Daily Report for 7/1/2022
|HB 145 w/ HA 4
|This Act will allow Delaware residents two new deductions from personal income tax. The first is a deduction from taxable income of up to $1,000 for contributions to an account in a Delaware-sponsored qualified tuition program, as that term is defined under 26 U.S.C. § 529 (a “529” College Savings Plan). The second is a deduction from taxable income of up to $5,000 for contributions to an account in a Delaware-sponsored ABLE program, as that term is defined under 26 U.S.C. § 529A (a “529A” Savings Account - a special account for meeting the needs of certain individuals with disabilities). The 529 and 529A deduction is only applicable to the Delaware-sponsored plan. A transfer or rollover from another account authorized under 26 U.S.C. §§ 529 and 529A or for a change in beneficiary of any such account does not qualify for the deduction. This Act takes effect on the date the Secretary of Finance provides written notice to the Registrar of Regulations that the Division of Revenue has implemented the personal income tax release of the Internal Revenue Administration System.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COLLEGE SAVINGS AND “ABLE” SAVINGS ACCOUNTS.
|This Act updates the synthetic cannabinoids listed on Schedule I of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act by using broader language so that new synthetic cannabinoids created after the enactment of this Act fall within this definition without needing to be specifically listed. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 28 of Article IV of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to give jurisdiction to inferior courts and possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor under § 4763 of Title 16.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS.
|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.
|This Act raises the threshold limit requiring a building and loan association to obtain federal deposit insurance from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000. This threshold limit was last increased in 2019. The State Bank Commissioner does not oppose this change. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 5 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATION INSURANCE REGULATION.
|This Act updates the per diem compensation of any retired justice, judge, chancellor or vice chancellor accepting an active duty designation from $250 per day to 1/365 of the annual salary for such a judicial officer. This is consistent with the per diem compensation provided to retired justices of the peace and commissioners of the Superior Court, the Family Court, and the Court of Common Pleas accepting an active duty designation.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN RETIRED JUDICIAL OFFICERS ACCEPTING AN ACTIVE DUTY DESIGNATION.
|House Bill 214 enacted by the 148th General Assembly (80 Del. Laws c. 287) expanded the offense of Assault in the Second Degree to include the intentional assault of ambulance operators, rescue squad members, and nurses injured while performing work-related duties. As a result of increasing workplace violence directed against healthcare providers, this Act further defines Assault in the Second Degree to include other health care treatment providers and employees and hospital security personnel who are injured while performing their work-related duties.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ASSAULT.
|Chapter 29 of Title 3, which restricts the use of invasive and potentially invasive plants, was enacted by Senate Bill No. 22 in 2021, but does not take effect until July 1, 2022. This Act revises § 2904 of Title 3 so that the Department of Agriculture, through the regulatory process, can both add and remove plants from the initial Invasive Plant List created under this section. In addition, this Act repeals Chapter 27 of Title 3 the same day that Chapter 29 takes effect, because Chapter 27 regulates the same topic, using the term nuisance plants, and Chapter 29 uses current terminology and best practices. This Act also reorganizes the requirements under §§ 2903 and 2904 of Title 3 so that similar requirements are grouped together for clarity and so that the plants in § 2904(b) are listed in alphabetical order.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO NUISANCE PLANTS AND INVASIVE PLANTS.
|HB 369 w/ HA 1
|This Act adds a member of the Delaware Bar, designated by the Elder Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, to the Delaware Guardianship Commission. This Act also makes technical changes 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 THE DELAWARE GUARDIANSHIP COMMISSION.
|SB 100 w/ SA 1
|This Act establishes a Public Education Compensation Committee for the purpose of reviewing Delaware's educator compensation structure and its ability to compete with regional school districts, Delaware's private business sector, and other governmental agencies and to develop recommendations to establish a new compensation structure for educators in Delaware. The Committee will consist of 13 members, including the Secretary of the Department of Education, the Controller General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Executive Director of the Delaware State Education Association, the Executive Director of the Delaware Association of School Administrators, an educator, two school financial officers, one school superintendent, a charter school administrator, a representative of the Office of the Governor, and the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees. The Act requires the Committee to present its recommendations to the Governor no later than November 15, 2023, so that the recommendations may be included in the Governor's recommended budget for fiscal year 2025.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PUBLIC EDUCATION COMPENSATION COMMITTEE.
|This Act clarifies various aspects of the State’s unclaimed property laws, specifically: (1) Section 1 specifically exempts property owed to non-Delaware government entities and payment or credit arising under the 2022 Delaware Relief Rebate Program, Chapter 290 of Volume 83 of the Laws of Delaware. (2) Section 2 clarifies and confirms current practice that a holder under examination or in the voluntary disclosure program shall retain records from ten years plus the dormancy period to present day until completion of the examination or voluntary disclosure agreement. (3) Section 3 clarifies and confirms current practice regarding the timing of the liquidation of securities and the mailing of written notice to owners to eliminate litigation risk for the State. Under current practice, the State Escheator liquidates securities and mails written notice to owners relatively contemporaneously in weekly batches. Practically, however, at times liquidation may precede the mailing of notice by several days. However, because a claimant’s recovery is determined by the date the claim is filed relative to the date of notice, the claimant’s recovery is not impacted by this change. Because owner addresses reported by holders are often incomplete or have obvious errors, this Section also allows, but does not require, the State Escheator to take reasonable steps to update, correct, or validate owner addresses to make delivery of the written notice more likely, and limits liability for the State Escheator for any such actions or lack of actions. (4) Section 4 clarifies and confirms current practice regarding the timing of the liquidation of securities and the mailing of written notice to owners. (5) Section 5 clarifies how to determine the value of claims for securities property by clarifying a date certain for the statutory 558-day period to begin when the date of notice cannot otherwise be determined or when notice is not required or sent. (6) Section 6 clarifies and confirms current practice that the time for a claimant appeal to the Tax Appeal Board, where the State Escheator has paid the claim, begins to run on the initial issuance of payment, and is not reset or tolled by the re-issuance of a check. This Section also expressly permits the State Escheator to pay claims on a pro rata basis for property received before August 1, 2022, or resulting from a bankruptcy proceeding, when the reported amount of property exceeds the remitted amount, and expressly prohibits holders from relying on this Section to engage in this practice prospectively. (7) Section 7 clarifies and confirms current practice that the time for a claimant appeal to the Tax Appeal Board, where the State Escheator has paid the claim, begins to run on the initial issuance of payment, and is not reset or tolled by the re-issuance of a check. (8) Section 8 makes changes to allow the State Escheator to issue a notice of examination to any holder who has failed to respond to requests made pursuant to a verified report or compliance review or to complete a verified report or compliance review. This Section also makes changes to clarify and confirm current practice that a “reason to believe” standard does not apply to inquiries under § 1170 of Title 12. (9) Section 9 allows the State Escheator to issue a notice of examination to any holder who has failed to respond to requests made pursuant to a verified report or compliance review or to complete a verified report or compliance review under § 1170 of Title 12. (10) Section 10 responds to feedback received from the professional finder industry and clarifies and confirms current practice that the State will not disclose the exact amount of claimable property until a claimant’s rightful ownership of the property has been established and permits finder agreements to reflect this fraud prevention measure. (11) Section 11 states that Sections 1, 8, 9, and 10 of this Act take effect on enactment. (12) Section 12 states that it is the intent of the General Assembly that Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this Act apply retroactively to any claims, examinations, voluntary disclosure agreements, or litigation pending as of the effective date of this 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 12 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.
|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.
|HB 423 w/ HA 1
|Federal law permits states to require federal firearms licensees (FFLs) to conduct background checks through a state agency, or point of contact, instead of directly through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This Act creates the Firearm Transaction Approval Program (FTAP) within the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) of the Delaware State Police and designates the SBI's FTAP as the point of contact between an FFL and the federal databases checked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of conducting background checks for firearm purchases or transfers. By establishing SBI as the point of contact for all firearm purchases or transfers in this State, SBI becomes responsible for determining if a potential buyer or transferee is prohibited from receipt or possession of a firearm under § 1448 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code or federal law. This enables SBI to search other databases in addition to relying on the required NICS check, enhancing background checks conducted in this State. This Act enables firearms dealers who suspect a straw purchase has or is occurring to notify SBI using the same hotline that is established for background checks through FTAP. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 11, 16, 24, AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR FIREARMS SALE, TRANSFER, OR CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT.
|Section 1 and 2. These sections defines “reproductive health services” for the Board of Medical Practice, the Board of Nursing, and Regulatory Council for Physician Assistants, and makes clear that physicians, physician assistants and nurses who perform, recommend, or provide reproductive health services, if such services are lawful in this State, do not engage in unprofessional conduct and cannot be disciplined for such services even if such services are illegal or considered to be unprofessional conduct or the unauthorized practice of medicine or nursing in another state. This section also authorizes the following to terminate pregnancy before viability: (1) A physician assistant with a collaborative agreement with an appropriately training physician; and (2) A certified nurse midwife or certified nurse practitioner who demonstrates knowledge and competency, including successful completion of a training or certification approved by the Board of Nursing. Section 3. This section prohibits a health care provider from disclosing communications and records concerning reproductive health services, but does provide exceptions including if such records are requested for the purposes of investigating a complaint against a health care provider and the records are relevant to such complaint or to if requested to investigate a claim of abuse and such records are relevant to such investigation. This section also provides protections and limitations against civil actions from another state relating to the termination of pregnancy. Such protections and limitations include the issuance of a summons for a criminal case or investigation, and the issuance of a subpoena for information or testimony relating to the termination of pregnancy. This section also creates a cause of action for persons against whom a judgment was entered in another state based upon allegedly providing, receiving, or helping another person to provide or receive reproductive health services that are legal in Delaware. This section allows the person to recover damages from any party that brought the original action that resulted in the judgment or tried to enforce it. The damages available are just damages resulting from the original action as well as costs, expenses, and reasonable attorney’s fees spent bringing the action under this section as permitted by the court. The cause of action is unavailable if no part of the acts that formed the basis for liability occurred in Delaware. It is also unavailable if the judgment entered in the other state is based on a claim similar to one that exists under Delaware law and: (1) is a claim brought by a or the patient’s legal representative for damages the patient suffered or from another individual’s loss of consortium with the patient; or (2) is a contract based claim brought or enforced by a someone with a contractual relationship with the person who is subject to the judgment. Section 4. This section limits non-fugitive extradition of someone for committing an act that results in a criminal charge for the termination of pregnancy in another state. Pursuant to this bill, a person may only be extradited if the acts for which extradition is sought are punishable under Delaware law if their consequences, as claimed by the other state, had taken effect in this state. Section 5. This section prohibits an insurer from increasing the premium or taking any adverse action against a health care professional or health care organization for performing or providing reproductive health care services that are lawful in this State and covers any medical professional who prescribes medication for the termination of human pregnancy to an out-of-state patient by means of telehealth.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 24, 10, 11, AND 18 RELATING TO THE WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH.
|HB 450 w/ HA 1
|The Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022 prohibits the manufacture, sale, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession, or transport of assault weapons in Delaware, subject to certain exceptions. One exception is that the Act does not prohibit the possession and transport of firearms that were lawfully possessed or purchased before the effective date of this Act; although for these firearms there are certain restrictions relating to their possession and transport after the effective date of this Act. There are also exceptions for law-enforcement and military personnel in the course of their official duties, and a limited exception for retired law-enforcement personnel. Finally, a person lawfully in possession of an assault weapon prior to the passage of this Act may lawfully transfer the weapon to a member of their family, through inheritance or otherwise. The Act directs the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to develop a procedure for issuance of a voluntary certificate of possession to show lawful possession of an assault weapon prior to the effective date of the Act. A gun owner is not required to apply for the certificate, but a certificate provides a conclusive means of proving lawful possession prior to the passage of this Act. The Department is not permitted to retain copies of issued certificates or identifying information of any applicant. The Act also adds a violation of this Act to the list of predicate crimes for possession of a weapon in a school zone.
|AN ACT TO AMEND THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS.
|HB 451 w/ HA 3, HA 6, HA 8 + SA 2
|This bill makes a person under the age of 21 prohibited from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a firearm or ammunition of a firearm except under limited circumstances. Those circumstances are if the person is 18 years of age or older and an active member of the Armed Forces, a qualified law-enforcement officer, or has a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon. The Act does not apply to shotguns and shotgun ammunition, muzzle-loading rifles, and deadly weapons other than firearms, thus allowing those persons who are 18 to 21 years of age to purchase, own, control or possess such deadly weapons. Persons under the age of 21 may possess or control a firearm for the purpose of engaging in lawful hunting, instruction, sporting, or recreational activity while under the direct supervision of a person 21 year of age or older. This bill also makes changes to § 1445 of Title 11—Unlawfully dealing with a dangerous weapon to be consistent with the changes made to § 1448 of Title 11. In addition, the bill only criminalizes the control of a weapon which by compressed air or by spring discharges or projects a pellet, slug, or bullet by a person who is not a qualified law enforcement officer if such pellet, slug, or bullet is larger than .177 caliber shot.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FIREARMS.
|SS 1 for SB 6 w/ HA 3
|This Substitute Act creates the Delaware Large-Capacity Magazine Prohibition Act of 2022, which does the following: (1) Includes a clear definition for the term “large-capacity magazine” as an ammunition feeding device with a capacity to accept more than 17 rounds of ammunition. (2) Prohibits the manufacture, sale, offer for sale, purchase, receipt, transfer, or possession of a large-capacity magazine. Violation of this prohibition is a class E felony. (3) Prohibits the possession of a large-capacity magazine during the commission of a felony. Violation of this prohibition is a class B felony. This Substitute Act also establishes a buyback program for large-capacity magazines, to be overseen by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS.
|This Bill is the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Act.
|AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2023; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; AND AMENDING CERTAIN PERTINENT STATUTORY PROVISIONS.
|This Act appropriates $378,613,700 to provide one-time funded projects through the Office of Management and Budget.
|AN ACT MAKING A ONE-TIME SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2023 TO THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET.
|This Act is identical to Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 9, which establishes new formulas that a community owner is allowed use to increase rent in a manufactured home community. The requirements under this Act will be in effect for 5 years, during which time the current requirements for rent increases in manufactured home communities will be suspended. Under current law, rent increases in manufactured home communities have frequently been the subject of arbitration hearings and lengthy court cases. This Act seeks to dramatically reduce or eliminate these disputes by providing a choice of 3 methods that a community owner can use to establish the amount of a rent increase. In addition, when rent is increased based on 1 of the new calculations, this Act establishes clear standards and requirements, including documentation that requirements have been satisfied. This Act applies to rent increases when notice is provided beginning the 1st day of the month following its enactment into law, and remains in effect until 5 years after its enactment. Under § 7052 of Title 25, rent in a manufactured home community can be increased in an amount greater than the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the preceding 36 months if there have not been health or safety violations that persisted for more than 15 days, the rent increase is directly related to operating, maintaining, or improving the manufactured home community, and the rent increase is justified by 1 or more of the factors listed, which include capital improvements, changes in taxes, utility charges, insurance costs, operating and maintenance expenses, repairs, and market rent. Rent increases under § 7052 are subject to additional requirements and the dispute resolution process under § 7053 of Title 25. Under this Act, § 7052 will not apply to rent increases while the new methods for calculating rent increases are in effect. Under this Act, a community owner may increase rent based upon the increase in the CPI-U for the preceding 24 months, based on market rent, or by agreement with a homeowner for a period of more than 1 year. In addition, a community owner may increase rent based upon the increase in the cost of specific expenses. Increases based on market rent or these additional expenses are subject to the requirements and dispute resolution process under § 7053. This Act requires that in order to increase rent, there cannot have been a health or safety violation that continued for more than 15 days as calculated under § 7051A of Title 25 or if there is a health or safety violation, the community owner must provide a surety bond or letter of credit in an amount sufficient to fund 100% of the rent increase in addition to written documentation of how the violation will be corrected by a specified date. If the violation is not corrected by that date, the surety bond or letter of credit will be used to refund the rent increase to homeowners. This Act also creates a limited eligibility lot rental assistance program for homeowners whose incomes are between 40% and 55% of the county median household income that applies to rent increases. Specifically, this Act does all of the following: Section 1. Moves definitions of the terms “CPI-U” and “market rent” to § 7003 of Title 25 because the terms are used in more than 1 section. This Act also updates the definition of “CPI-U” to reference the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington region. Section 2. Adds detailed notice requirements to § 7051 of Title 25 that require written notice of a rent increase at least 90 days, but not more than 120 days, before the first day the increased amount of rent is due and that this notice must be sent to each affected homeowner, the homeowners’ association, if one exists, and the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority (DEHMRA). Section 3. Revises § 7052 so that it applies to rent increases that occurred or were noticed between the date § 7052 was enacted and the effective date of this Act. It makes corresponding changes to the subsection designations and repeals the definition of “market rent” because that definition will be in § 7003. Section 4. Establishes the requirements for rent increases for the 5 years after this Act takes effect, by creating the following: • § 7051A of Title 25, which establishes the prerequisites regarding health or safety violations that must be satisfied before rent can be increased including the requirement that if a health or safety violation has continued for more than 15 days as calculated under § 7051A of Title 25, the community owner must not only document that the violation will be correct by a specific date within 1 year, but must provide DEHMRA with a surety bond or letter of credit in an amount sufficient to fund 100% of the rent increase. If the violation is not corrected by that date, the surety bond or letter of credit will be used to refund the rent increase to homeowners. This Act clarifies that “violation” includes requirements under federal, state, or county laws and that if the community owner does not correct the specified date, the rent increase does not take effect. • Creates § 7052A of Title 25, which establishes the following 3 ways that a community owner may establish a base rent increase: 1. Based upon the increase in the CPI-U for the preceding 24 months. 2. Based on market rent 3. By agreement with a homeowner for a period of more than 1 year. • This Act also clarifies that § 7052A continues to apply to rent increased under the section after the section sunsets, revises the definition of the “24-month CPI-U” to mirror the language in § 7053 of Title 25, and clarifies the language explaining the rent increase calculation if based on a 24-month CPI-U that is equal to or below 7%. • Creates § 7052B of Title 25, which establishes the requirements under which a community owner may add an additional rent increase to an increase under § 7052A. The requirements include the specific allowed expenses that can be the basis of an additional rent increase, the time periods that are used in the calculations, the calculation used to determine if an additional rent increase is permitted, and how the dollar amount of an additional rent increase is calculated. A community owner must provide documentation of the cost of each of the allowed expenses on a website and must provide paper copies for review at the management office and upon request by a homeowner. Section 5. Makes the following corresponding changes to § 7053: 1. Repeals notice provisions that will be in § 7051 and applicable to all rent increases in manufactured home communities. 2. States that this section is applicable to rent increases under §§ 7052, 7052A(d), and 7052B of Title 25. 3. Revises subsection (j) so it includes the standards under §§ 7052A(d) and 7052B, if applicable. Section 6. Makes a technical correction to § 7054 of Title 25 so that it references § 7053 of Title 25 where it provides the deadline to appeal a decision of an arbitrator. Section 7. Revises the lot rental assistance program by doing the following: • Revises § 7022 of Title 25, the current lot rental assistance program, by doing the following: 1. Expands eligibility by requiring residency in the home for 5 consecutive years, instead of prior to July 1, 2006. 2. Increasing eligibility to households with income that is equal to or less than 40% of the county median income, from the current 30%. This Act also updates which agency that determines the county median household income. 3. Repealing subsections that are being transferred to a new § 7022A of Title 25 because the provisions also apply to the new limited eligibility lot rental assistance program. 4. Making technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. • Creates § 7022A of Title 25, which has the requirements that apply to the lot rental assistance programs under both §§ 7022 and 7022B of Title 25. These requirements are transferred from § 7022A with only technical corrections. • Creates § 7022B of Title 25, which creates a limited eligibility lot rental assistance program for homeowners whose incomes are between 40% and 55% of the median household income that applies to rent increases. Under this program, a homeowner’s rent is calculated on a sliding scale based on the amount of the household’s income. This Act also does all of the following: 1. Expands eligibility for the limited eligibility lot rental assistance program to lot rent increases that take effect after the effective date of this Act. 2. Revises the eligibility requirements to correct a drafting error. 3. Requires residency in the home for 5 consecutive years to be eligible. 4. Corrects which agency determines the county median household income. 5. Clarifies how rent is calculated under the limited eligibility lot rental assistance program. Sections 8 through 10 require that if any of the following find a violation of a health or safety requirement in a manufactured home community, notice must be provided to local and state elected officials, the Department of Justice, and the Authority: 1. A county government. 2. The Department of Health and Social Services, for drinking water. 3. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. In addition, Sections 8 through 10 make technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual, including the correction of an internal reference in § 122(3)c.E. of Title 16. Section 11. Makes this Act effective on the first day of the month following its enactment into law.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9, TITLE 16, TITLE 25, AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES.
|SB 8 w/ SA 1 + HA 1
|This Act defines machine gun as it is defined under federal law. Defining machine gun makes clear the types of weapons prohibited under Delaware law, including an auto sear, or “glock switch”, which transforms a semiautomatic gun into a machine gun. Additionally, this Act prohibits a person from making a destructive weapon, including a machine gun. Finally, this Act 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 DESTRUCTIVE WEAPONS.
|This Act is named for Keshall “KeKe” Anderson. KeKe was an innocent bystander who was killed in a 2016 shooting involving a firearm purchased through a straw purchase. In 2019, in a lawsuit by KeKe’s family against the dealer of the firearm involved in her death, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s decision interpreting § 1448A of Title 11 of the Delaware Code to grant a firearm dealer full immunity from liability, even if the firearm dealer is negligent in selling a firearm to a straw purchaser. See Summers v. Cabela’s Wholesale, Inc., 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 156 (Del. Super. 2019), aff’d, Summers v. Cabela’s Wholesale, Inc., 2019 Del. LEXIS 524 (Del. 2019). The repeal in Section 2 of this Act means victims and their families may seek relief from courts and juries instead of being denied their day in court. Section 3 of this Act provides a cause of action to enable firearm manufacturers and retail dealers to be held accountable when they knowingly or recklessly take actions that endanger the health and safety of residents of this State through the sale, manufacture, distribution, and marketing of firearm-related products.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 AND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FIREARMS.
|Currently, there is a manufacturer of firearm magazines in Georgetown that employs nearly 90 workers and produces 30, 20, 15, and 10 round magazines. This Act excludes a person who manufactures a large-capacity magazine from the application of the law if the person manufactures the large-capacity magazine with the intent to sell the large-capacity magazine, or offer the large-capacity magazine for sale, to a person outside of this State. The Act also excludes a person who ships or transports the large-capacity magazine for a person who manufactures a large-capacity magazine for sale to a person outside of this State. The enactment of this Act is contingent on the enactment of Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 6.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS.
|This Resolution provides the official revenue, refund, and unencumbered funds estimates for Fiscal Year 2022.
|THE OFFICIAL GENERAL FUND REVENUE ESTIMATE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022.
|This Resolution provides the official revenue, refund, and unencumbered funds estimates for Fiscal Year 2023.
|THE OFFICIAL GENERAL FUND REVENUE ESTIMATE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2023.
|HS 1 for HB 478
|This bill increases the annual earnings limit for pensioners in the State Employees’ Pension Plan who return to work in a non-pension creditable position to $40,000 for earnings received beginning in calendar year 2021.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT OF PENSIONERS.
|This Bill is the Fiscal Year 2023 Bond and Capital Improvements Act.
|A BOND AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND CERTAIN OF ITS AUTHORITIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2023; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS OF THE STATE; APPROPRIATING FUNDS FROM THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF REVENUE BONDS OF THE DELAWARE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY; APPROPRIATING SPECIAL FUNDS OF THE DELAWARE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY; APPROPRIATING GENERAL FUNDS OF THE STATE; REPROGRAMMING CERTAIN FUNDS OF THE STATE; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; AND AMENDING CERTAIN STATUTORY PROVISIONS.
|This Act provides supplementary appropriations to certain Grants-in-Aid recipients for Fiscal Year 2023. Section 1 – Government Units and Senior Centers – $28,201,165 Section 2 – One-Times and Community Agencies – $32,531,876 Section 3 – Fire Companies – $8,162,724 Section 4 – Veterans Organizations – $498,141 GRAND TOTAL – $69,393,906
|AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR CERTAIN GRANTS-IN-AID FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2023; SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; AMENDING THE FISCAL YEAR 2023 APPROPRIATIONS ACT; AMENDING THE FISCAL YEAR 2023 ONE-TIME SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT; AND AMENDING CERTAIN STATUTORY PROVISIONS.
New Legislation Introduced
No Introduced Legislation
Legislation Passed By Senate
|HB 77 w/ HA 2
|This Act prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of children's products, upholstered furniture used in residences, and mattresses that contain harmful flame retardant chemicals. These flame retardants have been found to cause cancer, particularly to firefighters who are extinguishing fires that involve products that contain these chemicals. This Act does not apply to any of the following: 1. The sale of used products. 2. Furniture purchased for public use in public facilities 3. Thread or fiber used for stitching mattress components. 4. Children’s products that are not primarily intended for use in the home. 5. Products being transferred to a vehicle at a warehouse or distribution center for delivery in another state. 6. Electronic components. This Act takes effect on July 1, 2021.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PROHIBITION OF HARMFUL FLAME RETARDANTS.
|HB 299 w/ HA 2
|This Act prohibits the seller of consumer goods or services from refusing to accept cash payment, except in limited circumstances. Sales covered by this Act are those made at a retail store through an in-person transaction. The Act does not apply to sales of goods or services by electric or gas utilities, telephone, mail or internet sales, or for services provided at parking lots or garages. It creates graduated civil penalties for violations and provides consumers a private right of action to recover double damages, including consequential damages, for a second violation of the law and triple damages for subsequent violations. The Division of Consumer Protection has authority to enforce the law.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PROHIBITED TRADE PRACTICES FORBIDDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CASH PAYMENTS BY CONSUMERS.
|HB 315 w/ HA 2
|This bill provides unit funding for full time employees who shall be hired to provide permanent substitute teaching support in Delaware schools. The bill also provides professional development requirements for those hired into these positions and creates a pathway to teaching to those individuals who meet the requirements for an emergency certificate.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FREE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
|This Act creates a statewide Grow Your Own Educator Program to improve recruitment, retention, and diversity of educators in Delaware public schools. The Program establishes a competitive grant process to be administered by the Department of Education. Any Delaware reorganized school district or charter school can apply for a grant to establish its own unique Grow your Own Educator Program. Subject to funding grants will be awarded on a 2-year basis. Applicants must provide a detailed explanation how their proposed Program will be run, including any partnerships with institutions of higher education and whether the Program anticipates providing last dollar tuition and related educational financial assistance to candidates accepted into their Program who commit to teaching a minimum of 3 years, upon licensure, in the Applicant’s school district or charter school. Any awarded grant money must be used to initiate and run the Program. In evaluating applications that meet the Department’s criteria, if funding is limited, the Department will give additional weight to Applicants that prioritize recruiting candidates from high-need schools, placing teacher candidates in high-need schools, develop programs that support teacher professionals, including bilingual candidates and those without bachelor’s degrees, and leverage apprenticeship and year-long teacher residency models. The Department will annually provide Program data to the Senate and House Education Committees including the number of grant applications, the number of grants awarded, names of districts and charter schools receiving grants, and retention rate for educator candidates hired by the district or charter school. For fiscal year 2022-2023 $4,000,000 is anticipated being appropriated to the Department from the General Fund consistent with the agreed settlement terms in In Re Delaware Public Schools Litigation, C.A. No. 2018-0029-VCL which states, in part, that the Governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 will include at least $4,000,000 to support enhanced teacher recruitment and retention in high-need schools. A portion of those funds will be allocated to implement the Grow Your Own Educator Program established in this Act.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO GROW YOUR OWN EDUCATOR PROGRAM.
|This Act prohibits minor parents from executing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative drafting Manual. This Act takes effect 180 days after enactment into law.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 13 AND 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO VOLUNTARY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF PATERNTIY.
|HB 440 w/ HA 1
|This bill changes the definition of and class of felony for the crime of Strangulation from a class C felony to a Class D felony unless additional factors are present, then the crime elevates to a class B felony, punishable from 2-25 years in jail. This bill also adds the crime of suffocation.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON.
|Under current Chapter 27 of Title 10 the Board of Examiners of Constables is charged with appointing constables and certifying their commissions as well as monitoring their training and in-service. Currently, there is no member on the Board who acts as a representative for constables. This bill removes the constable statute from Title 10 by deleting Chapter 27 in its entirety, and adding Chapter 56, as it relates to Constables, to Title 24 of the Code. This bill renames the Board “Constable Board of Examiners”, expands the number of Board members from 5 to 7 and replaces the current representative from the American Society of Industrial Security with 3 constables, 1 specifically employed with a higher education institution and 1 specifically employed with a healthcare institution. This bill also clarifies the authority of the Board and the powers and duties of constables. The Act also brings the Board’s process under Delaware’s Administrative Procedures Act. The Act grandfathers all currently commissioned constables, except requiring their compliance with all firearms training, until their present term expires. The Act also amends Title 18 to reflect that commissioned constables, as in current law, remain eligible for line-of-duty death benefits under this new Chapter.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 10, 18, AND 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONSTABLES.
Legislation Passed By House of Representatives
|HB 183 w/ HA 2 + SA 2
|This Act creates a process for the Commissioner of Elections to determine if a candidate or an incumbent elected official for a State or county elected office are residents of the district or area they represent or seek to represent. This Act does not apply to municipalities. The purpose of this Act is to require all candidates for State or county elected offices and incumbent elected officials to have their primary residential address in the area or district they represent or seek to represent.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RESIDENCY.
|HB 193 w/ HA 3 + SA 1
|This bill seeks to provide the State Fire Commission with the authority to hear and resolve disputes filed by members of the public or fire companies with respect to firefighting activities by individual firefighters and fire companies. The Commission may utilize existing regulations to hear such disputes or many promulgate additional regulations consistent and in furtherance of this subsection. This bill also authorizes the Commission and its staff to investigate fires where firefighters are injured and to issue investigative reports detailing findings and conclusions. Finally, the bill provides immunity to the Commission and its staff for activity authorized by this section.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE DELAWARE STATE FIRE PREVENTION COMMISSION.
|HB 399 w/ HA 1, HA 2 + SA 1
|All human laboratory testing is regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (“CLIA”). CLIA-waived tests are simple laboratory examinations and procedures that have an insignificant risk of an erroneous result. Common CLIA-waived tests include Influenza, HIV, COVID-19, and lipid-panel tests. Amid COVID-19 pandemic, the need for immediate diagnostic services that are close to home became vital. This bill authorizes pharmacists to order and perform tests authorized by the FDA and CLIA-waived and provide treatment for such health conditions.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRACTICE OF PHARMACY.
Senate Committee Assignments
No Senate Committee Assignments
House Committee Assignments
No House Committee Assignments
Senate Committee Report
No Senate Committee Report
House Committee Report
No House Committee Report
Senate Defeated Legislation
No Senate Defeated Legislation
House Defeated Legislation
|SS 1 for SB 101
|This Act is a substitute for Senate Bill No. 101. Like Senate Bill No. 101, this Substitute creates a right to counsel for tenants in evictions and other landlord-tenant actions. Approximately 18,000 eviction cases are filed each year in the State of Delaware, and while 86% of landlords are represented by an attorney, agent, or business manager, only 2% of tenants have representation. The disruptive displacement that accompanies eviction proceedings create significant costs for state and local government related to shelter funding, education funding, health care provided in hospitals instead of community-based providers, transportation costs for homeless youth, and foster care. Evictions and disruptive displacement also have significant, well-documented, and long-lasting effects on the lives of individuals and families, including poorer physical and mental health, increased risk of homelessness, increased risk of employment loss, loss of personal property, damage to credit standing, and relocation into substandard housing. Further, evictions fall disproportionately on Black and Latinx families, who have also been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Section 1 of this Act establishes a right to counsel for covered individuals with household income below 200% of the federal poverty guideline for evictions and other landlord-tenant actions. A Coordinator for the program will be appointed by the Attorney General. The Coordinator will contract with legal services providers for the provision of representation in proceedings covered by this Act. Section 1 also requires the Coordinator to work with community organizations to do outreach and education regarding the right to counsel. And, landlords must provide notice of the right to counsel at periodic designated intervals in the tenancy and in eviction proceedings. Section 2 of this Act creates a monetary floor for initiation of eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent – no action may be filed where the amount of rent owed is 1-month’s rent or less than $500, whichever is greater. It also provides that a landlord may not initiate or continue eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent if the tenant pays and the landlord accepts all rent due. Finally, it creates a right of redemption for a tenant who pays all back rent, costs, and fees before eviction. Section 3 of this Act authorizes the creation of a residential eviction diversion program modeled after the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program. Section 4 of this Act provides COVID-19-specific relief in an action where execution was stayed based on a finding that the stay was required in the interests of justice. Section 5 of this Act is a severability clause. This Substitute differs from Senate Bill No. 101 as it does all of the following: (1) Includes representation by non-attorneys in the definition of “legal representation”, if the Rules of the Supreme Court are amended to permit the representation. (2) Removes the provision for representation in proceedings related to the reduction of a housing subsidy. (3) Makes clear that legal representation is provided as it is available and that an individual does not have a cause of action if it is not available. (4) Provides examples of circumstances in which a designated organization may decline representation. (5) Provides that the Right to Counsel Coordinator (“Coordinator”), with appropriate funding from the General Assembly, shall contract with designated organizations to provide the services required under the Act. (6) Requires the Coordinator to include the Justice of the Peace Court’s experience with the Act in the Coordinator’s annual report. (7) Removes events that require a landlord to provide a tenant with a brochure about legal representation available to tenants. (8) Makes technical changes to make clear that an action for possession based on unpaid rent may not be brought if the amount of rent owed is less than 1-month’s rent or less than $500, whichever is greater. (9) Changes the time for the application of the tenant’s right of redemption to before the writ of possession is posted. (10) Changes one of the possible deadlines for implementing the residential eviction diversion program to 270 days after the effective date of the Act. (11) Provides that the Residential Eviction Diversion Program is to be established and implemented by the Justice of the Peace Court or the Court’s designee, which may be the Right to Counsel Coordinator. (12) Expands the exemption to participation in the residential eviction diversion program to include when threats of substantial or irreparable harm to the landlord’s or other tenant’s person or property and cites the appropriate provisions of the Delaware Code relating to proceedings based on irreparable harm. (13) Changes what a landlord is required to do once the Twenty-Seventh Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency for the State of Delaware Due to a Public Health Threat expires or is not renewed. (14) Makes Sections 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 of this Act effective 120 days after the Act’s enactment and makes the effective date of Section 3 of the Act (regarding the residential eviction diversion program) contingent on funding. (15) Requires the Coordinator to provide the General Assembly with a copy of the first annual report to determine if additional funding is needed to address the fiscal impact of the Act on the Justice of the Peace Court.
|AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD-TENANT CODE.
|HA 1 to SS 1 for SB 101
|This amendment does all of the following: 1. Strikes a “whereas” clause referencing a University of Delaware study. 2. Eliminates the “notice to terminate or not renew a tenancy” as a triggering event for the right to representation. 3. Eliminates the obligation for the Court to continue the matter if tenant is unrepresented. 4. Requires that a tenant in a case involving rental arrears must be immediately referred to the Delaware Housing Assistance Program, and that part of the legal representation will be assisting a covered individual to apply for and obtain rental assistance. 5. Eliminates the minimum amount of arrears required prior to filing a summary possession action and eliminates the right of redemption. With this amendment, § 5502 of Title 25 will not be changed at all by this Act. 6. Moves the residential eviction diversion program from a “pre-filing” program to “post-filing” and reduces time for a tenant to engage in eviction diversion from 30 to 15 days before conducting any additional proceedings in the case. The amendment preserves the exceptions that would allow a landlord to opt out of participation in the diversion program – i.e., where substantial or irreparable harm to person or property exist. 7. Eliminates the provision requiring a landlord who has already obtained a final judgment that was stayed during the COVID emergency to make a motion to obtain a writ of possession.
Nominations Enacted upon by the Senate