) Past-due property determined in an expedited examination as established by the Act will be subject to a nominal, non-waivable 1% per incident interest assessment; and 2) Past-due property determined in a conventional, non-expedited examination initiated after August 1, 2021, will be subject to a minimum, non-waivable 20% per incident interest assessment. Section 23 clarifies and confirms current practice regarding limitations on finder agreements to locate property. Section 24 expressly applies the confidentiality requirements of § 1189 to state contractors, such as third-party audit firms. This Section also excludes policies and procedures related to the determination of claims and fraud prevention measures from disclosure as a public record under the Freedom of Information Act. Sections 1, 4, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, and 22 of this Act shall apply retroactively to any claims, examinations, or litigation pending as of the effective date of this legislation. Sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 24 of this Act take effect on August 1, 2021. This bill also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.
SB 103SignedTownsend This Act adopts an express reporting requirement for virtual currency, with an exemption for game-related digital content with minimal or no value; defines virtual currency and game-related digital content; requires the liquidation of and conversion to U.S. dollars of virtual currency prior to reporting and remitting this property to the State; and limits the exposure of both the State and the reporting holder to claims by the putative owners of this property type for subsequent gains in value, given the volatility inherent in this property type’s value. Liquidation of and conversion to U.S. dollars of virtual currency prior to reporting and remitting also promotes ease of administration and the return of the cash value to owners. This Act incorporates in part some of the concepts from the 2016 Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission, as well as legislation adopted by Kentucky in 2019. These changes take effect on August 1, 2021. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.

Legislation Passed By House of Representatives

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 30CommitteeBoldenSection 1 of this bill moves the date of primary elections for statewide office, county office, and municipal office to the fourth Tuesday in April, which is the date of the presidential primary (in presidential election years). The dates for submitting and withdrawing notification of candidacy have been adjusted accordingly. Section 2 of the bill changes the deadline for a minor political party selecting its candidate at the party’s convention. Section 3 of the bill changes the deadline for filing certificates of nomination from September 1st to April 1st. Section 4 changes the “closed” period in which a voter is not allowed to change his or her political affiliation to match the 60-day limit in 15 Del. C. § 3189 for presidential primaries.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRIMARY ELECTIONS.
SB 44 w/ SA 1SignedSturgeonThis Act allows the Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission ("Commission") to review all deaths related to a drug overdose, regardless of the type of drug implicated in the overdose death. This change will allow the Commission to obtain and review all medical records, including substance abuse and mental health records, when there is a death related to a drug overdose. This approach will allow the Commission to monitor the evolving nature of societal drug use over time and make recommendations that are proactive in reducing the harm from emerging trends. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DRUG OVERDOSE FATALITY REVIEW COMMISSION.
SB 5SignedGayThis Act creates an automatic voter registration system at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and grants the State Election Commissioner the authority to implement automatic voter registration at other state agencies that already offer voter registration services under existing law. This Act stipulates that an unregistered adult citizen who provides proof of U.S. citizenship during a DMV license or identification card transaction will be automatically registered to vote by the Department of Elections, if otherwise eligible for registration. To ensure the accuracy of voter rolls, this Act also ensures any updated name or address received from a registered voter during a DMV license or identification card transaction will be automatically forwarded to the Department of Elections for the purpose of updating existing voter registration records. Using an existing mailer, the Department of Elections then will notify new registrants of their registration and provide them an opportunity decline registration or affiliate with a political party. Existing registrants will similarly be notified of any update to their registration using an existing mailer and provided an opportunity to undo the change, if necessary. People who register to vote under this automatic system but do not identify a specific political party will be afforded another opportunity to affiliate at the polls during the primary election immediately following their registration. To prevent ineligible non-citizens from registering to vote, individuals who provide documents establishing non-citizenship during a DMV transaction and individuals applying for the Delaware Driving Privilege Card will not be offered the opportunity to register to vote at the DMV and will not have any information forwarded to the Department of Elections. Unregistered individuals who do not provide proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of non-citizenship during a license or identification card transaction will be offered the opportunity to register to vote during the DMV transaction only if they affirm citizenship and other eligibility requirements, consistent with federal law requirements and existing law. This Act becomes effective two years after enactment, or five days after the State Election Commissioner certifies to the Governor and the General Assembly that the systems to implement the act are functional, whichever is earlier. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF VOTERS.
SB 89 w/ SA 1SignedMantzavinosThis 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) Provides definitions of terms used on traffic control devices that limit the size or weight of vehicles or prohibit the operation of trucks or other commercial vehicles on the highway, including terms that provide exceptions to posted prohibitions, including “local service” and “residential service”. (2) Requires the Secretary, and a municipality exercising its authority under § 134(e) of Title 17 (regarding prohibiting the operation of trucks or other commercial vehicles or imposing limits as to the weight of trucks or other commercial vehicles on designated highways), to submit an order issued under this Act to the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Register of Regulations and publish the order on the Department’s website. (3) Clarifies that violation of a traffic control device erected by order of the Secretary is a specific offense. (4) 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. (5) 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.
HA 1 to HB 136PassedLynnThis amendment changes the number of the section of Chapter 7, Title 13 that is being added by House Bill No. 136 to avoid confusion is §728A of Chapter 7A of Title 13. 
HA 1 to HB 124PassedGriffithThis Amendment amends HB 124 by specifying that a person know, not just have a reason to know, that the person is subject to a Family Court protection from abuse order before the person becomes a person prohibited from purchasing, owning, possessing or controlling a deadly weapon. It also specifies that a person know that the person is the subject of an active arrest warrant or post-arrest charges, indictment or information before the person becomes a person prohibited from purchasing a firearm. 

Senate Committee Assignments

Committee
Banking, Business & Insurance
Education
Elections & Government Affairs
Environment & Energy
Executive
Health & Social Services
Judiciary

House Committee Assignments

Committee
Administration
Education
Judiciary
Natural Resources
Public Safety & Homeland Security
Revenue & Finance

Senate Committee Report

Committee
Education
Finance

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

NomineeStatusCommission/BoardReappointment
Conaway, JoannConfirmedPublic Service CommissionReappointment
Drexler, Kim F.ConfirmedPublic Service CommissionReappointment
Karia, ManubhaiConfirmedPublic Service CommissionReappointment
O'Connell, KevinConfirmedChief DefenderNew
Schiltz, ToddConfirmedTax Appeal BoardReappointment
Winslow, Julian D.ConfirmedPublic Service CommissionReappointment