|SB 90 w/ SA 1||Committee||Lockman||The Delaware Fair Housing Act and Residential Landlord-Tenant Code both prohibit discrimination based on source of income, which is defined as including rental payments from any government program, but both laws also provide that a landlord's nonparticipation in a government-sponsored rental assistance, voucher, or certificate system cannot be the basis for an administrative or judicial proceeding.
This Act revises both the Delaware Fair Housing Act and Residential Landlord-Tenant Code to repeal the exception to discrimination based on source of income that allows a landlord to discriminate against tenants who participate in government-sponsored rental assistance programs. This exemption contributes to a lack of affordable housing in this State. There is currently a severe shortage of affordable housing for extremely low-income households in Delaware, with only 38 affordable rental units available for every 100 extremely low-income households. In addition, studies have shown that people who use government subsidies to move from high-poverty neighborhoods to communities with more opportunity have measurable health improvements and the children in these families earn more in adulthood than children who remain in high-poverty neighborhoods.
At least 12 states and the District of Columbia have fair housing laws that protect against discrimination based on source of income that covers recipients of government subsidies. As of the end of 2019, half of all voucher households in the United States were protected by discrimination laws.
This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 1 of Article IX of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to amend a charter issued to a municipal corporation.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 AND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FAIR HOUSING.|
|SA 1 to SB 90||Passed||Lockman||This amendment delays the effective date of this Act to allow the opportunity for all of the following to occur:
1. Conduct outreach and education to landlords about how this Act changes the law. This outreach will include information explaining that while the law prohibits a landlord from having a blanket policy of not accepting government assistance to pay rent, it does not require a landlord to accept all applicants who receive rental assistance, such as applicants who have a history of evictions or not paying utility bills.
2. Explore opportunities to streamline and standardize the processes used by government assistance programs.|| |
|SS 1 for SB 187 w/ HA 1||Passed||S. McBride||Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more popular. Between 2012 and 2016, EV sales grew at an annual rate 32%. In 2017, growth in sales reached 45%. Batteries for EVs have become much cheaper in the last 10 years, enabling EVs to compete with traditional, fossil-fueled vehicles. In addition, major vehicle manufacturers are pledging to go all electric. Some researchers are predicting that EV sales will outnumber those of traditional, combustion engine vehicles by 2040. However, only minimal electrical charging infrastructure is available today.
Like Senate Bill No. 187, this Substitute will make it easier and more convenient to own an electric vehicle in this State in the years to come, resulting in increased purchases of electric vehicles, promoting cleaner air and water, and resulting in improved health outcomes for Delawareans and a reduction of greenhouse gases to curtail global warming.
Specifically, like Senate Bill No. 187, this Substitute achieves these ends by requiring municipalities with a population of 30,000 or more to develop a procedure to obtain permission for the installation of an electric vehicle charging station on real property zoned for residential use that abuts a residential street.
This Substitute differs from Senate Bill No. 187 as follows:
(1) By removing the requirement that an ordinance adopted by a municipality establish the qualifications required by the licensed electrician who installs an electric vehicle charging station.
(2) By clarifying that a municipality may not require an individual owner of real property to install an electric vehicle charging station for another person, including a tenant, guest, or customer, unless the requirement is adopted as part of a municipal zoning or building code that is of general applicability.
This Substitute Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 1 of Article IX of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to amend a municipal charter, whether directly, by amendment to a specific municipality’s charter, or, as in this Act, indirectly, by a general law.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 22 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS.|
|HB 259 w/ HA 1||Passed||Lambert||This Act requires Delaware to use the Wireless Emergency Alert (“WEA”) system to notify the public of emergency alerts and requires that the emergency alert system be used when a catastrophic release occurs. A catastrophic release is a major uncontrolled emission, fire, or explosion that presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health. This Act also requires that emergency alerts be broadcast in Spanish, in addition to English, when possible.
The WEA system is a federal public safety system, currently used by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), that allows customers who own mobile devices to receive geographically targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.
Delaware still uses reverse 911 notifications to landline phones for environmental hazards, but only 6.5% of U.S. households use landlines as their only form of phone communication. In contrast, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that during the first 6 months of 2020, 62.5% of adults and 73.8% of children lived in wireless-only households. To ensure that Delaware’s cell phone users receive WEA alerts, DEMA asked cell phone users to manually register their cell phones with the Delaware Emergency Notification System ("DENS") to receive WEA notifications. After numerous years of marketing campaigns, and encouragement from public officials, private entities, and advocacy groups, only 3% of Delawareans have manually registered their cell phones with the Delaware Emergency Notification System to receive wireless emergency alerts.
In addition, because the WEA system targets geographic areas, emergency alerts are sent to all wireless devices with service provided by participating carriers. Thus, emergency alerts are provided to wireless devices in the geographic area affected by the hazard, regardless of whether people register their phones, live in the area, or have phone numbers with a local area code.
This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7, TITLE 16, AND TITLE 20 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMERGENCY ALERTS.|
|SS 1 for SB 167 w/ SA 1||Committee||Lockman||This Act seeks to increase the supply of homes available to rent for low-income individuals and families by providing incentives to landlords who participate in a government-sponsored rental assistance program. To that end, this Act creates a Landlord Mitigation Fund, administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority ("DSHA"), to provide payment for certain types of claims for payment or reimbursement for certain expenses incurred by participating landlords.
The Act provides that the DSHA shall set the maximum amount that a landlord may recover from the Landlord Mitigation Fund, per claim and per tenancy. In addition, the Act provides that the DSHA has sole discretion to determine payment from the Landlord Mitigation Fund. Payment is subject to the availability of funds in the Landlord Mitigation Fund.
A landlord who has received payment from the Landlord Mitigation Fund is prohibited from taking legal action against, or pursuing collection from, a tenant for damages attributable to the same tenancy, except to the extent the landlord seeks damages in excess of the amounts received from the Landlord Mitigation Fund.
The Act is a substitute for and differs from Senate Bill No. 167 by eliminating claims for payment of a security deposit from the types of claims for which reimbursement from the Landlord Mitigation Fund may be sought. In addition, this Act removes dollar limitations on reimbursement from the Landlord Mitigation Fund and instead authorizes the DSHA to determine such limitations. The Act further eliminates the requirement that the DSHA create and maintain a waitlist, in the event that funds do not exist in the Landlord Mitigation Fund to pay eligible claims. The Act also creates exceptions to the limits on remedies for landlords receiving a payment from the Landlord Mitigation Fund. Finally, the Act eliminates the requirement that a tenant repay to the DSHA amounts paid to a landlord for a claim pursuant to subsection (b)(3) or (b)(4).
||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LANDLORD MITIGATION FUND.|
|SB 209||Out of Committee||Paradee||In 2016, Title 2, Chapter 19 was enacted to address the growing use of ride share applications also known as a Transportation Network Companies (“TNC”), which transport passengers for compensation. In 2016, the General Assembly acknowledged the importance of protecting TNC passengers as well as other drivers on Delaware roads by requiring that a TNC possess $1,000,000.00 in death, bodily injury and property damage insurance coverage when transporting passengers. Because many Delaware citizens do not use a TNC for transportation but use other forms of transportation, such as buses, taxicabs or limousines, this Act increases the death, bodily injury and property damage insurance coverage required for the Delaware Transportation Authority (i.e. DART buses) and public carriers as defined by Chapter 18, Title2 to that which is already required by a TNC. The Act also requires that public carriers, TNCs and Delaware Transportation Authority possess uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage to protect their passengers. The Act will take effect on July 1, 2022.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 2 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION AND INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR THE DELAWARE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, PUBLIC CARRIERS, AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES.|
|HB 307||Passed||Gray||This Act amends the Town of South Bethany Charter to provide the correct citation to charter provisions relating to residency.
Additionally, the Council organizational meeting will be within 30 days after the election of members instead of being the first Saturday after the elections.||AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF SOUTH BETHANY RELATING TO MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN COUNCIL.|
|HB 316||Passed||Griffith||This bill does all of the following relating to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. First, it adds the Chief Magistrate of the Justice of the Peace Court to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. Second, it removes the limitations on the use of voting by proxy by members of the Council. These limitations are unnecessary because § 2104(f) provides that the Council promulgate rules of procedure governing its operations so long as they are in accordance with Chapters 100 and 101 of Title 29. Thus, the Council, not the statute, should determine the rules necessary to govern its own operations. Finally, the bill adds the Fatal Incident Review Team of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council to the list of entities that are entitled to receive protected health information without informed consent. The protected health information at issue is essential for the Fatal Incident Review Team to review. Due to federal law, certain providers are prohibited from providing such information even with a subpoena. However, these providers can provide the protected health information if the statute specifically permits such protected health information to be disclosed without informed consent.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 13 AND 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COORDINATING COUNCIL.|
|SS 2 for SB 1 w/ HA 1||Signed||S. McBride||This Act, the Healthy Delaware Families Act, creates a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program. Delaware employees can access up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave through the State's paid leave trust fund for a qualifying event, including for the following:
(1) To address a worker's own serious health condition.
(2) To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
(3) To bond and care for a new child.
(4) To address the impact of a family member's military deployment.
This Substitute to Senate Bill No. 1 differs from Senate Bill No. 1 with regard to the eligibility determination process, covered relationships, length of leave, forms of leave covered, cumulative leave, eligibility criteria, implementation timeline, appeal process, departmental powers, and not requiring participation from certain smaller businesses.
This Substitute differs from Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 1 by making technical corrections, clarifying intent and providing greater statutory detail with regard to appeals, coordination of benefits, definitions, private plans, and departmental powers, and providing temporary flexibility regarding implementation.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE PROGRAM.|
|SB 255||Out of Committee||Pinkney||When a youth who is experiencing foster care and living in an out-of-home placement has a need for inpatient psychiatric treatment, there can be a delay in gaining voluntary admission to a facility due to the Division of Family Services needing to obtain the youth’s parent or legal guardian’s consent for treatment. This can lead to a youth waiting in an emergency department bed or other inappropriate setting while waiting for the proper consent to be signed. In some cases, when a youth’s parent or legal guardian cannot be located, the youth must be involuntarily committed in order to obtain inpatient treatment, even when the youth is going willingly.
This bill allows the Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families, Division of Family Services Director or Deputy Director to sign the request for voluntary admission to a psychiatric treatment facility for a youth in foster care. In the case of a youth in foster care whose parent or guardian’s legal parental rights have not been terminated, the Division of Family Services works collaboratively with the youth’s parent to get consent on medical treatment and decisions. This bill would enable youth experiencing foster care to access psychiatric treatment voluntarily when their parent or legal guardian is not available to consent to the treatment on their behalf. This bill also allows the Director or Deputy Director of the Division of Family Services to make a written discharge request on behalf of the youth receiving voluntary treatment.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 13 AND 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE VOLUNTARY ADMISSION PROCEDURE.|
|HCR 71||Passed||Dorsey Walker||This Concurrent Resolution declares April of each year "Parliamentary Law Month". ||DECLARING APRIL OF EACH CALENDAR YEAR AS "PARLIAMENTARY LAW MONTH".|
|HB 373||Signed||Schwartzkopf||Currently, there is ambiguity whether a person who is 14 or 15 years of age can be employed by restaurants, hotels, or dining facilities that serve alcoholic liquors. This bill removes that ambiguity and makes it clear that persons 14 and 15 years of age can be employed in such places where alcoholic liquors are served, but cannot be involved in the sale or service of alcoholic liquor.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 4 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS.|
|HB 360 w/ HA 1||Signed||Longhurst||The Act, which shall be known as the 2022 Delaware Relief Rebate Program, creates a “relief rebate” which is a one-time direct payment of $300 per Delaware resident taxpayer. This relief is intended to help Delawareans grappling with significant inflation at the grocery store and gas pump.
Payment of the $300 will be made by the Delaware Department of Finance to resident individual income taxpayers who filed a 2020 personal income tax return. This payment will be made to each taxpayer, including those who jointly filed. No action on the part of a taxpayer is required to receive the $300. In order to quickly provide this payment to Delaware taxpayers, provisions pertaining to tax intercepts by other government entities and Delaware State agencies shall not apply. The amount received by individual taxpayers will not be subject to Delaware income taxes. Any written protest for the disallowance of the payment of the $300 relief rebate under this Act shall be processed consistently with existing provisions in Title 30. Records of the Department with respect to the provisions of this Act are subject to existing protections from disclosure under Delaware laws. A timely filed tax return includes extensions.
This Act also temporarily suspends the limitation on refunds of taxes under Title 29 of the Code until DEFAC refund estimates include the 2022 Delaware Relief Rebate Program. Costs associated with the administration and issuance of payments under this Act will be funded by delinquent tax revenue authorized to be retained by the Department of Finance in the annual budget act.
Finally, this Act requires the Department of Finance to establish a process to provide the relief rebate to resident adults who did not file a 2020 state income tax return by identifying adult residents through existing databases held by other state agencies, such as the Division of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Finance will then work with the Department of Technology and Information to implement a process by which eligible residents who have not been identified by other means can apply for and receive the relief rebate, subject to verification of their identity and eligibility.||AN ACT TO CREATE THE 2022 DELAWARE RELIEF REBATE PROGRAM.|
|SA 1 to SS 1 for SB 167||Passed||Lockman||This amendment allows Delaware State Housing Authority to adopt rules prescribing eligible time periods for reimbursement, minimum claim amounts, and additional claim types that are eligible for reimbursement.
This amendment also removes a reference to federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Further, this amendment allows Delaware State Housing Authority to use up to 15 percent of the funds deposited into the Landlord Mitigation Fund to cover the cost of administering the fund.
|HCR 72||Passed||Schwartzkopf||This Resolution recognizes the month of April 2022 as "National Donate Life Month" in Delaware.||RECOGNIZING THE MONTH OF APRIL 2022 AS "NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH" IN DELAWARE.|
|HCR 74||Passed||Minor-Brown||This Resolution recognizes the work of all three of Delaware’s Federally Qualified Health Centers. ||RECOGNIZING THE CRUCIAL WORK OF DELAWARE’S THREE FEDERALLY QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTERS; HENRIETTA JOHNSON MEDICAL CENTER, LA RED HEALTH CENTER, AND WESTSIDE FAMILY HEALTHCARE.|
|HCR 73||Passed||Longhurst||This resolution recognizes the Easterseals/CAI Volleyball Challenge occurring May 14 at William Penn High School, an event that raises funds for an organization providing services and support to Delawareans with disabilities and senior citizens and their families. ||RECOGNIZING THE EASTERSEALS/CAI VOLLEYBALL CHALLENGE AND THE VOLLEYBALL AMBASSADOR, STELLA RUMMEL-ASHLOCK IN THE 16TH YEAR OF DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN TEAM PARTICIPATION.|