|HB 205 w/ HA 3||Passed||Lambert||This Act establishes the Delaware Expanding Access for Retirement and Necessary Saving (“EARNS”) program to serve as a vehicle through which eligible employees may, on a voluntary basis, provide for additional retirement security through a State-facilitated retirement savings program in a convenient, cost effective, and portable manner. The EARNS program will be designed to serve small businesses who are unable to offer retirement plans to employees due to the cost and administrative burden.
Because there are documented wealth gaps in Delaware, disproportionately impacting women and people of color, a state-facilitated savings plan aims to alleviate barriers small employers face in offering options, close the wealth gap among low to modest wage earners and keep Delaware competitive with neighboring states by attracting talented workers to Delaware. A state-sponsored savings plan, funded by employees, facilitated by employers, and overseen by the State, will offer one solution to the quickly emerging crises stemming from generations of workers without adequate savings.
The Act creates the Delaware EARNS Program Board to oversee initial design and implementation of the program. The board will be disbanded no later than December 31, 2025, at which point all duties and functions of the board will be transferred to and assumed by the Plans Management Board. The effective date of the Act is contingent upon an appropriation by the General Assembly necessary to implement the Program. This Act also makes technical changes to the existing law to make it conform to the standards of the Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 19 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF THE EXPANDING ACCESS FOR RETIREMENT AND NECESSARY SAVING PROGRAM.|
|HB 234 w/ HA 1||Passed||Minor-Brown||This Act requires the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance to take the necessary steps to expand Medicaid coverage to pregnant women from the current coverage of 60-days from the end of pregnancy under federal Medicaid regulations to 12 months from the end of pregnancy. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant women receiving Medicaid benefits cannot be dropped so comprehensive medical care and other health care services have continued beyond 60 days until 12 months after the end of pregnancy by virtue of the federal Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists. This Act would continue that coverage after the Determination is not renewed. In the event that coverage under the Determination ends before the State Plan Amendment is approved, the State will be obligated to provide the cost of coverage for services provided to pregnant women during the period from 60 days until 12 months after pregnancy ends.
Insurance coverage is a critical factor in determining women’s access to affordable postpartum care and is a key strategy for reducing preventable maternal mortality. Extending the period postpartum during which insurance coverage is available will help close the disparity in the maternal morbidity and mortality rate, improve access for preventive services and comprehensive care for chronic conditions, including behavioral health, and accordingly, improve the overall health outcomes among Black women and women of other races. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 RELATED TO EXTENSION OF MEDICAID COVERAGE THROUGH THE FIRST YEAR POSTPARTUM.|
|HB 286||Signed||Osienski||According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the useful life of the components of typical sewer and wastewater systems ranges from 15 years to 100 years. In light of the long life of sewer and wastewater infrastructure, longer maturities are appropriate for bonds issued to fund such infrastructure. This bill extends the maturity of bonds permitted to be issued by New Castle County from 30 years to 40 years for both sewer and wastewater projects, recognizing the long life of such assets. Extending the maturities of sewer and wastewater infrastructure-related bonds will enable New Castle County to access federal programs that allow for longer-duration repayment periods, such as the Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act and the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan program for sewer, solid waste and stormwater drainage in eligible rural areas. Furthermore, longer maturities reduce the debt service burden on the County’s operating budget.
Additionally, this bill removes the requirement that New Castle County advertise bond sales in newspapers, while retaining an obligation to provide published notice of bond sales to New Castle County residents. Municipal bond sales are advertised through national and international electronic platforms that are monitored by institutional investors, rendering print advertising of such sales obsolete and unnecessary.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO EXTEND THE PERMITTED MATURITIES OF BONDS FOR SEWER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT IN NEW CASTLE COUNTY.|
|HB 313 w/ HA 1||Passed||Collins||This Act amends the Millsboro Charter to require the town auditor to make and deliver the annual audit report to the Town Council by the date of the Council's regular meeting in January after the end of the fiscal year.
If the Town receives 100% principal loan forgiveness from a federal, state, or local government, a special election is not required for the project.
Additionally any portion of principal forgiveness value granted shall not count toward the Town's aggregate limit of any borrowing authorization previously approved by a special election vote for the proposed loan.||AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF MILLSBORO RELATING TO THE POWER TO BORROW MONEY AND ISSUE BONDS, AND ANNUAL AUDIT.|
|HB 342 w/ HA 1, HA 2||Passed||Minor-Brown||Delaware law already prohibits the use of restraints on women who are giving birth or in labor except in limited circumstances. This Act expands that protection to include women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy and those in the 13-week immediate post-partum period. Wrist restraints fastened in front of the body may be used during transport except during labor or delivery or while being transported with a newborn. Wrist, leg, and waist restraints may also be used in extraordinary circumstances, but a licensed medical professional must be notified as soon as practicable when waist or leg restraints are applied and examine the prisoner within 10 minutes of the notification. Leg and waist restraints are prohibited for prisoners in labor and delivery.
The Act also requires that a pregnant or post-partum woman who is required to squat or cough during a strip search be provided accommodations to avoid falls and prohibits vaginal exams except those performed by a medical professional.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that shackling a pregnant inmate increases the risk of falling, impairs evaluations for serious pregnancy-associated conditions, causes pain and skin damage, and further endangers inmates at increased risk of preeclampsia. The use of restraints in the post-partum period creates additional risks to physical and mental health. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TREATMENT OF PREGNANT AND POST-PARTUM PRISONERS.|
|HB 304 w/ HA 1||Passed||K. Williams||This Act recognizes advancements in the science of reading and literacy instruction by requiring that all public school students in kindergarten through grade 3 participate in a universal reading screening 3 times each year to identify potential reading deficiencies, including dyslexia, and allow for early intervention and prevention. The Department is tasked with compiling a list of reading screeners as well as literacy intervention approaches that are aligned with the science of reading that charter schools and districts may use. The Department will take into account the science of reading and evidence-based research in creating the list as well as the alignment of screeners and interventions with a multi-tiered system of support. The Department is also required to consider the burden on schools to administer screeners and the amenability of the screener to being incorporated into ongoing instruction.
Charter schools and districts are additionally required to provide the results of each screening to a student’s parent – which may be done by adding it to existing communications such as report cards or progress reports.
Finally, charter schools and districts must report, by grade, the number of students in kindergarten through grade 3 determined to have potential reading deficiencies and what intervention approach is being used, as well as the number of students receiving dyslexia specific interventions. The Department of Education is tasked with compiling this information into a report for the General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the Governor.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO READING COMPETENCY.|
|HB 359||Passed||K. Williams||This Act adds victims of human trafficking to the Address Confidentiality Act. Under this program, certain crime victims are provided a substitute address by the Department of Justice so as to protect the participant’s actual address from public disclosure. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PROTECTION OF WITNESSES AND CRIME VICTIMS.|
|HB 406||Signed||Bush||Section 1 of the Act amends section 3534 of Title 12 to include, within the class of persons who may receive notice under the statute, designated representatives under section 3339 of Title 12 (representatives under section 3547 of Title 12 already being specifically included within section 3534).
Section 2 of the Act expands, within existing section 3536(e) of Title 12, on the ability of a beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust to transfer the remainder interest to charity by assignment in addition to a release, and expands on the ability of a beneficiary of a QTIP trust to transfer an interest in the trust by assignment or other means to the next succeeding beneficial interest.
Section 3 of the Act creates a new section 3536A in Title 12, similar in concept to the laws of other states, to permit a beneficiary of a trust to release (in full or in part) the interest, even if the beneficiary previously accepted the benefits of such interest (a situation not addressed by Chapter 6 of Title 12 of the Delaware Code (regarding disclaimers, which includes releases of nonfiduciary powers)), but subject to many conditions (and would overrule Smith v. Bank of Delaware, 219 A.2d 576 (Del. 1966) and Bank of Delaware v. Smith, 211 A.2d 591 (Del. Ch. 1965), but would be consistent with Shepard v. Burr, 87 A. 1020 (Del. Ch. 1913)). It should be further noted that: (i) while there is existing statutory authority that may be used to achieve the same outcome afforded herein, this statute provides a more efficient framework for releases of interests in trusts; (ii) a typical scenario that this statute is designed to resolve in a streamlined way involves a longtime income beneficiary of a trust who no longer wants or needs the income, and would like her interest to terminate so that her children may receive the remainder interest, which would not otherwise occur until her death; (iii) with death being a random event that could occur at any time, permitting a beneficiary to terminate her interest before her death does not run afoul of a trustor’s intent; and (iv) the language of subsection (f) of this new section 3536A was drafted to parallel that of section 502(b) of Title 25 of the Delaware Code, thereby reflecting concepts discussed in, for example, section 116 of the Bogert treatise.
Section 4 of the Act amends section 3546 of Title 12 to conform its provisions regarding receipt of notice to those of section 3585 as changed under this Act.
Section 5 of the Act: (i) clarifies that the bar of section 3585 of Title 12 applies against judicial proceedings; (ii) expands the class of those against whom that bar would apply to persons other than beneficiaries; (iii) defines when a person is deemed to have received a 120-day notice under section 3585 (in conformity with the aforementioned amendment to Section 3546 of Title 12 under this Act); (iv) provides that a person may waive the 120-day period to accelerate what would otherwise occur upon expiration of that period; and (v) clarifies that the limitation period of section 3585 does not expand the limitation period for claims against the estate or revocable trust of a deceased individual fiduciary.
Section 6 of the Act provides an effective date.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DECEDENTS' ESTATES AND FIDUCIARY RELATIONS.|
|HCR 97||Passed||Minor-Brown||This concurrent resolution recognizes June 21, 2022 as "Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler Day" in Delaware.||RECOGNIZING JUNE 21, 2022 AS "DR. REBECCA LEE CRUMPLER DAY" IN DELAWARE.|