|HB 82 w/ HA 4||Signed||D. Short||This bill seeks to amend sections of Chapter 66 concerning the Delaware State Fire Prevention by: imposing a timeframe on the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters’ Association to recommend nominate Commission members to the Governor; imposing a presumption of neglect if a Commissioner misses three consecutive Commission meetings; adjusting the terms and term limits of the Commissioners; to prohibit a Commissioner from also serving in a politically elected or appointed position while serving as a Commissioner; and to eliminate the requirement for an Advisory Board. The Commission also creates an Executive Director position, which will be currently filled by a current Commission employee serving in that function. That bill makes clear that that person’s current merit status will remain, but will become an exempt position when the position next becomes vacant. The bill proposes to authorize the imposition of fines for violations of applicable Code and regulatory provisions and reasonable fees for Commission's certifications to help defray costs and expenses with the Commission’s administration and enforcement of its powers under the Code and its regulations. Finally, the bill proposes to make several amendments to clarify and synthesize language in other sections of Chapter 66. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE DELAWARE STATE FIRE PREVENTION COMMISSION AND COMMISSION TERMS.|
|SB 136||Signed||Sturgeon||This Act transfers responsibility for early intervention services for children ages birth to age 3 from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Education and revises the Code to be consistent with federal law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, interagency, interdisciplinary early intervention services system for eligible infants and toddlers and their families. This Act requires that early intervention services be provided in compliance with all of the requirements of the IDEA, improves coordination between advisory bodies, and requires early intervention service providers to receive the same training on child abuse and the same background checks as school employees.
Specifically, this Act does all of the following:
Section 1. Creates a new Chapter 31A in Title 14 for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program.
Section 2. Transfers responsibility for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) under Subchapter II, Chapter 2 of Title 16 to the Department of Education (DOE) under the new Chapter 31A of Title 14, and revises the Code as follows:
1. Aligns the Code with the requirements under the federal infants and toddlers program known as Part C of the IDEA.
2. Creates duplicate sections in Title 14 regarding the confidentiality of reports and prohibiting compulsory participation in the program consistent with existing sections in Title 16.
3. Adds standard organizational language for the Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC).
4. Requires the ICC to hold at least 1 joint meeting each calendar year with the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) because the ICC and the GACEC are the 2 Delaware agencies that advise the Department of Education on implementation of the IDEA.
Section 3. Makes corresponding changes to Subchapter I, Chapter 2 of Title 16 to reflect the transfer of responsibility for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program to DOE.
Section 4. Adds the chair of the ICC as a member of the Early Childhood Council (ECC) and makes corresponding changes to the membership of the ECC to reflect the transfer of responsibility for the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program.
Section 5. Requires the GACEC to hold at least 1 joint meeting each calendar year with the ICC because the ICC and the GACEC are the 2 Delaware agencies that advise the Department of Education on implementation of the IDEA.
Section 6. Requires early intervention service providers to receive the same child abuse and child safety awareness, prevention, detection, and reporting training as school employees.
Section 7. Makes corresponding changes to § 7904 of Title 29 reflecting the transfer of the authority to charge a fee for a service provided by Child Development Watch from DHSS to DOE.
Section 8. Requires early intervention service providers to receive the same background checks as other child-serving entities and makes corresponding revisions to the procedures to obtain and review the information received from these background checks.
Section 9. Delays the implementation of this Act until July 1, 2023 to provide time for the transfer of the program, including the promulgation of regulations.
Section 10. Provides that this Act is known as the “Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Act”.
This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 11(a) of Article VIII of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to impose a fee. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14, TITLE 16, TITLE 29, AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES.|
|SB 138||Signed||S. McBride||This bill changes the requirements for members to be appointed to the Authority on Radiation Protection. It also allows for removal of a member by the Governor in certain limited circumstances, and clarifies the number of members needed to constitute a quorum. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RADIATION CONTROL.|
|SB 139||Signed||S. McBride||This bill changes the requirements for members to be appointed to the Delaware Emergency Medical Services Oversight Council. The bill also clarifies that a member may serve for a term of up to three years and is eligible for reappointment and the number of members needed to constitute a quorum. In addition, the bill allows for removal of a member by the Governor under certain circumstances and clarifies that the Council may adopt bylaws for adopting operating procedures. The bill 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 DELAWARE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES OVERSIGHT COUNCIL.|
|SB 137||Signed||S. McBride||This Act amends Title 31 to allow the Superior Court to remand administrative hearing decisions after they have been reviewed on appeal for further factual findings or other proceedings as ordered by the Superior Court. In the absence of a remand decision, the Court is bound by the findings below, and has no ability to seek clarification of factual findings or to safeguard the procedural interests of the underlying parties. This Act provides the Superior Court with the type of flexible and nuanced approach it is able to employ under the Administrative Procedures Act. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE CODE.|
|SB 141||Signed||Gay||This Act is the result of over 6 years of work and collaboration among the Family Court, Department of Justice, Department of Services for Youth, Children, and their Families, the Office of the Child Advocate, private adoption agencies, and the Family Law Section of the Delaware Bar Association to modernize Delaware’s termination of parental rights (“TPR”) statute.
This Act makes numerous technical and substantive revisions to conform and update the TPR statute with current practices and procedure, provide clarity to and ease of use for certain portions of the statute, and conform the TPR statute with the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. Notable changes include:
(1) Several changes to the grounds for terminating parental rights: elimination of the ground of mental incompetence, addition of murder or manslaughter of the other parent as a ground, and creation of a new ground for parents in private TPR proceedings who have failed to alleviate circumstances causing their children to be dependent or neglected in their care after receiving notice and a reasonable opportunity to address the issues.
(2) Reclassifying abandonment of a child under the Safe Arms program from an involuntary TPR to a voluntary consent.
(3) Increasing the standard to terminate the rights of only 1 parent from “harmful to the child” to “serious physical or emotional harm to the child.”
(4) Eliminating the requirement to note the gender of a child in a TPR petition and, except where necessary in the context of a provision, replacing gender-based identifiers (man, woman, mother, father) with “parent.”
(5) Enumerating clear requirements for the contents of a social report and providing DSCYF and licensed agencies more time to complete the social report in non-DSCYF custody cases.
(6) Relocating the required statement that a parent has been notified of the parent’s right to file a written notarized statement with the Office of Vital Statistics denying the release of identifying information under 13 Del.C. § 923(b) from the petition to the social report.
(7) Eliminating DSCYF’s ongoing obligation to report to the Court after permanent guardianship or guardianship is granted and DSCYF holds parental rights, and codifying Family Court Civil Rule 220 relating to Post-Termination Placement Orders.
(8) Clarifying that the Family Court has discretion whether to accept a TPR consent, DSCYF has sole discretion to plan with a parent if it has established a ground to be relieved from planning with that parent, and the time for filing an appeal begins to run after issuance of the Court’s written order.
(9) Making technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual, including revising language to use the active voice rather than the passive voice.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TERMINATION AND TRANSFER OF PARENTAL RIGHTS IN ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS.|
|HCR 26||Passed||Longhurst||This Concurrent Resolution recognizes the month of May 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month.||RECOGNIZING THE MONTH OF MAY 2021 AS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH.|
|HCR 28||Passed||Longhurst||This Resolution commends the work of the New Castle County Police Department Behavioral Health Unit and urges law enforcement agencies throughout the State to adopt a similar unit.||A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE WORK OF THE NCCPD BEHAVIORAL HEALTH UNIT AND URGING LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE TO ADOPT A SIMILAR UNIT.|
|SB 162 w/ SA 1||Signed||Hansen||This Act is a result of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services Task Force ("the Task Force"), which was created under Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 62 and extended by House Bill No. 345, both of the 150th General Assembly. This Act fulfills 2 of the Task Force's many recommendations, by requiring that the chair or vice chair of the Advisory Council to the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services be an individual with a developmental disability, and amending the Advisory Council membership to include the following:
- 7 representatives of families, service recipients, and self-advocates who currently receive services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services.
- 5 representatives of a cross section of service providers in the developmental disabilities community who currently operate within the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services system, including residential service providers, day habilitation service providers, employment service providers, clinical service providers, behavioral or mental health service providers.
- 5 professional advocates, representing the following organizations: Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, State Council for Persons with Disabilities, Disabilities Law Program at Delaware Community Legal Aid Society, Inc., The Arc of Delaware, and Center for Disabilities Studies at University of Delaware.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ADVISORY COUNCIL TO THE DIVISION OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SERVICES.|
|SB 169||Signed||Gay||In 2019, the Office of Child Care Licensing (“OCCL”) was transferred from the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families to the Department of Education. This Act makes changes to improve OCCL’s implementation and enforcement of the Child Care Act, Chapter 30A of Title 14 of the Delaware Code.
Additionally, this Act does the following:
(1) Updates and expands the definition of child care to include early education programs for children below the grade of kindergarten that are operated by public or private schools.
(2) Increases penalties for violations of the Child Care Act.
This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE CHILD CARE ACT.|
|SA 1 to SB 162||Passed||Hansen||This Amendment clarifies that a member who is serving in their capacity as a family member may continue to serve their appointed term on the Advisory Council after the passing of a family member who was receiving services. Doing so will allow members who wish to remain engaged in advocacy efforts and possess invaluable institutional knowledge to continue to serve on the Advisory Council. || |
|SS 1 for SB 93||Signed||Poore||This Act provides protections for consumers in connection with contracts with automatic renewal provisions. Multiple states have enacted laws regulating the automatic renewals of contracts, often described as "evergreen" clauses. These state laws are aimed at protecting consumers from unknowingly entering into these types of agreements by requiring that evergreen clauses be presented in a clear and conspicuous manner and that sellers of such contracts provide notice to consumers about an upcoming renewal.
This Act also requires sellers of such contracts to provide consumers with a means to cancel the contract that is at least as easy to use as the means available to sign up for the contract.
It also updates the language of the enforcement provision in Subchapter IV, Chapter 27 of Title 6 of the Delaware Code.
This Act is a substitute for and differs from Senate Bill No. 93 by extending the length of covered contracts from 6 months to 12 months. It also adds audio disclosure to the definition of "clearly and conspicuously" and removes the provision stating that a cancellation that is in the same medium as the medium used to enter the contract is considered "cost effective, timely, and easy to use." It further specifies that a consumer who signs up for a covered contract online must be able to cancel online.
The substitute eliminates the requirement that businesses notify consumers the date at which the contract will automatically renew if not canceled and establishes a right to cure. It also adds matters subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission to the exempted entities.
Finally, the effective date is changed to January 1, 2022.
||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATED TO CONSUMER CONTRACTS.|