Daily Report for 8/25/2022

Governor's Actions

BillCurrent StatusSponsorSynopsisTitle
HB 205 w/ HA 3SignedLambertThis 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 277 w/ HA 1SignedLynnThis Act codifies the principle set forth in Doe v. Bicking, 2020 Del. Super. LEXIS 43, *32, 2020 WL 374677 (Del. Super. Jan. 22, 2020) that recognizes that in cases of childhood sexual abuse by an employee of a school, organization, or business that serves or cares for children, the perpetrator often has authority and power over the child victim, which can be enabled by the perpetrator’s position in that institution. If a child is abused while the perpetrator is doing the perpetrator’s job, the employer should be responsible. This Act also changes the standard of culpability from “gross negligence” to “negligence” for public schools in civil claims based on childhood sexual abuse. Children who are sexually abused by private employer employees (e.g. daycare providers, private schools, etc.) have more protection than children abused by their teachers and coaches at public schools. There should be one standard of care that holds schools and businesses equally accountable when their recklessness, inattention, or failure to act causes a student to be sexually abused. This Act seeks to avoid future instances of the result in Bates v. Caesar Rodney Sch. Dist., No. 13, 2021, 2021 Del. LEXIS 315 (Del. Oct. 6, 2021), a case which held that when a student is abused at school by a teacher, the school has no legal responsibility. This Act takes effect 90 days after its enactment into law. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LIABILITY FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD BY AN ADULT EMPLOYEE OF A SCHOOL, ORGANIZATION, OR BUSINESS.
SB 289SignedPooreThis Act expands the scope of the sexual extortion law to include: a) compelling or inducing another person to produce a visual depiction of the person or another who is nude or who is engaging in sexual conduct, and b) threatening to reproduce, distribute, exhibit, publish, transmit, or otherwise disseminate a visual depiction of a person who is nude, or who is engaging in sexual conduct. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SEXUAL EXTORTION.
SB 290 w/ SA 1SignedPooreThis Act expands Erin's Law to require training and education on issues related to inappropriate relationships between adults and children, such as grooming. Erin's Law requires the Child Protection Accountability Commission and the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families to develop and maintain a curriculum to be used by Delaware's public schools to educate public school employees about personal body safety and child sexual abuse. Erin's Law is named in honor of Erin Merryn, a victim of child sexual abuse, who is working to enact legislation on this subject throughout the country. This act expands Erin's Law in several respects. The Act expands the range of grades that Erin's Law applies to from pre-kindergarten to grade 6 to pre-kindergarten to grade 12. In addition, the Act expands Erin's Law to require training for school employees on the prevention of inappropriate sexual misconduct, the establishment of appropriate adult and student interactions, and the warning signs of suspected adult sexual misconduct, with an emphasis on sexual grooming. It also expands the information available to parents and students to include information on the warning signs of adult sexual misconduct, including the derivative grooming of parents, methods for discussing adult sexual misconduct with students, resources for reporting suspected abuse, and counseling available to students and parents. Finally, the Act requires training and education for school administrators, school nurses, and school counselors on issues relating to inappropriate sexual relationships and grooming, such as strategies for the prevention of such misconduct, skills for responding to student disclosures of such misconduct, and measures to promote school recovery after an incident of such misconduct. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ADULT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IN SCHOOLS.
SB 291SignedPooreThis Act requires each school district and charter school to adopt a policy regarding appropriate relationships between school employees, contractors, coaches, and volunteers and students. The policy must include a provision establishing appropriate and inappropriate interactions; a prohibition against adult sexual misconduct; a prohibition against any sexual relationship between a school employee, contractor, coach, or volunteer and a student; an emphasis on the mandatory reporting obligations under § 903 of Title 16; a procedure for notifying the Department of Education and law enforcement of suspected adult sexual misconduct; guidelines for the preferred and prohibited methods of electronic communication; notice that substantiated incidents of adult sexual misconduct will be reported in future reference checks; and a provision requiring the development of hiring practices to screen for adult sexual misconduct. This Act will be implemented for the 2023-2024 school year. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO POLICY REGARDING APPROPRIATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS.
HB 428 w/ HA 1SignedLonghurstAll too often, persons who produce or transmit images of partially nude children cannot be prosecuted under our current statutes because our current statutes only criminalize images of a child engaging in a sexual act or if the child is nude. This bill seeks to remedy this problem by adding “partial nudity” to the definition of “prohibited sexual act”. By doing so, this bill criminalizes the photographing or filming of a partially nude child as well as the production, publication, transmission, selling, distribution, and dissemination of photographs or images of partially nude children if the child in such image or photograph is scantily clothed, posed provocatively, or otherwise posed with the obvious intent to arose, and such image of photograph is intended for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual who may view such image or photograph. Under this bill, such crime would be a class D felony punishable by up to an 8-year jail sentence.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OFFENSES RELATING TO CHILDREN.
HB 442 w/ HA 1SignedBentzDelaware’s per capita health care spending consistently ranks in the top ten highest spending states and has historically outpaced economic growth in Delaware. Enhanced transparency and shared accountability for spending and quality targets have been used to accelerate changes in our health care delivery system, creating benefits for employers, state government and health care consumers. House Joint Resolution 7 of the 149th General Assembly and Executive Order Nineteen tasked the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) with the establishment of annual health care spending and quality benchmarks as a strategy to address the unsustainable growth in health care spending while also measuring aspects of health care quality. This Act serves to replace Executive Order Twenty-Five which established Delaware’s Spending and Quality Benchmark initiative in 2018. The codification of these benchmarks supports the continuation of Delaware’s Road to Value by improving the transparency of health care spending and quality, as well as providing attainable goals needed to achieve better health care, lower costs, and healthier communities. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE HEALTH CARE COMMISSION AND STATE OF DELAWARE HEALTH CARE SPENDING AND QUALITY BENCHMARKS.
SB 307 w/ HA 1SignedPooreThis bill reflects the reality that “grooming” children for the purpose of committing crimes of sexual violence against them is often preceded by conduct that perpetrators know will make the child particularly susceptible to abuse. The bill requires proof that a person has engaged in three or more specific instances of conduct proscribed by the statute. Each of these predicate acts would not otherwise be considered criminal conduct, so the bill requires proof of a pattern of conduct aimed at a specific outcome. By outlawing “grooming,” the State will be explicitly empowered to stop a predator who engages in certain conduct with the intent to entice, persuade, induce, or coerce a child into participating in a sexual act with the perpetrator. A conviction for “grooming” is a stand-alone offense and is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in jail.AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
HB 480SignedLonghurstThis Act amends the Delaware Code relating to financial assistance for education in order to promote and support the state’s high demand career fields and reduce student debt for Delaware residents. The Act clarifies the Delaware Higher Education Office’s role in administering programs. Professional incentive scholarship loan programs will generally be replaced with the career-based scholarship program and the educator support scholarship and mental health services scholarship programs will be established. In addition, a loan repayment program is created for speech-language pathology and mental health professions to attract and retain these professionals in Delaware schools. Career-based and educator support scholarships will be made to Delaware students who intend to pursue careers in specific fields identified as areas of need in Delaware. Academic scholarships will be awarded to Delaware students in memory of elected officials and other distinguished citizens. Need-based scholarships will be awarded to Delaware students so that they will not be denied the opportunity of an education because of financial need. The Act also clarifies the programs that are not administered by the Delaware Higher Education Office.  The Education Endowment Fund and the Michael C. Ferguson Achievement Awards will be repealed because they are no longer funded.  The Delaware College Investment Plan has been renamed the DE529 Education Savings Plan, and conforming changes are made to other parts of the Code.  The Ivyane D. F. Davis Memorial Scholarship program is updated. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 14, 16, 29, AND 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR EDUCATION.
SS 1 for SB 263SignedSokolaThis Act establishes a cultural resources professional scholarship for the purpose of enabling and encouraging academically talented Delawareans to pursue careers as cultural resource professionals. The scholarship is also available to persons already serving in positions with cultural resource agencies, such as the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs or with organizations that are institutional members of the Delaware Museum Association, among others, further their education. This scholarship would strengthen Delaware’s ability to both recruit and retain a more diverse workforce and would help the state meet federal credentialing requirements for federally-funded projects. The scholarship is named for the late Lewis M. “Skipper” Purnell, one of Delaware’s leading historical preservationists and husband of Mrs. Matilda “Til” Purnell, a great Delaware environmentalist in her own right. This Substitute Bill differs from the original in that it makes this a scholarship rather than a loan reimbursement program. It is written to be placed in the code after the significant changes to Chapter 34 made by House Bill 480. Because it is designed to exist under the new Delaware Higher Education Office’s role, enactment is contingent on the passage and enactment of HB 480. It also is a different section number than the original bill based on the changes being made to the chapter by HB 480. AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE CULTURAL RESOURCE INCENTIVE PROGRAM.

New Legislation Introduced

No Introduced Legislation

Legislation Passed By Senate

No Legislation Passed By Senate

Legislation Passed By House of Representatives

No Legislation Passed By House

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

No House Defeated Legislation

Nominations Enacted upon by the Senate

No Records