Delaware Legislative Update for the Third Week of June 2023

Only two weeks left until the General Assembly adjourns for the year

 · June 20, 2023

On the House floor today: HB 121, which would allow artificial entities such as LLC corporations to vote in Seaford municipal elections. For more information on this one: Delawareonline did a great writeup about why this bill is harmful to democracy. 

SB 180 would amend the constitution to limit felony disenfranchisement from voting in Delaware, and will be in the Senate Judiciary committee this Wednesday. While not a broad reform, this bill will begin to help citizens back into the process. Make sure to sign up for public comment if you want to have your voice heard on this measure.

HB 230, which would expand on last session’s reproductive healthcare protections to protect access to gender affirming health care, was introduced last week and is notably not on the Health agenda Wednesday. The sponsor did announce that the bill is not moving forward this year, but advocates have sent thousands of letters to legislators asking that it be prioritized before June 30. Many other states have passed or are in the process of passing packages of anti-trans laws. Activists argue it’s a priority for the community to have this in place so people and providers don’t go another year without protections.

HB 205 and HB 206 (LEOBOR reform) were released from committee two weeks ago with opposition from advocates and support from the many police affiliated lobbying groups and Republicans. Conventional wisdom suggests these bill will pass. This leaves the question open whether legislators commit to working with advocates to improve these bills next term and pass legislation that provides more regular police transparency and accountability. Delaware will continue, after the likely passage of these bills, to have some of the most restrictive, law enforcement-friendly police records laws in the country.

Committee Agenda Report

While our team reviews every bill that comes up, for the sake of length and clarity, we will only be sharing the most notable bills in these reports. All meetings are livestreamed, and allow for in-person and virtual public comment. Click on the committee name under the Committee Meeting Info column for public comment info and livestream link.

You can also check here for the full list of committee meetings and click “view” next to each meeting for the full agenda and additional information.

Bills coming up the week of 6/19/23:

Bill #SponsorSummary/DescriptionCommittee Meeting InfoDateTime
SB 170HansenOffshore wind study. Directs the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to work with PJM Interconnection, LLC to study the transmission impacts of offshore wind development, to work with neighboring states on offshore wind transmission, and to study and report back to the Governor and the General Assembly on a process for procuring offshore wind power. Report due 12/31/23.House Natural ResourcesTuesday, 6/20/2311:00 AM
HB 227LambertChildhood Lead Poisoning Prevention bill to improve compliance with its testing and reporting requirements. Requires the Division of Public Health to develop electronic forms to be used at a child’s 12 and 24 month well visit that record lead screening results and are shared with the Divison. Clarifies that laboratories and health care professionals involved in blood lead level analysis must report results to the Division of Public Health. Requires the Division of Public Health to share data with school nurses relating to whether an enrolled student has been screened for lead poisoning.House Health & Human DevelopmentWednesday, 6/21/2311:00 AM
SS2/SB8MantzavinosMedical debt consumer protections. Protects patients from unfair debt collection practices for medical debt, including prohibiting large health care facilities from charging interest and late fees, requiring facilities to offer reasonable payment plans, limiting the sale of debt to debt collectors unless an agreement is made to keep protections in place, providing minimum time before certain collections actions may be taken, limiting liability for the medical debt of others, and preventing the reporting of medical debt to consumer credit reporting agencies for at least one year after the debt was incurred. Violations of the provisions of this Act are considered Prohibited Trade Practices and Consumer Fraud violations.House Economic DevelopmentTuesday, 6/20/2312:30 PM
HB 85BoldenCreates a special license plate for retired state legislators. This Act shall be known as “The Senator Margaret Rose Henry Act”. Some are concerned that this could give special driving privileges to retired state legislators identifying a special status.Senate Environment, Energy & TransportationWednesday, 6/21/2311:00 AM
HB 99 HeffernanDelaware Climate Change Solutions Act of 2023. Establishes a statutory target of greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the medium and long term to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.Senate Environment, Energy & TransportationWednesday, 6/21/2311:00 AM
HS1/HB 94OsienskiCreates a pilot program for electronic speed monitoring in residential areas. While speeding is certainly a safety issue, the Campaign to End Debtors Prison has some proposed amendments to limit the potential negative impacts of the bill as written.Senate Environment, Energy & TransportationWednesday, 6/21/2311:00 AM
SB 180GayVoter rights for people convicted of felonies. This Act is the first leg of an amendment to the Delaware Constitution, and limits the disenfranchisement of an individual who is convicted of a felony to the period during which the individual is imprisoned due to the felony, or until the individual is pardoned, whichever comes first.Senate JudiciaryWednesday, 6/21/2312:00 PM
HS 2/HB 142MorrisonBans the so-called LGBTQ+ “panic” defense that seeks to partially or completely excuse or justify a defendant from full accountability for the commission of a crime on the grounds that the actual or perceived sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, or sex assigned at birth of the victim is sufficient to explain, excuse, or justify the defendant’s conduct, or contributes to or causes the defendant’s mental state, or that the defendant’s reaction thereto constitutes a mental illness, mental defect, or mental disorder sufficient to excuse or justify the defendant’s conduct.Senate JudiciaryWednesday, 6/21/2312:00 PM
HB 202RomerGenerally bans firearms at a polling place on an Election Day. Intended to reduce voter intimidation, this bill could benefit from an amendment restricting law-enforcement exemption to only officers on duty and acting in their official capacity as there have been reported instances of off-duty officers engaging in voter intimidation.Senate ExecutiveWednesday, 6/21/232:00 PM
HB 215BoldenMoves primary elections from September to April. The date of primary elections for statewide office, county office, and municipal office to the fourth Tuesday in April, which is the date of the presidential primary. While aimed to increase voter turnout, it would restrict the campaign time for primary candidates for local offices.Senate ExecutiveWednesday, 6/21/232:00 PM
HB 141MorrisonCandidate background checks. This Act requires all candidates for statewide office, the General Assembly, and all elected county offices, to request a criminal history background check, no later than the filing deadline, from the State Bureau of Identification.Senate Elections & Government AffairsWednesday, 6/21/232:00 PM
HB 154GriffithCreates the Delaware Personal Data Privacy Act. Outlines a consumer’s personal data rights and provides that Delaware residents will have the right to know what information is being collected about them, see the information, correct any inaccuracies, or request deletion of their personal data that is being maintained by entities or people.Senate Banking, Business, Insurance & TechnologyThursday, 6/22/2310:30 AM

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